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Huawei rumored to launch Ascend P8 this April

Posted by wicked March - 27 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

We still don’t have an official announcement yet as to what Huawei will be announcing during their launch event this coming April 15. But if we were betting people, we’d put our money on something that it will be their long-rumored Ascend P8. The invite in itself screams the number 8 or at least a fallen 8/infinity symbol, so unless they’re revealing 8 different products, or a new smartphone/tablet model that has the number 8 in it, then we’re pretty sure our guess is right.

“Infinitely various are the incidents in one man’s life,” is the Aristotle quote that is embedded somewhere in that invite. It still doesn’t give us a clue as to what the announcement will be (except for including the word infinity again) but the rumor mill is insisting that it will indeed be the “porcelain textured” Ascend P8. Some images have already leaked, purporting to be the prototype of Huawei’s newest smartphone.

Surprisingly, not many details have been bandied about, except that it will probably have a 5.2-inch full HD display and the aforementioned ceramic/porcelain combined with metal body. It is also rumored to run on an octacore processor, which should place it in the top-end market, as opposed to the usual mid-tier gadgets that they’ve been releasing. The OEM made waves at the Mobile World Congress this March with their Huawei Watch, which many say is the best looking smartwatch yet on the Android Wear platform at least.

The launch event will be happening this April 15 in London. Rest assured, we’ll have our ears glued to the ground because we’re also excited to see if Huawei can top their previous flagship, the Ascend P7 which surpassed everyone’s expectation.

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VIA: SlashGear

Qualcomm video shows off how fast Quick Charge 2.0 is

Posted by wicked March - 27 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Qualcomm Quick Charge technology was first introduced a couple of years ago. Not all smartphones support the quick charging. For one, the old HTC One didn’t have the rapid charging feature even if it was powered by a Snapdragon processor. But soon, more phones took advantage of the technology that allows quick charging of the battery.

The follow up version was released some time in 2014 but we haven’t really seen how powerful the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 is. The company recently published a video on YouTube demonstrating how quickly you can charge a Google Nexus 6 using three different chargers: a 5Volts/1Amp Conventional Charger, a 5Volts/2Amps Conventional Charger, and a Quick Charge 2.0 Charger.

After ten minutes, all three Nexus 6 units were charged but with different percentage levels. The phone using a 5Volts/1Amp charger only had six percent while the 5Volts/2Amps charger had nine percent. Using the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0, battery reached 14 percent.

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After 20 minutes, battery levels reached 10%, 17%, and 26%, respectively. After 30 minutes, they’re on 16%, 24%, and 38%. The batteries of the Nexus 6 phones reached 22%, 32%, and 50% only after 40 minutes. This video proves that the Quick Charge 2.0 charger offers up to 75% of faster charging. We can assume that with the quick charger, it would only take an hour or so for the Nexus 6 to get a full battery.

Others are saying this isn’t the fastest but it’s a great improvement for any smartphone battery. Most people now rely on power banks but a quick charger is always welcome. The faster, the better–more reliable battery all the time!

SOURCE: Qualcomm

Neo smartpen N2 fuses physical handwriting and digital notekeeping

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

It’s interesting to see that as our lives become more and more digital, there is a certain movement towards going back to old school analog habits and then melding them with our current digital set-up. We see that in the emergence of cameras and accessories that print photos immediately and now with apps and hardware trying to merge actual writing with a digital twist. The Neo smartpen N2 is one of those products that would appeal to artists and productivity nuts that would like the best of both worlds.

The smartpen automatically records every stroke, whether you’re writing or sketching on a paper, and transmits it to the Neo Notes app which you can download on your smartphone or tablet. It can also automatically sync the content to your Evernote, Dropbox, Adobe Illustrator and other similar apps. You can organize your notes either through notebooks, tags, or a calendar. Either way, it will be easy to make sense of your notes.

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The smartpen has no on and off button, it will just do it by recognizing (or missing) the pressure. If you use it with NeoLab’s patentend notepaper, you can just tap a page in the notebook and it will email the content to whoever you want to send it to. The pen can also record, playback and eventually transcribe audio in your app.

This product is actually the result of a very successful Kickstarter campaign that saw 2,000 people back it up and they were able to sell 2,500 smartpens. You can now buy the Neo smartpen N2, either in black or white (or both, if you want two) through Amazon for just $170. If you run out of ink, you can always refill it with D1 ink which is available in a lot of stationery stores.

SOURCE: NeoLab

Castro: a system information app that actually looks good

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

System information apps really aren’t the sexiest. It doesn’t have fancy features, secret hidden bonus gems, flashy animation, or any of the things that we’re used to seeing in our favorite apps. So when a device hardware app comes out looking all pretty and spiffy, it’s a cause for celebration right? Castro is just that, and of course it brings you all the information you’d need (and even those that you won’t) about your device.

It doesn’t scream in their app page (except for one picture), but obviously, Castro was inspired by the Material Design visual guidelines of Google, and it’s a good thing since it brought the pretty out. The system info it brings is pretty detailed, but it’s not complicated to read or understand (well, as well as an ordinary person can understand these info) because of the design and user interface. It gives you information about the CPU, Kernel, Device, Battery, Memory, and Network.

Each of those modules are then broken down into more specific and detailed data. For example, in the Network module, it gives information about the mobile network and WiFi. Or in the battery one, it shows you the status, temperature, etc. The developer says they’re also open to adding more info that users will suggest or offer them.

You can also have the information on the app translated to your own language, if you think there’s a “demand” for it. Click on this link to do so. You can download Castro for free from the Google Play Store.

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Galaxy S6 Active might have a microSD card slot

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

The Samsung Galaxy S6 is definitely coming soon all rugged and waterproof. A User Agent Profile recently turned up showing the specs of the smartphone: 5.1 inch QHD Super AMOLED+ display (same screen as the Galaxy S6), 32GB built-in storage, Exynos 7420 SoC processor, and the 16MP and 5MP cameras. At least, these are for the AT&T model.

We don’t doubt there will be a Galaxy S6 Active because it has been the tradition of Samsung to release an Active version of each flagship Android smartphone. One Redditor known as Garshoi shared on the social network that he was able to get some information about the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. He had a meeting with an unnamed Samsung representative and he said he was able to get some added information.

Garshoi noted that details about the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are limited for the European region. As we already know, the Galaxy S6 is beautiful and stylish, its software is less bloated, and that it will soon be ready for LTE Cat 6/7.

When asked about the estimated launch date for the S6 Active, the Redditor simply said it is similar to the Galaxy S6 and will have no fingerprint reader and pulse meter. Camera is not as impressive but it may come with OIS but unlike the latest flagship, the Galaxy S6 Active might have a microSD card reader.

The Galaxy S6′s lack of a microSD card reader is a bit of disappointment for some, as well as, the lack of a removable battery or rather the fact that battery is difficult to replace. Another rumor has it that the battery will be increased to 3500mah. Phone is still in the works so the specs and features could still change so let’s just wait and see.

VIA: Reddit

Beastgrip Pro: next generation of mobile phone rig and mount

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

It used to be that you were satisfied with taking pictures with your smartphone just by pointing at something and then tapping your device and voila, you have a mobile photo. But nowadays, you have all the apps and accessories to announce that you are a serious mobile photographer. And lately, we’ve seen contraptions that can be attached to your smartphone to enhance both the photo-taking experience and the finished product. One of these is Beastgrip Pro, a device that can serve as either a rig or mount for any phone in the market (or so they claim).

This is actually the second generation product, coming off from a successful Kickstarter project for the first Beastgrip. They got the feedback of those who were able to use it in the “real world” and sufficiently adjusted the mechanisms and feature to bring you Beastgrip Pro. Aside from stabilizing and protecting your smartphone, the rig lets you add other accessories like lights, lenses, and small microphones, to give your photos and videos a more “professional” look.

Almost all of the parts of Beastgrip Pro is modular or expandable. So it means that any smartphone, whether it is iOS, Android, or even phablets, will be able to fit into the rig. It also doesn’t matter where the camera lens is located, you can also adjust the apparatus to fit it. They do mention some problems with the LG G Flex/2 and LG G2 that can fit but won’t align properly with the lens mount. But aside from that, the show in photos that all kinds of phone can fit into the Beastgrip Pro, even the ones that are enclosed in casings.

Obviously, it is a little bulky and so you probably can’t bring it with you everyday (unless that is part of your job) but during times when you know you’d need a mount or a rig, then this can be pretty handy for you. They’ve almost reached their goal of $50,000 on their Kickstarter campaign. You need to shell out $70 for the main rig and $105 if you want to include their Depth of Field adapter and wide-angle lens.

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SOURCE: Kickstarter

This is a crowdfunded project, and as such may not deliver what its creators initially promise. Most crowdfunding sites, like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, have policies about what happens to your money if the project fails to deliver on its goals, but choosing to back a project is inevitably a risk. Android Community’s reporting on crowdfunded projects should in no way be seen as an endorsement, unless specifically stated, and we recommend closely examining the terms and conditions to understand your individual rights as a backer before making a pledge.

Drupe manages contacts and communications app you use frequently

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Contacts on our smartphones are necessary, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to manage or that there are enough apps out there that we have plenty of choices for alternative contact managers. A new app on the block just might change your mind about inefficient and/or boring contact manager. Drupe brings together your contacts and the communications apps that you use to interact with them, and it can be with you wherever you are on your smartphone.

With just one swipe of the trigger icon (a small four button icon that is not at all intrusive), you’ll be able to recall the contacts that you interact with the most, and your preferred communication apps. Just drag the name to the app and you’ll be able to message or call them. It gives you a whole range of apps to choose from, from the normal message and call buttons, to WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber, Calendar invites, etc. It also gives you a unified communications log so it’s easier to track your recent interactions in just one place.

It can also manage your whole phonebook, keeping your contacts up-to-date and removing online duplicates even as you smart search for your friends in other apps like Skype, Facebook, etc. You can also create groups and drag them to apps that have group messaging or conference calling functions. Pin your favorite contacts so they’ll show up for easier access. And since the Drupe icon is omnipresent and transparent, it will not annoy you to have it on every app you use or even when you’re on locked screen mode.

Drupe is absolutely free from the Google Play Store. There are also no in-app purchases available and the developer promises that the app is not a battery drain.

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View custom My Maps on your Google Maps app for Android

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

Don’t be confused with the two. Google Maps and My Maps are two different apps but they have almost similar purpose. That is, to help you with navigation and prevent you from getting lost. Google recently announced that you can now view your saved My Maps on the updated Google Maps app for Android. This means those custom maps you’ve been saving for future use can be viewed right on the Google Maps app for Android.

Along with some bug fixes, filter search results for Zagat-rated restaurants, and transit line colors on the map, the updated Google Maps now allows viewing of data stored on My Maps. This integration makes it easier for anyone to navigate and view maps on a mobile device. Note that the two are not the same but when used together, they can be more than useful. Why, you can view maps you had previously saved, and get information, as well as, view turn-by-turn navigation to places you are not familiar with. Feature is available only for Android version of the Google Maps app.

On the Google Maps app, you can view, hide, or close a map you recently created on the My Maps app. You are free to create and edit them for a more personalized use. It’s up to you to customize the maps which you can also view on a web browser as long as you are logged into your account.

You can also make custom maps to freely share online using the My Maps. You can provide other Google Maps users your special maps that contain different information, spots, and other data.

Download Google Maps and My Maps from the Google Play Store

SOURCE: Google Maps

Two new Marvel games up for soft launch, will soon be available

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

As the Age of Ultron slowly nears… ok, that sounded a tad too cinematic. Let’s try again. As the month of May slowly approaches and Marvel fans all over the world are gearing up for what should be a fun ride with Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, Marvel is keen to stoke the fires with two new games – Marvel Mighty Heroes and Marvel Future Fight. Both are on soft launch at the moment and are not available in the US yet, but should soon be.

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First up, Marvel Mighty Heroes is the cartoon-y take on the Avengers by known game developers DeNA. The game soft-launched in Canada and other territories last week, and most people are saying “it’s cute, but really just meh”. When it was announced, there was a bit of confusion about the gameplay. But now we know that Marvel Mighty Heroes is a team-based brawler – you and three other players. Once the game is officially launched, those other players will be actual players joining you in real-time. Right now, those are filled by AI teammates.

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Then we have Marvel Future Fight, an action RPG that soft-launched in Australia. The gameplay is pretty standard – you control a Marvel hero and level up by fighting waves of baddies. The big difference? You’re fighting with a team of Marvel heroes, and you are able to swap heroes during battle, and use team-up attacks as well. You fight evil versions of superheroes, then turn them back to the good side. At that point you can add them to your team.

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Looks interesting, both games. Let’s see if it catches the fancy of mobile gamers out there, especially as the movie comes closer to show dates. We’ll update you once the games are available via the Google Play Store. Check out the download links below once in a while to see if they’re available where you are.

DOWNLOAD: Mighty Heroes | Future Fight

Google Play Newsstand gets paid content in four countries

Posted by wicked March - 26 - 2015 - Thursday Comments Off

I don’t know a lot of people who use the Google Play Newsstand but the app is still getting some enhancements. Last year, the app received new widgets. It replaced the Google Currents app and it was even included in our Top 5 Readers for Android list. Google also added four more countries to paid content on Newsstand.

This time, Google is allowing more countries that can avail of paid content on Google Play Newsstand. Those living in Austria, Ireland, Turkey, and Belgium will be happy to know that they can now make the most of the reader app and buy premium magazines.

With Google Play Newsstand, you can discover more magazines and news publications. Some news and articles even include audio, videos, and other relevant information. There are different categories to choose from: business, cooking, entertainment, fashion, and sports among others. There are magazines offered for free but most of the titles in the library require minimal fees.

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Hundreds of publishers can be found on the Newsstand app so you are sure to find that magazine you can’t find in your local bookstore or newsstand. Feel free to explore, enjoy the Read Now feature, and take advantage of offline reading. You can also bookmark stories you want to read at another time.

Download Google Play Newsstand from the Google Play Store

SOURCE: Google Play