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Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus to arrive in Europe this month

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

samsung galaxy s5 aa (36 of 36)

Samsung has announced a new version of its Galaxy S5 smartphone, the Galaxy S5 4G+. As the name suggests, the handset is designed to offer faster 4G/LTE data speeds than the standard model.

Hardware wise, the Galaxy S5 4G+ shares the same display, RAM, memory, and aesthetics as the regular flagship. The only difference is that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 has been swapped out for the Snapdragon 805. The main reason for this is that the Snapdragon 805 allows for faster peak data speeds of 225Mbps, compared with 150Mbps for the standard S5. The chip also has the added benefit of packing a more powerful Adreno 420 GPU.

Samsung’s Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4 are also capable of these faster data speeds. Samsung appears to be bringing its S5 model in-line with the rest of its high-end products. The Galaxy S5 4G+ is not to be confused with the Galaxy S5 LTE-A that was launched in South Korea, which features a higher 2560×1440 resolution display.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 4G+ has already been launched in Singapore and will now be heading to Europe be the end of October. The smartphone will retail for €599, making it a fair bit more expensive than the standard Galaxy S5. The company hasn’t announced if the 4G+ variant will arrive in other markets or not.

Android Wear updated with GPS support, music playback

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Get moving. Google wants you to move and exercise with the updated Android Wear. If you still don’t have a smartwatch, maybe it’s time to get one. You’ll be motivated to do some workout in a geeky way.

The software giant has released a new update for the Android Wear. It’s not the rumored Android Wear 2.0 yet so don’t keep your hopes up. It’s a regular firmware update that adds support for watches with GPS sensors. This means you can use most smartwatch features even if phone is not near.

You can go jogging and listen to music on you Android Wear-running watch. Simply save your favorite songs on your wearable device and listen to music via Bluetooth headphones. No need to keep your smartphone close, you can actually leave it at home.

 gps support android wea

The latest Android Wear version enables wearables with GPS to give user exact GPS location even without a phone nearby. Android Wear’s new GPS support lets you enjoy apps like MyTracks and Golfshot. MyTracks app lets you track your run while Golfshot calculates distance to the next hole. All these you can do even without the phone, thanks to GPS technology. You can also take advantage of the new Google Play Music.

There are only a few smartwatches with GPS but Sony will soon make its Smartwatch 3 available. It’s now ready for pre-order from Verizon Wireless and is coming to Google Play Store any day this October.

Note that the update can only be enjoyed on wearables that have built-in GPS. For devices that don’t have GPS, there’s a solution available in Google Play Services that uses GPS from a connected smartphone.

The first Android Wear-powered smartwatch to have a GPS sensor, the Sony Smartwatch 3 will make most of today’s update release. It comes equipped with what Sony calls a transflective display that makes reading easy even under the sunlight. The kind of display also saves battery, therefore, improving battery life.

For current wearables that do not have GPS, the Android Wear update will include new music functionalities. This is perhaps the same update for the Moto 360 and the LG G Watch.

SOURCES: 1,2

Amazon Fire Phone not on fire, revenue takes a hit

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Amazon just made its earnings conference call today and things are not looking good for the retailer giant. The company reported a staggering third quarter loss of $544 million, compared to last year’s loss of $25 million from the same quarter. And the culprit? Both surprisingly and unsurprisingly, it is the Fire Phone that is to blame, at least according to some company reps. The rather eccentric smartphone has apparently cost Amazon a $170 million writedown in addition to supplier commitment costs.

Very few really expected the Amazon Fire Phone to be a phenomenal trailblazer, like say, an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy, But it’s still quite surprising to learn that it performed that terribly in the market. It’s not like Amazon is a newborn babe when it comes to mobile devices, granted smartphones are on a slightly different ballpark from tablets and ereaders. And it’s not like the device itself is an underdog, sporting your basic set of hardware that make up any high-end smartphone, at least during its launch. So what happened?

Many would be quick to pin the blame on the Fire Phone’s exclusivity to one and only one carrier. If you’re a more established and highly popular smartphone maker, perhaps you can afford to shut out others from your device. But when you’re just starting out, getting in bed with only one, even if it’s AT&T, might pose some adoption problems that will remain even if you bring down the price to just one US dollar.

But perhaps the biggest problem of the Fire Phone is one of purpose. Amazon’s other devices are laser-focused on a particular use case and that is where they perform best. The Fire Phone, not so much. As a smartphone, yes it does good, but so do other models as well. As an reading device, perhaps not so much. The Fire Phone was also billed to be intimately tied to Amazon’s other business: selling products. But as much as people love to shop, having a dedicated smartphone just for that may not make much sense. The Fire Phone also has other notable features, especially the Dynamic Perspective, but these are all fancy gimmicks that sugar coat the device’s lack of a vision.

Do you own a Fire Phone or have you dreamed of getting one yourself? Any thoughts on this development?

VIA: SlashGear

G3 Screen is LG’s first phone powered by in-house Nuclun processor

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Lg g3 screen nuclun (2)

Remember Odin? LG’s long running in-house mobile SoC project is finally coming to fruition in a brand new G3 variant for the Korean market.

LG announced today the release of the G3 Screen, a 5.9-inch variant of the G3 powered by a Nuclun processor, designed by LG in-house and built by chip foundry TSMC. The LG G3 Screen will be exclusive to the Korean market, and the device (previously known under its Liger codename) is notable mainly for its unique processing package.

Here are the main specs of the LG G3 Screen:

  • Chipset: NUCLUN Octa-Core  (1.5GHz Quad-Core +1.2GHz Quad-Core)
  • Display: 5.9-inch Full HD IPS
  • Memory: 32GB  eMMC  / 2GB RAM / MicroSD slot
  • Camera: Rear 13MP OIS+ / Front 2.1MP
  • Battery:  3,000mAh
  • Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Size: 157.8x 81.8x 9.5mm
  • Weight: 182g
  • Network: LTE-ACat.6
  • Colors: Black / White

The G3 Screen is designed to take advantage of the LTE-A connectivity available in South Korea, with supported download speeds of up to 225 Mbps. The feature set and software experience is largely the same as in the G3 flagship.

lg g3 screen

Getting back to Nuclun (pronounced NOO-klun), the processor is a big.LITTLE octa-core design featuring four 1.5GHz Cortex-A15 cores for high-performance tasks and four 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 cores for less intensive processing. The processor is able to fire cores individually in order to obtain top performance, battery saving, or a mix, depending on the needs of the device. As a big.LITTLE device with ARM Cortex A7 and A15 cores, Nuclun seems similar to the HiSilicon Kirin 925 processor used by Huawei in the Ascend Mate 7.lg nuclun (1)

“Nuclun opens up a new chapter in LG’s history of innovation in the mobile industry,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, head of LG Mobile. “With this in-house solution, we will be able to achieve better vertical integration and further diversity our product strategy against stronger competition. NUCLUN will give us greater flexibility in our mobile strategy going forward.”

LG used to have a chip manufacturing business, but it sold it to Hyundai back in 1999. The Korean company has used only Qualcomm chips for its high-end smartphones so far, and the G3 Screen appears to be a field test designed to determine the viability of Nuclun in real world.

The mobile SoC market is clearly dominated by Qualcomm, and even Samsung, one of the world’s top chipmakers (including memory) has been having trouble getting its Exynos chips into devices.

It remains to be seen whether LG will be successful with the Nuclun initiative. The company is enjoying a period of growth, fueled by good sales in its mobile division and especially at the high-end of the market. If the Korean market welcomes Nuclun warmly, it’s possible that at least some of next year’s G devices will feature LG-designed Nuclun processors as well.

Android 5.0 Favorite Features, Release November 3rd? – XDA TV

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

LG G Watch R to drop in Europe first as global rollout starts

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Most of the current smartwatches and Android wearables put in the market today – at least those worthy of note – can trace their very recent history back to IFA 2014 in September, because that’s where most of them got launched. This includes the LG G Watch R (the “R” stands for “round”) which was unveiled at Berlin and is slated to start its global rollout in November, with the first market to get the device being Europe.

The LG G Watch R follows after the relative success of Motorola’s Moto 360 of staying within the classic round design of watches. LG hypes that their version is a “full circle”, rather than the “flat tire” roundness of the Moto 360. LG says that the Android Wear device will be available firstly in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and most major markets in Europe by the beginning of November.

LG_G_Watch_R_1

The US market will most likely follow by the middle to the end of November, with LG also peddling the G Watch R at the Google Play Store in select countries. The G Watch R has a stainless steel casing to contain its classic form factor, but under that is a Snapdragon 400 chipset and 512MB of RAM to power a fully circular 1.3-inch OLED display.

LG_G_Watch_R_2

The battery of the device is rated at 410mAh, and the smartwatch also has an IP67 rating, which means it can survive being submerged for 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1 meter. Will this beat the Moto 360 in terms of style and features? Tell us what you think below.

SOURCE: LG

Amazon writes-off $170 million because of Fire phone

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Amazon has just released its financial results for Q3, which ended September 30, 2014. While net sales increased 20% to $20.58 billion, the company reported an operating loss of $544 million for the quarter. This is a massive change of fortune even when compared to the operating loss of $25 million from the same quarter in the previous year.

A big chunk of that operating loss comes from a $170 million charge related to the write-down costs associated with the Amazon Fire smartphone. The extent to which the smartphone has flopped was revealed by Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak during a conference call with investors.

We even took the bold step to publish a piece called ‘why the Amazon Fire phone will fail.’

Rumors that Amazon was working on a smartphone were rampant for several years and in June of this year the company finally revealed the device. However the handset failed to impress. It had solid specs, with a 2.2GHz Snapdragon CPU, 2GB RAM, an Adreno 330 GPU and an impressive sounding f/2.0 13MP rear shooter with OIS. It also had some interesting features with its Dynamic Perspective 3D system, Firefly technology, and the Mayday help service.

However, you could only download apps from Amazon’s Appstore. Amazon does the same thing with its Kindle Fire tablets, but for a tablet such a restriction is less of an annoyance, as long as the major apps are there, it isn’t a problem. But your phone is your “go to” device and Amazon was really asking you to invest in yet another eco-system, and consumers didn’t respond favorably.

Here at Android Authority we even took the bold step to publish a piece called “why the Amazon Fire phone will fail.” We don’t really like to blow our own trumpet around here, but we told you so.

The company has lots of cash and because of its diversity, Amazon is doing a lot of interesting (and hopefully profitable) things.

But it isn’t all bad news for Amazon. The company has lots of cash and because of its diversity, Amazon is doing a lot of interesting (and hopefully profitable) things. It just recently announced the new Kindle Voyage, Amazon’s thinnest e-book reader with the highest screen resolution in a Kindle reader to date. Amazon Fire TV is now the best-selling streaming box on Amazon for the U.S., U.K., and Germany. Away from hardware, Amazon Studios is commissioning new TV series which will be shown exclusively on Amazon Prime Instant Video. Then there is Amazon Web Services (AWS), AmazonFresh, Amazon Game Studios, and so on.

In other words, Amazon took a bet on the Fire phone, it failed, it cost a lot of money, but Amazon will keep on rolling forward.

New Google Calendar app seasonal backgrounds ready for download

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google Calendar Material Design Backgrounds

It used to be that some of the worst looking backgrounds you could put on your device were the default images provided by app developers, your phone manufacturer or the operating system itself. When turning to third party sources for great looking imagery, Google Calendar may not have been high on your list, but that might change right now.

Not only has Google managed some great looking seasonal backdrops in Calendar, a dozen to be precise, but the folks at AmongTech have stripped them from the new Material Design enhanced Google Calendar app, and made them available for all of us to enjoy at any time.

As you might imagine, the twelve images each represent a month of the year, meaning that you would otherwise only have the pleasure of viewing them for a short while before they tuck away again for next year. To be honest, they are very attractive images, in the same style as recent Google Now imagery, it would be a shame to hide them for eleven months out of the year.

Google Calendar twelve seasonal backgrounds

If you like what you are seeing, head on over to the AmongTech website to grab them all.

If these Calendar backgrounds represent what we can come to expect from Google and others as the transition to Android 5.0 Lollipop and Material Design progresses, I think we are in for some great experiences and some beautiful app environments.

Do you like the new style of imagery coming out of Google these days? Do you have a cool source for backgrounds that you are willing to share?

Sprint to Launch 17 New 4G LTE Markets on October 28, Including Denver

Posted by Kellex October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Sprint went ahead tonight and quietly announced 17 new 4G LTE markets that they plan to fully light up by October 28. Well, their 4G LTE market list was at least updated with 17 new markets, along with a new “October 28″ date (even though today is only October 23). We can only assume that the change means they plan to make these markets live on that day.

The new markets cover areas in all corners of the US, from Colorado to Wisconsin to California to Kentucky to New York. The biggest of the new markets is Denver, followed by Sacramento. The rest can be found below. 

  • Champaign/Urbana, IL
  • Denver, CO
  • Elizabeth City, NC
  • Florence, SC
  • Glen Falls, NY
  • Grand Forks, ND
  • Kingston, NY
  • Marinette, WI
  • Muscatine, IA
  • North Wilkesboro, NC
  • Oak Harbor, WA
  • Ogden/Clearfield, UT
  • Outer Banks, NC
  • Pendleton/Hermiston, OR
  • Richmond/Berea, KY
  • Roseburg, OR
  • Sacramento, CA
Via:  Sprint

Sprint to Launch 17 New 4G LTE Markets on October 28, Including Denver is a post from: Droid Life

Ingress celebrating second anniversary with First Saturdays event

Posted by wicked October - 24 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

 

Ingress Year Two event aa

Google’s Niantic Labs launched their popular real-world adventure game Ingress two years ago in November. In celebration, players will be rewarded with special in-game perks through and around a new monthly event series called “First Saturdays.”

As is normal for an Ingress event, it will be split into smaller local events, 120 in total this time, in locations all around the globe.

Ingress is an awesomely unique and somewhat unusual approach to gaming. Instead of users getting comfy on their couch at home, the game is held entirely out in the real world. The mural at your local library, that statue over by city hall and those history plaques in the local park are your playing field. As you might imagine, this requires a GPS enabled device to play and relies heavily on Google Maps, or more specifically, Field Trip, which was Niantic Labs’ first major release for Android.

ingress Year Two

First Saturdays begins November 1st, and is designed to see players level up to at least level 3, but preferably level 9 by November 15th to earn an in-game badge. Grab more details about this event and others on the Ingress Google+ page.

To help pave the way, players can enjoy a little Ingress surge starting right now. Running for the next two weeks you will receive double AP for your actions and triple the gear for all your Portal hacks.

Get it on Google Play ButtonJoin the fun, meet new people in your community and get out to enjoy a new experience by downloading Ingress in the Google Play Store. You will then have to head back here for info on an external power packs and a good case for your phone, just in case.

Do you have a good Ingress story to share?