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Motorola may have another mid-range smartphone, the Moto E

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Looking for a new mid-range phone? If the Moto G isn’t what you’re looking for, it seems as though Motorola may be ready to launch another low-cost device soon. Recent reports suggest a device named the Moto E will follow in the footsteps of it’s predecessors, and solve a complaint held by some in slimming down a touch.

 

The device is expected to be a low cost offering to complement Motorola’s other offerings, though little is known about it right now. Xataca notes the device will be “priced between the 2,999 and 3,199 weights” (weight being the translation of “peso”). If true, that puts it right around the $230 mark, given current currency conversions.

Spec-wise, the Moto E is rumored to have a 720p screen like the Moto G, but no sizing is noted. A dual-core 1.2GHz processor is also said to be on board, backed by 1GB RAM. A 5MP camera and 1,900mAh battery keep it running, and 4GB (possible expandable) memory keeps your files safe.

While that sounds a lot like the G, the source notes that the Moto E will check in around 6mm thin — the Moto G is nearly double that. Such a slim size suggests the customization options would go away, since much of the heft we find with the Moto G comes with internals needing to be tucked away so we can change the rear plate — though it’s said to be offered in both black and white options.

The device — which is also touted as very Moto G in design — should be hitting Mexico soon, arriving on TelCel. There is no word on whether Motorola is concentrating on the booming Latin markets with this device, or simply launching in Mexico before bringing it to the rest of the world.

Source: Xataca

Samsung Galaxy S5 ’10 Hidden Features’ revealed

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Plenty of people have been talking about the Samsung Galaxy S5, us included. And while many are still digging their way through trying to find all the hidden gems — Samsung has recently shared 10 hidden features. Having looked through the list we aren’t sure we can consider all of these to be hidden, but regardless, there are a few gems on the list.

One that appealed to our OCD tendencies was the Kids Mode. This means we’ll be able to hand a Galaxy S5 over to the younger kids in the family without fear of having the phone come back with things in a different order, or worse yet, deleted. Kids Mode offers access to the camera and also lets them paint, record voice memos and play with video apps. You can also add additional items, including games.

Kids Mode begins as a widget, but clicking that widget will require a few minutes time. You’ll have to download and then set things up to get going. Once downloaded and installed you create a PIN code, enter some profile information and then begin selecting the apps you want to give permission.

The one we didn’t consider all that hidden is the camera lockscreen access. If you look in the lower right hand corner of the lockscreen you will see the camera icon. To unlock directly to the camera you can tap/hold then drag up on the icon.

Keeping with the camera related features and there was also mention of some of the available modes. Samsung specifically mentioned the Virtual Tour and Shot & More options.

  • The ‘Virtual Tour’ is a feature that allows you to take pictures as if you are giving a tour of the surrounding area to viewers.
  • The ‘Shot and More’ mode allows you to edit pictures and apply various effects immediately after taking your shots.

Another highlight was the Priority Senders option in the messaging app. We realize not everyone will use this app, but those who do will want to look for the “tap to add priority senders” link. This, just as the name would suggest, allows you to add favorite contacts which should make things a bit quicker when composing new messages.

Otherwise, remaining items on the list break down as follows;

  • You can use a pencil as a stylus.
  • Turning landscape when listening to music using the music player will give suggestions for upcoming tracks.
  • Favorite apps can be bookmarked using the “Toolbox.
  • Files can be kept private with Private Mode.
  • You can check caller information while on an active call.
  • Call Notification pop-ups will alert you of a call when you are in another app.

Make sure to keep an eye on the Galaxy S5 tag here on Android Community as we will be offering a bit more coverage for several of these features (and more) in the coming days.

SOURCE: Samsung Tomorrow

OnePlus One camera samples posted

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Keeping up with the regular stream of teasers, OnePlus has shared a set of images taken with the soon to be announced One. We know the handset will make its debut on April 23rd, but perhaps more important — these officially shared images come as a nice follow up to the recent leak.

A few of the images are sitting in the gallery below, with more over in the OnePlus user forums (link below). These are described as being random pictures from a walk around campus. And interestingly, some of these images measure in at roughly 10MB in size. You can judge the image quality for yourself. To clarify where these came from; they were on the OnePlus forums, but as having been shaded by user Martinrm. He was one of the winners of the photomania contest.

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Looking back a little bit — OnePlus did confirm some of the camera specs. This is a six lens setup so they could “properly correct for low aperture.” Other details include the camera being a 13MP CMOS sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. OnePlus had also mentioned how they were not looking to compete with DSLRs, but were instead trying to provide “a portable product that performs well in real-life conditions (without an ugly protruding camera).”

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There was also some additional talk of the OnePlus One invite system that is going to be used. Well, more accurately — some additional teasing about the invite system. OnePlus has shared the image you see sitting above. And along with talk about being one of the first 100 — they linked to another forum thread.

SOURCE: OnePlus Forums, Google+

AT&T adds more data, hotspot feature to GoPhone plans

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

AT&T has introduced more data for some GoPhone plans, following in the footsteps of rival T-Mobile. The updated data scheme doesn’t raise cost for consumers, either, as all plan pricing stays as-is. In addition to the new data plans, AT&T is rolling out a new basic phone plan at $45/month.

 

The update for their data plans brings an extra 500MB data to the $60/month option — up to 2.5GB from 2GB. That plan will also give users unlimited talk and the ability to use their phone as a hotspot. The $40/month plan is also being updated to provide double the monthly data previously offered — 500MB, up from 250MB. That plan gives users 500 minutes of talk monthly.

The other two smartphone plans for GoPhone have not been altered. The $25/month plan is basic, and requires a data add-on, while the $50/month plan is a bit different from the rest. You get unlimited everything, but all data must be done over WiFi. The $45/month basic phone plan provides 1GB data with unlimited talk, but is only available in Wal-Mart stores.

It may not be quite as good as T-Mobile’s prepaid plan lineup, but it’s better for those who happen to be with GoPhone currently. More data is always appreciated, and the ability to create a WiFi hotspot is definitely a plus.

HTC One (M8) with Verizon getting minor software update

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

An update to the HTC One (M8) with Verizon is trickling out, providing a few fixes and improvements to an already great handset. Though an overall minor update, it does fix a few issues some have been having, like Bluetooth connectivity and problems with the Gallery.

 

Bluetooth connectivity on the HTC One (M8) was a bit of an issue for some, with connections being dropped without provocation (we’ll note we haven’t experienced the issue with our Ones). Other issues with Bluetooth on the One had to do with initial connections — again, something we never experienced.

Verizon and HTC have also added a ‘copy and paste’ feature to the Gallery, which is a minor annoyance we’ve had with the device. Introducing mute/edit buttons in highlights is also nice, and adds a layer of customization we can all appreciate. If you have a Dot View cover, HTC has fixed a sync issue when closing it.

The update doesn’t bring HTC’s “Extreme Power Saving” mode, as expected. The device has adequate battery performance, but lacks one of the killer features touted at launch. We’re hoping it rolls in as a separate app, but we don’t have any indication as to when we’ll see it. The update should push to your device and alert you via a banner on the home screen, but if it doesn’t — go to settings > software update > check new.

Verizon LG G2 users getting Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Verizon LG G2 users may want to be on the lookout for an update notification as Kit Kat is on the way. Big Red has shared the specifics for the update, which will be arriving as Android 4.4.2 with software version VS98024A.

The full changelog has been posted and it includes changes dealing with the indicator bar, location settings, visual voicemail, and accessibility. Sitting just below is the full breakdown for each;

Indicator Bar

  • Indicator Color has been changed to white

Location

  • The latest location specs are now reflected

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Visual Voicemail

  • Premium Visual Voice Mail, which converts voice mails to text so you can read them discreetly.
  • Basic Visual Voice Mail, with a 20-message mailbox, is included at no charge.

Accessibility

  • Color Adjustment has been added
  • ‘Magnification Gestures’ label is now ‘Touch Zoom’ label
  • ‘Shades’ label is now ‘Screen Shades’ label
  • ‘Captions’ have been added
  • ‘Touch and Hold Delay’ is now ‘Touch Feedback Time
  • ‘Speak Passwords’ label is now ‘Read Passwords’ label
  • ‘Power Button Ends Call’ label is now ‘Power Key Ends Call’ label
  • ‘Easy Access’ label is now ‘Accessibility Settings Shortcut’ label

As always, an incoming software update means you have two options to consider. You can sit back and wait for the notification to arrive or go looking. Those choosing the former will have the easiest path as that involves nothing more than following the prompts. Of course, the latter isn’t difficult — it just involves a few extra taps.

Those looking for the update should grab their handset and navigate to Settings -> About phone -> Software updates -> Check for Updates. Assuming the update is ready for your particular device it will be a matter of following the prompts from that point forward.

SOURCE: Verizon Wireless

Xiaomi teases new device, could be long awaited tablet

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Xiaomi has been on a bit of a tear lately, introducing themselves to the world stage via various product teasers. Their latest has us guessing once again, with the company posting a very intriguing picture to Chinese blogging site Weibo. In the pic, we see something oddly familiar, but nothing that we can identify as Xiaomi’s.


A profile of some sort of device hints that Xiaomi has something new for us, and they’re teasing April 23 as the day we’ll see it. For those keeping track, April 23 is the day we expect to see the OnePlus One launch. This could be coincidental, or it may be intentional. OnePlus definitely steps on Xiaomi’s toes with their high-end, low-cost scheme.

The Xiaomi device itself looks like the Lenovo Yoga tablet, with it’s bulbous battery on one side/end. That’s a tablet we intialy wrote off, but quickly found it to be more useful than the slates we have from most OEMs. Xiaomi may be taking a page form their book, and we’ve long expected a tablet from Xiaomi — especially as they begin to introduce their products outside of China.

It could be a number of things, like a wireless charging pad or some sort of remote trackpad for Xiaomi’s devices. Nobody outside of Xiaomi knows, and they’re happy to leave us in suspense. It looks like April 23 could be a busy, busy day for Android!

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Via: GizChina

Smartphone theft reports jump to 3.1 million in 2013

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

We’ve been hearing about the “kill switch” technology lately. That is a debate that will likely continue for a while, but it looks like a recent Consumer Report study may have some falling on the side of using the kill switch. Details here show that 3.1 million people (from the US) reported their smartphone stolen in 2013.

For comparison, that is up from 1.6 million in 2012. While thefts seem to have jumped quite a bit, the number losing their phone stayed close to the same going from 2012 to 2013. The number was 1.2 million in 2012 and 1.4 million in 2013.

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You cannot always prevent theft, but you can take some measures ahead of time to try and make it more difficult for the thief. We are talking about using some sort of method to secure your phone. This includes the basics such as the 4-digit PIN code or an unlock pattern. Of course, there are also some devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max offering fingerprint security.

We suspect most would agree they need to protect their device — but it seems roughly a third aren’t doing anything. According to the report, 34 percent of those surveyed were using an unsecured/unprotected phone. But putting a positive spin on this, Consumer Reports did mention how the “proportion of those who used the simplest protection, setting a 4-digit PIN code to lock their phone’s screen, increased by about 50 percent compared with the year before.”

Other details coming from the study show that only 29 percent of users are backing up the data, and only 22 percent are using software that can track and locate their phone. That last one is a topic we recently discussed.

VIA: PC Mag

SOURCE: Consumer Reports

Google Trends now delivering to your inbox

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Google Trends already provided a useful way of keeping up with what is hot at any given time. Trends offers details on current topics, as well as what had been hot at any given time dating back to 2004. And as of today you can now have those reports delivered directly to your inbox.

Users will be able to subscribe to Hot Searches for any country as well as any search topic, or any US monthly Top Chart. Once you find the topic you want to have delivered — you’ll simply need to look for the “Subscribe” button. Assuming you are already logged in while browsing, the results will automatically go to that Gmail account.

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You can also do a bit of further customizing once you click on the subscribe button. Options here include getting worldwide results, or having those broken down to a specific country.

Perhaps key for those looking to keep the email to a minimum — there is also an option to have them delivered “about” once a week or once a month. Google clarifies the “about” aspect by saying this is only a “rough estimate and will vary between topics and over time.”

Those new to Google Trends may also like the results provided directly on the web. Those include a chart showing interest over time, regional interest, related searches and more. Of course, as it had been, Trends can simply be a good place to learn a bit more about any given topic.

SOURCE: Google Inside Search

Sony Xperia Z2 Compact surfaces in series of leaked images

Posted by wicked April - 18 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

We’ve yet to get the official word from Sony, however that hasn’t stopped images of the Xperia Z2 Compact from showing up online. The pics were recently spotted on Weibo, after having been shared by a user going by the name of alfred520. Perhaps key here, the Xperia Z2 Compact appears to be living up to the name.

Simply put, from what we are seeing here — the Xperia Z2 Compact appears to be a shrunken down version of the Xperia Z2 in terms of looks. It is a bit hard to tell from the images, however the handset appears to have a rubbery exterior. An official nod from Sony, or some other leaked images should be able to offer a bit more in that regard.

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For now though, speculation suggests the Xperia Z2 Compact could have a 1080p display, Qualcomm processor and microSD memory card slot. The microSD should support cards up to 128GB in size, and the processor may end up being a Snapdragon 400. But again, we’ll have to wait for further leaks or an official announcement from Sony.

One bit we can see from the images deal with the rear-facing camera — which is the G lens setup. The handset will have a single LED flash along with a 1/2.3 20.7 megapixel lens. This is one of the earlier leaks on the Xperia Z2 Compact, however we do have plenty of Xperia Z2 coverage sitting in the Story Timeline below.

VIA: SlashGear

SOURCE: Weibo

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