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Oct 18, 2013 - 9:06 AM - by dgstorm
Updated: Previous Nexus 5 pic replaced with full-sized press shot. Thanks for the awesome scoop Preach2k! Great work!
Although the link is dead now. Here it is: The Nexus 5, for $349.
Ad reads: "Capture the everyday and the epic in fresh new ways. Starting at $349."
That's a pretty good sign that we'll see more than one aka retail version, meaning we'll see more than one storage size. The closed link showed the 16-gigabyte version.
As originally posted by Preach2k over on Droidforums.net.
Oct 17, 2013 - 4:47 PM - by dgstorm
Check this out! There is a new Swiftkey beta available. It's version number 4.3 and it comes with a huge host of new features. Furthermore, it now has merged the phone and tablet versions into one. The folks at have named this new version "Layouts for Living." This new version not only combines the two former apk's into one, it also includes a set of layouts to all screen sizes. You will also find a new "undock" feature which allows you to drag Swiftkey around the screen to wherever you want.
That's not all though. This new version also includes several new keyboard sizes, locations and layouts. Furthermore, you will also get three different keyboard modes which can be accessed in the quick-setting panel. This is the same place where you find the sizes and undock button. Here's a description of the different keyboard layouts:
If you want to learn more and/or pick up a beta key, just head to the links below!
Compact: On many larger phones it can be difficult to enter text and hold the phone with just one hand. This new feature reduces the width of the keyboard and allows for easier typing with one hand or gesture typing using SwiftKey Flow. It also frees up more of the screen estate on tablets. You can switch it from the left or right side of the screen by a long-press or by dragging.
Thumb: For those who like typing on tablets in landscape or wide phones, the keyboard can be split into two areas, enabling fast, comfortable typing with both thumbs. Undock it from the base of the screen for even more flexibility.
Full: The traditional full-width keyboard is still available and users with tablets can opt for a layout that is similar to the presentation of a physical keyboard. This layout has left and right cursor keys and the backspace is positioned above the enter key, making it easier to type with two hands when not holding your tablet.
Swiftkey blog: New beta out today - Layouts for Living
Swiftkey Beta 4.3 Download: http://bit.ly/sklayoutbeta
Oct 17, 2013 - 2:19 PM - by dgstorm
It is starting to look like November will be the month indirectly dedicated to LG. Based upon all the intel we have so far, no less than three smartphones from LG might be released in November. First up we have the LG-made Google Nexus 5. That's probably the biggest of the three launches. The device will likely be announced October 28th, but we fully expect it to start hitting retail store shelves sometime in November.
The other smartphone which will see the light of day in November is the LG G Flex. This is LG's new curved display phone which uses their own flexible display technology. It is designed to compete head to head with the Samsung Galaxy Round. One interesting thing to note about the G Flex is that it might actually have global availability (even in the U.S.). This is in contrast to the Galaxy Round which was only launched by Samsung in their home country of South Korea.
The third phone which might just appear for LG next month in emerging markets is the rumored Firefox OS smartphone. Current intel suggests an LG-made Firefox OS smartphone could arrive in November. Now obviously this isn't an Android phone, but we still thought it was fair to report it regardless. It certainly seems as though LG is pushing hard to gain marketshare. What do you guys think?
Oct 17, 2013 - 11:21 AM - by dgstorm
The Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Edition (Model GT-I9505) already had a leaked version of Android 4.3 grace its silicon. Now the official version is hitting the airwaves. Samsung officially launched the newest version of Android for the this particular version of the SGS4. As of right now it is only hitting this device in Germany, although it should come to others eventually. It's unlikely we will see carrier versions of the SGS4 get the Android 4.3 anytime soon, but now that this is finished, it should start filtering out over the next couple of months. Here's a list of some of the updates found in the changelog:
Samsung Galaxy S 4 – Android 4.3 Update Changelog
- OpenGL 3.0 Support
- GALAXY GEAR Support
- TRIM Support (Makes the device much faster)
- ANT+ Support
- Samsung KNOX Implementation (KNOX bootloader and dedicated application)
- Samsung Wallet comes pre-loaded
- Improved RAM management
- Improved Display colour reproduction (Display looks much sharper than before)
- Improved TouchWiz Launcher (Much less launcher redraws and less lag)
- New Samsung Keyboard
- New Samsung Browser (Full screen by default, new tab interface and more)
- New Reading Mode (Optimises display for reading, used by only a few specific applications)
- New Camera firmware
- Minor UI tweaks (Contacts app, Flashlight Widget, dialog boxes etc)
Oct 17, 2013 - 10:25 AM - by dgstorm
Just yesterday we shared a story that HTC and Amazon might be teaming up to make forked Android Kindle smartphones. We already have a follow-up article with more details. According to this new report, Amazon and HTC have been in talks since at least June of this year "to develop handsets for sale to users of the Amazon Prime service." The main reason for this is supposedly that Amazon wants to have more devices which access their Amazon Instant Video service. They also want to sell phones through subscriptions with carriers.
One other detail suggests that Amazon has not yet fully committed to the idea, but that both companies have already devoted some time and resources to this project so it looks like a distinct possibility. Here's a quote with a few more details,
What do you guys think? Could this be an idea that helps save HTC and helps Amazon break into this business?
Three devices are being discussed by Amazon and HTC, the Financial Times reported earlier, citing people familiar with the project it didn’t name.
“HTC doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation,” the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in an e-mailed response yesterday. Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Seattle-based Amazon, didn’t return a request for comment.
Oct 17, 2013 - 9:51 AM - by dgstorm
Motorola is really stepping it up in the cleverness department. They have made it easier than ever to transfer from an iPhone to their Moto X device. MotoMaker now includes a new iPhone to Moto X data transfer tool called Migrate. This handy tool means you can actually have your new Moto X delivered to you with all of your personal data like contacts and calendar entries already pre-installed. Unfortunately, right now it can't get anything else, but Moto's Punit Soni makes the valid point that “there is a long way to go, but it’s a start.”
The tool pops up at at the end of the program's Moto X custom design process. To make it work you just have to enter your iCloud credentials and your Google log in details, and it handles the transfer automatically. Supposedly the process goes pretty quickly and should only take five minutes to port up to 500 contacts and 500 calendar entries. If you have more than that then you are probably too popular and/or too busy! Go smell some roses!
Oct 16, 2013 - 4:18 PM - by dgstorm
ABI Research recently performed an analysis and teardown of the Moto X which revealed some intriguing results. According to their assessment, the Moto X has several impressive engineering feats. One of the things they were most impressed with was that the device is small for Android standards, yet it still offers excellent battery life despite its high-definition AMOLED display.
That's not all they praised about the device. Jim Mielke of ABI indicated that the Moto X has the "best performance observed in a mobile display to date." He elaborated,
It's amazing to realize just how innovative Motorola has been with this device. It's easy to get caught up in the typical marketing fantasy of high-end devices requiring ultra-processors and tons of RAM. Sometimes the subtle innovations which happen behind the scenes are under-appreciated. What do you guys think?
“This level of performance is so significantly improved that other factors are more likely to govern battery life now. Automatic dimming and short idle periods before turning off the display will be less crucial and may even be features that fade away from all handsets soon.
The phone features a unique always-on voice command system that has drawn a lot of attention but a second marvel exists that is very easily seen but not observed: Moto X’s AMOLED display, which draws just 92mA during bright conditions and 68mA while dim. Battery life has long since been dictated by display technology—the display current could be as high as 700mA under bright conditions just a few years ago. LCD based displays have been evolving too but not quite matching the AMOLED displays performance.”
Source: ABI Research
Oct 16, 2013 - 3:21 PM - by dgstorm
Here's a bit of news which could end up being a bright light for the ailing HTC company. There are hints that Amazon may work out a partnership with them to produce the oft-rumored Kindle smartphones. Supposedly, Amazon is already in the advanced stages of developing one of three different devices. The report said the following,
Of course for now, we are very skeptical until we find out something more. Still, could this be a wise move for both of these companies? HTC gets saved from the brink of collapse while Amazon gets a company with a solid infrastructure to build their phones. What do you guys think?
According to the report, “Amazon is working with HTC to develop a range of smartphones as the e-commerce company steps up efforts to compete with Apple and Google.” One of the sources FT was in touch with claims that the Amazon and HTC are developing three devices, and at least one is “at an advanced stage of development.” Another source says the release timetable is constantly evolving. Amazon has remained adamant on its stance that it will not enter the smartphone fray this year. HTC also declined to comment on the FT report, but HTC CMO Ben Ho said that his company is “always exploring new opportunities.”
Oct 16, 2013 - 3:01 PM - by dgstorm
Okay, so this story is not about a phone or a tablet, but it is about a cool Android device which we just had to share with you guys. It's called the "Skully P1" and it's actually an Android-powered motorcycle helmet which can let you see what's behind you with an Augmented Reality overlay. This innovative device actually has a rear-camera built-in and displays a 180-degree AR view of what’s behind the rider.
That's not the only cool thing about this high-tech noggin armor. It also includes a Skully Synapse HUD integrated into the helmet visor. This makes it appear the HUD is floating about 20 feet in front of the riders vision. This HUD includes two different views. One incorporates the rear view display as previously mentioned, but the other offers detailed turn-by-turn navigation. This HUD uses a lithium-ion battery which will hold a charge for nine hours of use.
As mentioned, the helm uses Android for its OS, and will integrate with other smartphones from Androids to iPhones. The OS also includes voice controls for playing music, getting directions, and more. The manufacturer will launch an SDK for app developers later in 2013. No details on pricing have been shared just yet.
Oct 16, 2013 - 11:55 AM - by dgstorm
Naught but a few moments ago we shared a story about a swelling battery issue on the Samsung Galaxy S4. As it turns out, Samsung is not only aware of battery issues across the gamut of cell-phones, but they are actually working on a bigger solution to the problem for the future. According to this newest report, Samsung is actively developing a new battery technology using their flexible technology.
There will be several purposes for this battery. One is simply to have a battery that will work properly in future flexible smartphones. Samsung further intends to create this battery to solve some other problems as well. They want this new flexible battery to resist swelling and mechanical shocks, and they also want it to be fire-proof, and explosion-proof. Here's a quote with an excellent description of the differences in older battery tech compared to this new one,
Sadly, it will be a while before Samsung has the technology ready for mass-consumption. We will keep you updated as this technology evolves.
The new type of battery contains a solid electrolyte, instead of the liquid electrolyte that’s found inside most Lithium-ion batteries currently on the market.
So, why are current batteries susceptible to accidents? The lithium ions that move through the liquid electrolyte when the battery is charging can cause the formation of metal deposits on the electrodes, which can lead to short-circuits. Moreover, liquid electrolytes can leak and burn, which is something that you obviously don’t want to happen inside a tightly packed piece of electronic equipment.
Solid electrolytes are more stable, don’t leak, and are not prone to the formation of metal deposits that can cause short-circuits.
Oct 16, 2013 - 11:36 AM - by dgstorm
Apparently, the Samsung Galaxy S4 battery swelling issue is becoming a fairly widespread issue. Customers started complaining about overheating, endurance degradation, and swelling of the battery. The problem has grown to affect nearly 30% of users by one estimate. Samsung has acknowledged the issue and is actually now offering replacements for those affected.
Sound of if you have experienced this problem.
We are aware of this issue, which has affected a limited number of customers. We ask all affected customers to please visit their nearest Samsung Electronics service centre, where they can receive a replacement battery for free of charge. We remain committed to providing the best possible user experience for our customers.
Oct 16, 2013 - 10:20 AM - by dgstorm
Those advertising folks at Google and KitKat are certainly working overtime to pull out all the creative ideas. This last one is really clever, and seems to confirm that Android 4.4 KitKat and the Nexus 5 will be revealed on October 28th. This revelation actually comes from a small series of hints. The first one came from @KitKat and reads, "Everybody dance now! #AndroidKITKAT" This lead to some speculation, most of it centered around the 90's song Gonna Make You Sweat performed by the C+C Music Factory band. Someone did some digging and made the obscure reference that C+C Music Factory used to be called, "The 28th Street Crew.” That wasn't quite enough of a hint to really offer up the tasty conclusion.
The second hint actually helped to solidify the first. Shortly later, KitKat Tweeted: “This is it.” They also added, "Sometimes you have to look for the signs...". Someone deduced that the "This is it." referenced the movie dedicated to Michael Jackson, which was released on October 28th. Adding the two of these together seems to suggest Google's breadcrumbs lead to an October 28th unveiling of the next iteration of Android. In fact, this makes further sense when you consider that Google actually launched the Nexus 4 on October 29th of last year.
The final piece of the puzzle is that this will give the press plenty of time to prepare for the big event. What do you guys think?
*Incidentally, the song "Everybody Dance Now" by C&C Music Factory is actually exactly 4 minutes and 4 seconds long. Coincidence?
Source: Google+ KitKat & Twitter - KitKat
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