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[Deal] Grab an LG G Watch for $50 off from Best Buy

Posted by wicked September - 1 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

LG_G_Watch_official

 

LG’s G Watch might be slightly outdated thanks to the G Watch R, but it’s still a fantastic Android Wear device. Today, Best Buy is shaving a full $50 off the list price of the smartwatch, so you can pick one up for only $179, which definitely isn’t a bad price for how new it is. The only catch is that you’ll have to get it shipped to your house, as store pickup isn’t available right now.

Amazon briefly price matched the deal, but it looks like stock has dwindled away so you’ll only be able to purchase it from third-party sellers if you want to take advantage of any free Prime shipping. The third-party sellers have the device knocked down to about $200, which isn’t quite as good as Best Buy’s offering but it’s still better than full retail.

Hit the links below for deal.

source: Best Buy

Amazon

Come comment on this article: [Deal] Grab an LG G Watch for $50 off from Best Buy

Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, and Yahoo all express interest in Cyanogen

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

cyanogen_logo

Some of the biggest technology companies in the world are all taking a look at Android software developer Cyanogen. They are the developer of the very popular custom CyanogenMod ROM. The community for CyanogenMod has been so strong that is has been questioned whether or not it is actually in contention to be the world’s third most popular mobile operating system. It is being reported by The Information that Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, and Yahoo have all been keeping an eye on Cyanogen with an acquisition or at least a partnership in mind.

The common theme among all of these prospective partners or buyers is that they want separation from Google and Android. Everyone could cash in on Cyanogen and build something of its own quickly due to its popularity. OnePlus has tried to do it as a hardware partner, but they have enough problems of their own to deal with before being taken seriously.

Microsoft has its own Windows Phone operating system, but its growth has been sluggish. They now own the company that was giving it the most attention in Nokia. Cyanogen would be Microsoft’s entrance into Android that Nokia missed with its budget handsets. Of all of the interested parties, Satya Nadella is the only confirmed leader to meet with Cyanogen. Within the last year, Microsoft has been showing a big interest in developing hardware to compete. A pairing with a more lucrative mobile operating system could be what Microsoft needs.

Amazon has its Fire OS, but essentially locks everyone out if they are not heavy users of its services. Jeff Bezos is notorious for keeping everything in-house, thus a pairing between Amazon and Cyanogen seems unlikely. But no one really thought Twitch would be under Bezos’ ownership. They could pull out another surprise and take Android seriously by welcoming a wider audience.

And Samsung has been longing for something other than Android for quite some time with its Tizen OS and now that has remained on its wearables. However, the Android experience created by Samsung is cleaned up now and consumers seem to be warming up to it. There does not seem to be a real value for Samsung to purchase Cyanogen as it would not really add any additional value to what it already has.

Yahoo is the wild card. Its purchase and relaunch of the Aviate launcher means that Marissa Mayer is quite serious about being involved with mobile. The fact that they lack any true hardware manufacturing is a bit puzzling at the moment. Yahoo would need to find someone to manufacturer an actual device rather than picking up Cyanogen and getting started right away. One option would be partnering with a hardware manufacturer and just focusing on Cyanogen’s software if it were to acquire the software developer.

Between these four companies, who do you think should partner or acquire Cyanogen? Let us know in the comments.

Source: The Information

Come comment on this article: Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, and Yahoo all express interest in Cyanogen

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Google Play Weekly

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


Welcome back to Google Play Weekly! This week we talk about Rocket Player’s return to the Google Play Store. Google has cleaned up all of the Swing Copter clones which is a good thing. As it turns out, Amazon bought Twitch and not Google. A new study came out that shows that mobile usage trumps desktop usage but people aren’t using that many apps. T-Mobile’s Music Freedom promotion added a number of new streaming services, but still no Google Play Music. Finally, here are five Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week.


Locket Lock Screen Locket Lock Screen (beta)

[Price: Free]
First up this week is Locket Lock Screen. You may remember this as the app that let you click on ads to make money but they have since changed their tune. Their new app is a lock screen replacement app that shoots news directly to your lock screen. It’s pretty well designed and works well even though it’s in beta. It’s also free which is nice.
Get it on Google Play
locket lock screen android apps review


Google News and WeatherGoogle News & Weather

[Price: Free]
Google News and Weather was brought back from the dead this last week and with it came a huge update. First and foremost, it’s not available in the Google Play Store free of charge. It’s also received a huge UI update that brings the popular card UI into the mix. It’s rolling out right now so it may still read as incompatible for some. Otherwise, why not check it out?
Get it on Google Play
Google News and Weather


PushBullet Android appsPushBullet

[Price: Free]
PushBullet got an update this last week that seems pretty innocuous except for one big thing. With this update, you can now reply to text messages directly from your computer (using any app) instead of just seeing the notifications. This practically doubles the usefulness of PushBullet and the app is free to use so why not right?
Get it on Google Play


Lockable Android appsLockable

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Lockable is an application that lets you put a lock screen on your Android Wear device. It’s a fairly simple premise and lets you do things like have a pin on your Wear device so that you can keep it secure. The app is free to use but to get the pin and pattern unlock, you’ll have to pay for it via in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play
Lockable Android apps


Nova Launcher Android appsNove Launcher

[Price: Free / $4.00]
Last up this week is an update to Nova Launcher. Along with the usual bug fixes and performance improvements you’ll also get several new app drawer transitions to let you customize your app drawer more. The transitions are circle, slide up, zoom, and fade which are pretty self-explanatory. If you’re a Nova user already, the update should be rolled out by now.
Get it on Google Play
Nova Launcher android apps

Report: Microsoft, Samsung and others showing interest in Cyanogen

Posted by wicked August - 29 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off
kirt mcmaster steve kondik koushik dutta cyanogen

Kirt McMaster (left), Steve Kondik, and Koushik Dutta

Via: Wired

Less than a year after it was established, Cyanogen is on a clear upward trajectory. The startup has even caught the eye of several tech giants, according to a new report.

The Information’s Amir Efrati reports that Cyanogen (an “obscure Android software firm,” he calls it) is being courted by several of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Samsung, and Amazon. These companies are reportedly looking at the startup founded by Steve Kondik and Kirt McMaster for potential partnerships or acquisitions.

Cyanogen and Microsoft’s CEO reportedly had a sit-down

Cyanogen and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently had a “sit-down,” the report cites a person close to the matter as saying.

Unfortunately, the full story is behind a paywall, and I couldn’t find a different source.

Why would Microsoft, Yahoo, Samsung, and Amazon show interest in Cyanogen? As The Information puts it, these are all companies interested in developing Android apps or Android alternatives, and have an interest in doing this outside of Google’s control.

This resonates with a recent statement from Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster, who had this to say about Google’s control over its OS:

“Everyone in the world wants an open Android,” McMaster said. “They want to get outside of Google’s tyranny, if you will.”

Why is Cyanogen interesting to these companies?

Amazon is developing its own fork of Android, Fire OS, but it’s not obvious to me how it could benefit from Cyanogen’s team and the CyanogenMod project.

Yahoo, under Marissa Mayer, made no secret of its mobile ambitions – the company bought the Aviate launcher and a number of other Android apps, and partnering with Cyanogen could perhaps allow it to promote its web services and apps.

Samsung has long sought a plan B when it comes to mobile operating systems, and Tizen OS has so far failed to gather any steam.

The most intriguing of the lot is probably Microsoft – Windows Phone is struggling at 2-4 percent market share, despite Microsoft’s huge efforts over the last few years. Under Nadella, the company’s philosophy appears to be shifting towards releasing apps and products across all platforms. Also, Microsoft could be the only competitor able to offer a viable alternative to Google’s proprietary apps, like Gmail, Drive, Maps, and the Play Store. It isn’t that hard to imagine a bizarro world where CyanogenMod phones ship with a full suite of apps from Microsoft. Of course, that’s just speculation based on an incomplete report from a single source.

In potentially related news, this week we also learned that Cyanogen is partnering with a stealth startup called Nextbit, whose stated goal is to develop “breakthrough technology that allows for deeper integration between the cloud and mobile devices.” The first fruits of this collaboration will be revealed later this year, according to Nextbit’s CTO. What makes this mystery startup interesting is that it’s founded by and staffed with former core members of the Android team, as well as people from Apple and other big players. HTC’s former design boss has joined Nextbit as a VP just this week.

Cyanogen Inc. Working on “Something Really Cool” With Ex Google, HTC and Apple Employees

Posted by Tim-o-tato August - 27 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

“Something really cool” is getting worked on, as announced by Cyanogen Inc. and Nextbit, a not-so-new startup focused entirely on mobile devices and cloud computing. Nextbit’s team is comprised of former Google (original Android team engineers), Dropbox, Amazon, and Apple employees, and last night, the company announced they are to bring on former HTC Senior VP Scott Croyle as Vice President of Design and Product. 

While the something really cool is quite an unknown, Cyanogen posted to Google+ that they are looking for alpha testers, aka people who are willing to wipe their devices to try out whatever it is they are working on.

Purely speculation, but with Nextbit’s heavy focus on hardware and design, coupled with Cyanogen building a custom OS for it, we could be looking at the makings of a new US-based OnePlus-type device.

The only type of explanation or peek into what Nextbit is working on comes from their CEO, Tom Moss. In the press release, he states, “As an industry, we’re really just getting started with mobile. At Nextbit, we are building a world class engineering team to tackle big technical problems. We know Scott [Croyle] is the right person to guarantee that all the technology we build focuses on creating unique mobile experiences for users.”

If down the road we can expect some type of device from this team, would you be looking forward to it?

Via: Engadget | +Cyanogen Inc. | Nextbit

Cyanogen Inc. Working on “Something Really Cool” With Ex Google, HTC and Apple Employees is a post from: Droid Life

New analysis suggest Amazon’s phone not setting the world on fire

Posted by wicked August - 26 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

amazon_fire_phone_initial_sales_estimate

A new analysis of the Amazon Fire Phone, introduced last month, suggests sales of the device have not exactly been lighting things up. This is in contrast to news yesterday showing that Amazon appears to have a hit on their hands with the Amazon Fire TV. However, the device has only been out for a short period of time, so things could still turn around for Amazon.

Because Amazon does not share figures regarding the number of actual devices, analysts have to infer how their devices are doing in the market. In the case of the Amazon Fire Phone, analysts have combined data from Chitika and comScore to estimate Amazon has sold no more than about 35,000 Fire Phones.

Chitika operates an ad network and is able to pull data regarding the number of impressions by device. After 20 days of sales, that data indicated Fire Phones accounted for 0.015% and 0.020% of all impressions. For comparison, the Motorola Droid Ultra, another carrier-specific device, was close to the same level. That can be contrasted with a device like the LG G3, available on several carriers, which hit levels about three times as high. Meanwhile, comScore data for the period through the end of June indicates there were approximately 173 million smartphones in use in the U.S. Given normal growth rates, that number should be between 175 million and 177 million at the same time Chitika pulled their impressions data.

After doing some math, the base number is in the 26,000 unit range for Fire Phones in use in the U.S. after the initial twenty days of sales. However, analysts indicate that should be adjusted for the possibility that Fire Phone users may not be hitting Chitika sites as frequently as the rest of the smartphone population. The same dynamic occurs with Apple devices whose users apparently surf the web more than their installed base, inflating the share Chitika sees. However, even adjusting for this, the analysis suggests no more than around 35,000 Fire Phones were in use.

Amazon has not responded to the analysis specifically, but it is believed they see the Fire Phone as a long term solution to staying connected to the e-commerce lifecycle rather than a short-term blockbuster.

source: The Guardian

Come comment on this article: New analysis suggest Amazon’s phone not setting the world on fire

Report: Amazon Struggles With Fire Phone, No More Than 35,000 Units Sold

Posted by Tim-o-tato August - 26 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

According to The Guardian, who has compiled and analyzed data from both comScore and Chitika, Amazon is struggling to push the Fire Phone to US consumers, having sold no more 35,000 units since its release. The phone has been available through Amazon and AT&T (exclusively) since July 25, priced at $199 and $299 on-contract, or $649 for full retail. 

Using comScore data, which tracks monthly data on US smartphone users, from the date of release up to this point, then figuring in Chitika data which pegs the Fire Phone at 0.015% of its ad network traffic, The Guardian was able to deduce that Amazon has sold no more than 35,000 units.

The number, which does not exactly surprise anyone here at DL, might come as a surprise to anyone else who constantly sees Amazon’s commercials on TV for the Fire Phone. After all, “it comes with Amazon Prime.” When first announced, we noticed right off the bat that the device would lack Google Play Services, so for anyone who would want most of their favorite Android apps, they would be left out in the cold.

Do we have any owners of the Fire Phone here? If you do own one, feel free to tell us what you like and dislike about it. Would you recommend it to your friends and family? Is a free year of Amazon Prime worth it?

Via: The Guardian

Report: Amazon Struggles With Fire Phone, No More Than 35,000 Units Sold is a post from: Droid Life

Get a free phone from Burger King. No, really!

Posted by wicked August - 26 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Free Phones Burger King

“You forget sometimes that only half the people have smartphones.” Led by this realization, and in an effort to satisfy another craving for visitors to Burger King, the maker of the Original Chicken Sandwich is now facilitating free phones for customers.

The deal is pretty straightforward, hit the Burger website, check out the list of phones from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon including the Moto X, LG G2 and more. You’ll be redirected to Amazon to finish the transaction on a qualifying 2 year contract, just enter promo code FREEPHONE at checkout to get the device for free.

This sounds like it is a limited time deal on a limited run of devices, so don’t hesitate if anything looks good to you.

We are not sure if this is a major play by Burger King to get into the smartphone market, if the King is just being a nice guy, or if this is a move to help right down their taxable incomes, thus relating to their supposed bid to purchase the Canadian Tim Horton’s coffee shop franchise. One thing is sure, a free phone is still one whopper of a deal (sorry!) on a new smartphone.

Up for grabs are phones like the 32GB LG Optimus G Pro, 16GB Samsung Galaxy S3 or Galaxy S4 Active from AT&T, 32GB HTC One (M7), 32GB LG G2 from Sprint and the 16GB Motorola Droid Mini, 8GB Droid RAZR M or 16GB LG Lucid 3 from Verizon.

Head on over to the Burger King website for the full list of devices and services.

There is always room for a good deal, but do you think Burger King is crazy for trying to hook you up with a smartphone?


Via: Digital Trends;
Source: Burger King;

Pick up a free smartphone with your next Burger King meal

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

burger king logo

 

If you eat at Burger King often, you might want to take them up on their latest limited time offer. Instead of a half price sandwich, the fast food chain is actually giving away a free smartphone through their website. Unfortunately, this one isn’t “happy meal toy” free, but typical “two-year contract” free.

On the Burger King promotion site, you can select from a handful of free devices, then choose to upgrade your current phone or add a line to your Verizon, AT&T, or Sprint account. The order actually takes place through Amazon, so the only thing Burger King really does is offer to send you a link to their Burger King app on your new toy, which seems like a lot of hassle to go through just to tell people to install your app.

The phone selection that BK is offering is decent. You can pick from some relatively new phones, including the Moto X, Galaxy S 4, or LG G2, and they’re offering phones on all three carriers. Plus, since you’re buying through Amazon, you don’t have to worry about jumping through too many hoops. You’ll still have the typical credit checks and activation fees, but hey, if you’ve been looking for a new phone for cheap, it might be worth checking out.

source: Cnet

Come comment on this article: Pick up a free smartphone with your next Burger King meal

Sorry Google, Amazon purchases Twitch for $1 billion

Posted by wicked August - 25 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

twitch_logoIt seemed pretty likely that Google was going to purchase Twitch, the video game streaming platform, and fold some of its technology into YouTube. Well, things didn’t quite turn out that way, and today Amazon announced that they’ve purchased Twitch for $1 billion. Sorry, Google.

Amazon may not own a service like YouTube, but they do handle their own Prime streaming service, plus a digital video store. On top of that, Amazon’s cloud infrastructure is used by other major video streaming companies like Netflix, so it’s not as if Amazon is a stranger to this type of platform.

Amazon has recently taken a bigger push into gaming by offering digital downloads of games to compete with services like Steam and Origin, and they even offer full downloads of games for Sony’s PlayStation Network. While Amazon hasn’t immediately said how they’re going to use Twitch, it’s pretty clear they’ve got something big in mind if they were willing to drop this kind of cash on an acquisition.

What are your thoughts on this move by Amazon? Good or bad for Twitch?

source: Amazon

 

Come comment on this article: Sorry Google, Amazon purchases Twitch for $1 billion

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