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Apr 28, 2015 - 10:47 AM - by dgstorm
That head-line only covers a couple of details for Android Watch news today. There are a couple of sales of Android Smartwatches on the Google Play Store, but we also have a new entry and one leaving. First, let's lead with the "deal alerts."
- The LG G Watch R has dropped to only $249 on the Play Store. Here's a link: LG G Watch R
- The Motorola 360 also had a price drop, down to $179 on the Play Store. The discount will be applied at checkout: Moto 360
- The LG Watch Urbane is now in the Play Store. It can be had for $349: LG G Watch Urbane
- Finally, the vanilla, square-faced LG G Watch is no longer available on the Play Store: LG G Watch
Apr 24, 2015 - 10:17 AM - by dgstorm
Earlier this week we shared a rumor that Nokia was jumping back in the smartphone game. Today's new info confirms that rumor, and takes it a step further. It is now confirmed that Nokia is diving back into the smartphone waters, and this time they will be hitting the ocean with an Android phone! Here's a quote with the details,
While this is exciting news, we wonder if Nokia will do it right or make a half-hearted attempt like their last Android device. We are crossing our fingers they announce a flagship level Android smartphone. Just imagine the legendary Nokia quality and design with high-end specs and the latest version of Android! Just Awesome!
The good news is that the rumors in question have now been confirmed by Nokia China’s president, Mike Wang, who revealed that the company will be using the factories in Sichuan to build new Android-powered smartphones next year. The president also confirmed that Nokia’s global R&D center will also be relocated in Sichuan, China.
Apr 23, 2015 - 10:53 AM - by dgstorm
Here's something fun and interesting you might get a kick out of... it turns out that what you are doing right this moment (engaging with the community of this internet forum) is actually quite good for you. At least, that's what a recent study concluded which was published in the Computers In Human Behavior.
Specifically, the study concluded that "Internet forums have a positive impact on life satisfaction and lead to increased involvement in communities outside the confines of the online world." Here's a quote with more of the details,
Well then... you can now rest easy knowing that you are doing a good thing for yourself just by being a part of this amazing forum! But of course, our amazing members already knew that!!! :D
The study approached users on a range of interest, lifestyle and hobby forums. The study split users into two groups: stigmatized subjects (like mental health discussion), and non-stigma related forums (sports, cooking and the rest). They were then polled about their reasons for joining the forum, how they felt about it, their life satisfaction and offline engagement with "issues raised in the forum". Author lead Dr. Louise Pendry of the University of Exeter said that: "As well as finding answers, our study showed users often discover that forums are a source of great support, especially those seeking information about more stigmatizing conditions."
"Moreover, we found that users of both forum types who engaged more with other forum users showed a greater willingness to get involved in offline activities related to the forum, such as volunteering, donating or campaigning." Unlike social networks, that have arguably substituted in for forums for a lot of people, The study highlights that forums still often maintain a degree of anonymity, which adds the effect when discussing issues with a stigma -- something that real names and face pics typically demolish. ~ Engadget
Apr 20, 2015 - 10:59 AM - by dgstorm
It looks like Google has taken their Google Wallet service to a new level of credibility and safety. This morning a new report from Yahoo! News indicated we now have full support from the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) for Google Wallet. This means any money you put in your Google Wallet account is now insured by the Federal Government for up $250,000 US dollars in the unlikely event Google ever goes bankrupt. The story has yet to be confirmed officially from Google, but we expect that to happen sometime soon.
This story got us to wondering... how many of our members actually use Google Wallet? Sound off in this thread and let us know if you use Google Wallet, and, if so, do you use it a little or a lot?
Apr 17, 2015 - 10:03 AM - by dgstorm
The internet is awash in trolls who lurk in comment sections of blogs ready to jump down each other's throats to "debate" (and debase each other) over Android vs. iPhone. This latest news report coming out of Tulsa, Oklahoma may have just found the two "Idiot Kings" of this behavior.
Two roommates in the Evergreen Apartments were taken to the hospital after stabbing each other over an argument as to which mobile platform was better than the other. The altercation occurred at 1am on Friday morning and devolved into smashing beer bottles on each other and then stabbing each other repeatedly.
Both of the boneheads survived and were treated for their wounds. Police have not yet decided whether they will charge either mobile gladiator. Perhaps they were lucky there wasn't a third roommate who was a Windows Phone user... all three might have ended up with posthumous Darwin awards.
Let this be a lesson folks... it's fine to have a favorite technology, but there's room enough in this world to like multiple platforms, and arguments can obviously be taken way too far. Just remember, if we didn't have the competition between Apple, Google, Microsoft & others, then smartphones likely wouldn't have evolved so quickly and given us such amazing capabilities!
Apr 16, 2015 - 9:57 AM - by dgstorm
For those who haven't heard of it, Hearthstone from Blizzard is a virtual collectible card game set in the World of Warcraft universe. It uses turn-based mechanics and is similar to the real-world collectible card game Magic: The Gathering. The game has been available on Android tablets for some time now, but the latest news is that Blizzard was able to create a version for Android smartphones (and the iPhone) now too.
Here's a quick quote from Blizzard regarding the more mobile version of the game:
Source: Hearthstone® Now Available on Mobile - News - Hearthstone
Never played Hearthstone? No problem! Just download the app and run through a few lighthearted tutorial missions to get a handle on the basics of this quick and fun collectible card game. Before you know it, you’ll be slinging cards as your favorite hero in Play Mode against friends and other players alike. Soon, you’ll be on your way to earning card packs, in-game gold, and arcane dust as you command a colorful cast of characters into the fray.
Already playing Hearthstone? Your card collection and progress are shared across any device that you use to play the game. That means all the cards you’ve collected will be waiting for you whenever you enjoy Hearthstone on your mobile phone.
Apr 15, 2015 - 11:12 AM - by dgstorm
Google started pushing out the Android 5.1 version of Lollipop to the Nexus 7 2013 LTE model. They also made the Factory Image available to both the Nexus 7 2013 and the Nexus 7 2013 LTE.
The main difference between this and the previous Android 5.0.2 (LRX22G) version is simply a number of bug fixes. Of course, that's a pretty important thing, so it is probably worth it for most folks.
Apr 15, 2015 - 10:29 AM - by dgstorm
One of the big news stories of the morning is that the European Commission has formally charged Google with an anti-trust lawsuit. The EU contends that Google abused its Android operating system and unfairly gained market share for its services and software.
For the last four years the Commission has investigated Google for these issues. Three times Google tried to settle, but was not able to reach an amicable agreement with the EU. The Commission sent a series of objections to Google and the search giant now has 10 weeks to respond.
The primary complaint from the EU is that Google unfairly hindered access to rival applications and search results, illegally prevented manufacturers from running modified versions of the open-source Android operating system, and excessively bundled its apps with other essential services or APIs.
If Google loses this case, they will likely be faced with heavy fines and will be required to change how search results are generated or how advertising is displayed. This could negatively impact the bottom line revenue for Google.
Google replied in a separate statement by reminding that its partner agreements with mobile-phone makers are voluntary.
Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of engineering for Android, said in a blog posting, “We understand that with success comes scrutiny. But it’s not just Google that has benefited from Android’s success. The Android model has let manufacturers compete on their unique innovations.”
Google's direct response was as follows,
Amit Singhal, senior vice president of Google Search, said that the company “strongly” disagrees with the need to issue an antitrust complaint and will make that case in response to the EU statement of objections.
On shopping, “there’s a ton of competition” such as Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc., Singhal said in a blog posting.
Apr 14, 2015 - 12:06 PM - by dgstorm
If this latest bit of intel is true, it would be another smart business move by Microsoft. Supposedly, the Redmond based mega-corp is courting some interesting agreements with OEMs like Samsung and others. Microsoft is supposedly offering to reduce the amount of patent licensing fees they charge for various Android-related patents in exchange for pre-installed Microsoft software on Android devices. Here's a quote with the details,
This seems like a win-win for both parties. The OEMs get to eke out a bit more profit from their Android devices, while Microsoft gets relatively cheap product placement.
Android hardware manufacturers have all signed a patent licensing agreement with Microsoft
for various essential technologies developed by the company. However, according to findings from Taiwan’s and China’s smartphone/tablet upstream supply chain, Microsoft is offering discounts to those who pre-install Office programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, as well as OneDrive and Skype onto their Android devices. So far, 11 hardware partners are signed up to the deal.
Apr 14, 2015 - 10:53 AM - by dgstorm
If the latest leaked intel from Google is true, the company could be planning to enter the market with a bang by offering an incredible incentive. The folks Android Police were able to get their hands on Google's Android app for their upcoming MVNO carrier service, and they found some interesting references hidden within its code.
The app is called Tycho, and the internal name for the service is Project Fi, (although references to the name Nova were also found within the app). The code within the app also confirms what we already knew, that the carrier service from Google will piggy-back between T-Mobile and Sprint's towers for the service. More importantly, the app describes some of the ways that Google plans to provide extra value for its customers. The most intriguing piece of the puzzle is that Google's service will likely be a "pay per gigabyte-based" subscription, in which you only pay for what you use, and can get credit back for any unused data you sign up for, but don't use.
Here's a quote with the details,
They also found that,
Unlike most wireless carriers, Project Fi is built around the idea of only charging customers for what they use. There are still service plans like any carrier, but when customers don't utilize the allotment of data they have chosen, they will be credited for the unused amount at the end of the month. In the event that they exceed that amount, they are charged the same flat rate for each additional gigabyte. There appear to be no artificially hiked up overage fees.
The intel gleaned from this bit of code-hacking isn't all good though (depending on your point of view). They apparently also found code which will allow Google to track your business related phone calls, so they can target you with ads related to what interests you. This is only based upon the phone number you dialed, and is not a recording of the actual conversation. The code seemed to indicate that you will be able to opt out of it from the get-go.
Calling or texting any number in the US is free, and international calls are charged as a low rate.
Despite this one hiccup (the contents of which are probably not surprising considering we are talking about Google), Google's MVNO service could be a big shakeup in the industry if they can spread to a large swath of the country. Hopefully it will light a fire under the big carriers, AT&T and Verizon to get more competitive.
There's actually quite a bit more detailed analysis on this code, so if you want to find out more, hit up the source link below.
Apr 14, 2015 - 10:27 AM - by dgstorm
We aren't sure if this excellent deal alert for the Moto 360 is only for a limited time, but just in case it is, you might want to move on it quickly. You can grab the Moto 360 for a paltry $165 on the Google Play Store right now, and it includes free shipping!
Here's the link to grab yours: Google Play Store - Moto 360
[Editor's Note: This looks like a straight price drop as there is no indication that it will be for a limited time. This has lead to some speculation that we could be seeing a second generation Moto 360 smartwatch announcement sometime within the next few weeks/months. Of course, it may be nothing more than Google just wanting to clear out some back-stock, but it's worth considering. We will keep an eye out for any hints of a new smartwatch from Motorola.]
Apr 13, 2015 - 11:09 AM - by dgstorm
Sprint has un uphill battle to try and play "catch up" with Verizon and AT&T while it competes with T-Mobile. Because of that, the Now Network is throwing every idea at the wall until one sticks. Their latest concept is a bit odd, but intriguing. They plan to hire 5,000 employees and pair them up with 5,000 vehicles emblazoned with Sprint advertising, with the intention of offering "in home delivery and setup" of smartphones and tablets on the Sprint network.
Here's a quote with more of the details,
Deliveries will be limited to specific zones, and the service will include the he Sprint rep transferring content from your older phone, as well as a tutorial for your new device. It sounds good in theory, but it seems like a service which will have a limited appeal. What do you think?
U.S. wireless operator Sprint is now offering to deliver and set up phones, tablets and other connected devices for free at homes, offices and other locations chosen by the customer.
The offer is currently limited to eligible upgrade customers, but starting September, new customers in selected markets will be able to choose the new Direct 2 You option, when buying online or through call centers.
Launching in Kansas City metropolitan area on Monday, the program will be expanded across the country using about 5,000 branded cars and employing 5,000 staff by year end. A rollout in Miami and Chicago is scheduled for April 20.
Thanks for the tip, [USER=249463]@Jeffrey[/USER]!
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