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Oct 31, 2013 - 3:10 PM - by dgstorm
Just as earlier rumors this morning suggested, Google made the Android 4.4 KitKat SDK available shortly after launching the Nexus 5. Now developers can dive into the new OS from Google and see what hidden treasure are contained within. Here's just a few of them taken straight from the Android developer's blog:
- New ways to create beautiful apps — A new full-screen immersive mode lets your app or game use every pixel on the screen to showcase content and capture touch events. A new transitions framework makes it easier to animate the states in your UI. Web content can take advantage of a completely new implementation of WebView built on Chromium.
- More useful than ever — A printing framework lets you add the convenience of printing to your apps. A storage access framework makes it easier for users find documents, photos, and other data across their local and cloud-based storage services. You can integrate your app or storage service with the framework to give users instant access to their data.
- Low-power sensors — New hardware-integrated sensors let you add great new features to your apps without draining the battery. Included are a step detector and step counter that let you efficiently track of the number of walking steps, even when the screen is off.
- New media capabilities — A new screen recorder lets you capture high-quality video of your app directly from your Android device. It's a great new way to create walkthroughs, tutorials, marketing videos, and more. Apps can use adaptive playback to offer a significantly better streaming video experience.
- RenderScript in the NDK — A new C++ API in the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) lets you use RenderScript from your native code, with access to script intrinsics, custom kernels, and more.
- Improved accessibility support — New system-wide captioning settings let your apps present closed captions in the style that's preferred by the user.
If you are one of our amazing developers, please sound off in this thread and tell us which of these new development features intrigues you the most.
Source: Android Developer's Blog
@EVLeaks is at it again and this time they spilled the beans on the Moto G. The Moto G is going to be an entry level Android handset, but don't confuse that with being a pop (a much more family friendly acronym). According to @EVLeaks the Moto G will be made by LG and feature an S4 Pro (1.5GHz Quad core), 4.7" screen at 720p, 8GB/16GB of storage, 8MP shooter, 1950mAh battery and come completely FREE on contract. There is no word on customization options, carrier support or release dates at this time. Remember folks there is a whole other demographic out there who are looking to get into a great smartphone without having to pay a premium. The Moto G should definitely deliver a great experience for these types of consumers.
Oct 31, 2013 - 1:27 PM - by dgstorm
Without any fan-fare or even a fancy event, Google just announced the LG-made Nexus 5 by making it available on the Google Play Store. The new phone also includes Android 4.4 KitKat just as predicted. As we reported previously, the 16GB version of the phone is $349 and the 32GB version is $399 making this a phenomenal deal. Here's the full spec list:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM 8974, quad-core, 2.2GHz, Adreno 330 GPU
- 2GB RAM
- 16GB/32GB; base version has 12.55GB of free space out of the box
- 4.96-inch Full HD display (1920x1080 display) - pixel density 445 ppi
- 8MP camera (2,448 x 3,264) with OIC
- 16GB Storage
- 2300 mAh Battery
- Android 4.4 KitKat
It's unusual for a company to soft-launch a new flagship device like this. Of course, this is Google and they typically do things differently. Plus we have had numerous rumors and leaks over the past several weeks, so perhaps they didn't feel it was worth the extra fluff. Sound off if you are planning to pull the trigger on this phone!
For reference sake, here are the network bands:
- 2G/3G/4G LTE
- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
- WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
- LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41
Sadly, Sundar Pichai confirmed it would not be coming to Verizon. However, he did note that Google is specifically working with Verizon on some future projects. Here is the quote,
For more discussions on the new Nexus 5 head over to our sister-site here: Nexus 5 Forum
"...working with [Verizon] on a set of projects for 2014."
Here's a link to the Google Play Store to grab one: https://play.google.com/store/device...s_5_black_16gb
Oct 31, 2013 - 11:28 AM - by dgstorm
It's been a long time coming, but users of Pandora who are also owners of the Google Chromecast can breathe a sigh of relief. Pandora recently updated their Android app and it is now compatible with the Chromecast. This little addition was on top of its new tablet user interface. Now you can stream your favorite custom Pandora channels straight to your TV system with the Chromecast.
With Pandora on the Chromecast, who needs the digital audio stations on their cable TV anymore?
If you haven't tried Pandora for Android, here's the Google Play Store link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...andora.android
Oct 31, 2013 - 11:14 AM - by dgstorm
Back in September we shared a rumor that the Asus Transformer Pad TF701T would become available sometime in October. It turns out that is almost true. It looks like the new Tegra 4-powered super-tab from Asus just went up for sale from a third party retailer on Amazon called EXCaliber PC. However, it is also already sold out (at the time of this post).
It seems strange that it would sell out so quickly, but it is possible. Of course, it's also possible the retailer decided to announce the device a little before they actually got some in stock. Either way it appears the device will be coming very soon! Here's a refresh of the specs:
- 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 WQXGA IPS display
- NVIDIA Tegra 4 quad-core processor
- 2GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM
- 32GB internal storage
- 5MP/1.2MP cameras
- Micro SD slot
- Micro HDMI port
- Miracast Wireless Display support
- Optional keyboard dock w/battery and full-sized USB 3.0 port
It's important to note that the tablet is supposed to carry an MSRP of $450, but Amazon's third party retailer is selling it for a premium tag of $500. Hopefully other retailers will start getting the device soon and sell for the correct amount.
Oct 31, 2013 - 10:56 AM - by dgstorm
Not too long ago we shared a story that Android 4.4 KitKat might actually include built-in support for Android TV and serve as a bridge between smartphones, tablets and the future version of Google TV. If this latest news report is accurate, then Google's Android 4.4 KitKat will do even more than that. Supposedly, KitKat will also include built-in support for lower-end hardware. The word is that it will be compatible with just 512MB of RAM.
Additionally, KitKat will likely be designed with the new wearable computing trend in mind and will actually support Google Glass directly. On top of this, the newest iteration of Android will now have support for three new sensors: geomagnetic rotation vector, step detection, and step counters. Finally, a few specific features where tipped for the new OS. It appears that KitKat might include a fullscreen mode which would allow apps to be displayed edge to edge, and it could also have some new battery savings options.
Of course, as with all of the pre-launch info we have received thus far, we need to take it with a cup of salt. Some of the intel has proven accurate, but a great deal of it was simply bogus. In which category do you think this info will reside?
Oct 31, 2013 - 10:34 AM - by dgstorm
Animated Gif above was shared on Reddit
Since they began several weeks ago, the launch date rumors for the Nexus 5 have been patently wrong every time. Several of them included some logical but obscure clues which ended up being nothing more than wild tangents. Because of that, we are necessarily skittish about this final batch of rumors. However, despite our reluctance, we are willing to report that all signs point to an impending launch today of Google's Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat.
Supposedly, the embargo for the Nexus 5 will officially lift today. Additionally, there have been several solid tips that the Nexus 5 will be ready for retail on November 1st, including retailers already getting them in stock. Additional insider intel suggests we will also see 4.4 the SDK become available, and may also get a major Google Wallet announcement at the same time. Not only that, but Reddit was a hive of Nexus 5 activity last night. That's where you can find the animated gif of a white Nexus 5 shown above.
There's still more; we even found some leaked teardown pics of the new Nexus 5. Here's one above and you can find more here: Leaked Tear-down Pics of Nexus 5
Even if it turns out that tomorrow is the actual reveal date, it's pretty safe to share this roundup just as a final countdown story. We are all ready for this confection to come out of the oven so we can get a taste of it!
Oct 30, 2013 - 5:00 PM - by dgstorm
Here's an interesting piece from late yesterday. Google decided to show off the next-gen version of their Google Glass hardware. They previewed the image above on the Google Glass Google+ page. As you can see they would rather “show” than “tell.” The only real difference which is immediately noticeable is that it now has a mono earbud. We aren't sure if this means they had to give up on the skull-vibrating setup in the previous version, of if this is just an additional option.
Google also claimed they have improved the hardware, without getting into specifics. This post also serves as a reminder to Google Glass Explorers that they will be able to "trade-up" later in the year when this next-gen version is released. The only other detail that we can share is the new Google Glass will support prescription frames. Also, if you are already Google Glass Explorer, later this year you will be able to invite up to three friends to get a Google Glass.
Source: Google+ - Google Glass
Oct 30, 2013 - 12:02 PM - by dgstorm
Frequently many of us call our smartphones life savers, but for one Florida man, this was more literal than most of us would expect. According to this CNN report, an unnamed Florida gas station clerk was robbed at gunpoint. When he and his coworker couldn't open the safe, the assailant fled but not before discharging his weapon at the clerk. Luckily, the clerk had his HTC EVO 3D in his chest pocket, and it actually stopped the bullet which nearly ended his life. Here's a quote with a more detailed description,
As amazing as this story is, that's not where it ends. Since the event, HTC decided to step up and replace the man's now destroyed EVO 3D with a brand new HTC One and several included accessories. Is this a shameless grab at some cheap publicity? Probably, but we can't fault them at all, and it certainly made the store clerk's day. At least HTC really has abandoned their old "Quietly Brilliant" PR strategy.
The shooting happened after a man entered the store at the Hess gas station in Winter Garden, Florida, early Friday and asked a clerk to help him find a particular beverage.
The man then pulled out a revolver and demanded that the clerk open the safe, CNN affiliate WESH reported, but the clerk was unable to get the safe door open.
Another clerk then entered the store and was also ordered to open the safe.
After both the store workers' efforts to open it failed, the man fired a single gunshot as he left the store, WESH reported, citing police.
Emergency services workers were called to the store, and as they were interviewing one of the clerks, he complained of chest pains.
"So they started looking at the clerk. That's when they realized that the guy had actually shot at him, hit him, struck his cell phone, and the cell phone had stopped his bullet," Winter Garden Police Lt. Scott Allen said.
The chest pains were caused by the impact of the bullet on the cell phone, which was in the clerk's chest pocket, according to WESH.
He didn't suffer any other injuries and was quickly released after being checked at a hospital, the TV station said. ~ CNN
Source: Twitter - HTC
Oct 30, 2013 - 10:16 AM - by dgstorm
We have been seeing reports filter in over the last couple of days that the Android 4.3 update is rolling out to the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Besides the obvious upgrade to the newest released version of Android, this update brings some bug fixes and several new (or improved) features as well. For example, it includes,
- Support for Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch
- Support for a new LTE band
- Blocking Mode is now available and so is the Samsung KNOX solution
The update is 330MB in size and will bring your device up to version VRUEMJ7. Sound off if you have received your Android 4.3 update yet.
Image Credit: UnWiredView
Oct 30, 2013 - 9:56 AM - by dgstorm
For those of you who have experienced the Ocular Rift Virtual Reality Headset on the PC, it will be easy to get excited by today's news. Up until now, the PC has been the sole purview of the Oculus Rift technology, but that is about to change. The Oculus VR CEO, Brendan Iribe, recently shared the company plans to bring the device to the Android OS. Here's a quote with a few more details about the device and the version coming to Android,
There's one other interesting sidebar to note. Apparently there are some hefty development obstacles in bringing this device to the Apple iOS platform, so, at least for a while, the Oculus Rift will only be a PC and Android exclusive. Regardless, it's intriguing to see that the VR craze of the eighties didn't actually die off. It just needed to hibernate for a while until technology could catch up to the concept.
The Oculus Rift – for the unaware – is a visor with a 7-inch screen split into two 640×800 zones (one for each eye) that can produce a realistic 3D experience. The consumer version is expected to sport 1080p resolution, and it will likely weigh quite a bit less than the dev kit at 0.83lbs. The dev kit is also $300, which will hopefully come down a bit for the final product. Oculus VR plans to have a version of the Rift for Android ready for launch with the PC consumer version, or slightly after. The Android edition will probably be more portable than the PC headset, and it will be designed to offload image processing to the ARM chips used in smartphones and tablets.
Oct 30, 2013 - 9:37 AM - by dgstorm
The above pic is supposedly of a fresh new Nexus 5 out of the box and in the wild. We doubt it is a fake, but it is possible. The Google box next to it lends some credibility. Of course, the blurrier the pic, the easier it is to fake, so who knows. The user who posted this pic supposedly works for an unnamed carrier/retailer and this is the first stock they have of the device. If this is real, it likely means the Friday launch rumors are more likely than ever.
Who else is ready for this beast to be launched so we can get past all of the leaks and rumors?
Update: We got word that the photo shown above was pulled from photobucket. It looks like Google might have complained about the leak.
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