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LG G4 Could Feature a… 3K Display?

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

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According to myLGphones, a version of the LG G4 will not feature neither a 2K nor a 4K display – but 3K. If you are anything like me, your reaction to this news will be confusion. While we don’t have many details about the sources of this leak, it has apparently been confirmed true by a poster at hardare.fr that gave some more details on model names for each version of the upcoming LG flagship. However, these leaks don’t point towards all G4 phones having this resolution, but just the VS999 model that is allegedly coming to Verizon sometime this year.

The source claims that the UA profiles are not hard to manipulate, and that all of this could be bogus. They advise you to take this news with a pinch of salt, and frankly, I personally think you’ll need the whole shaker. But nonetheless, this makes for an interesting topic and, if true, a rather interesting development in the mobile industry. While everyone expected 2K or 1440p displays last year, and we expect 4K displays to come sometime near the end of 2015, I don’t think many expected phones to get to such an “in-betweener” state. Reports about 3K displays have been virtually nonexistent compared to the flood of articles predicting omens about the inevitable arrival of 4K.

It could be that, once more, LG wants to be at the vanguard of screen resolution. They pushed their 1440p LG G3 far and wide on this aspect alone, having being one of the first in the game. While Oppo had unveiled its Find 7 phone sporting the same resolution, LG beat them into the market and then completely overshadowed them with their G3 marketing campaign. I still remember the advertisements stating it was 4 times HD and touting the detail and sharpness of the screen. If LG would like to claim this spec primacy once more, 3K sounds like a reasonable solution, given that 4K screens are still far away and the next generation of chipsets will probably not be quite enough to push that many.

Will the Snapdragon 810 that is rumored to be in the G4 be enough for a 3K display as well? If you remember, the G3 featured a Snapdragon 801 that, while powerful, was obviously not quite ready to support a screen of that caliber. The results were pitiful GPU performance benchmarks, occasional stutters despite LG’s alleged optimizations, and disappointing game performance when compared to the more well-rounded phones. Despite all of this, however, the G3 became a success in great part due to this very screen, and it went on to become one of the most remembered phones of 2014. But with this strategy, LG could find themselves with a good success in their hands – just maybe not a top-notch user experience in terms of performance.

But then there are other technical aspects. First of all, the 1620×2880 screen would make for over 600 ppi. LG themselves declared 550ppi to be the most optimal configuration, to get “magazine print” quality. Their G3 was just short of that, but this phone surpasses it by quite a bit. Will they now say we need more? Or settle for that number, and claim that now they’ve finally hit (and surpassed) it? But then they’d fall back on their words next time they are required to upgrade the screen! We’ve covered the Resolution Wars in our article and we arrived at some nifty conclusions. While changes beyond 1440p will not be noticeable for many people, it still has some benefits and there’s a long way to go before achieving a perfect image. But here’s the glaring problem with 3K and 3K in particular: Its use for media consumption will be mitigated by the fact that we have 4K content being pushed, not 3K. By opting for the in-betweener you still miss out on a lot of the 4K resolution’s pixel count, and it makes this device seem a very short term transitory gimmick that will be severely out-upgraded in as little as 6 months.

I personally think this “premium LG G4″ will just be a water-testing gimmick designed to produce some extra niche sales. Luckily everything points towards it being a compartmentalized case that doesn’t conflict with previous reports, as other versions that we knew of before will still feature the more reasonable (for performance’s, battery’s, and upgrade’ss sake) 1440p screen that we are getting used to now. But if true, this would be the first year where major players adopted two resolution jumps in their phones. These developments might not be worth believing in their entirety, but they make for interesting discussion.

So we get to my questions for you:

  • Did you expect a 3K smartphone?
  • Do you expect the next generation chipsets to be able to handle it?
  • Could LG be trying to become the “display vanguard” of the industry?
  • Do you think a 3K display, with 4K coming so soon, would be worth it? Is it worth it at all?

I’m eager to hear what you all think. I’m still wrapping my head around this, but thankfully it’s just a leak at this point.

The post LG G4 Could Feature a… 3K Display? appeared first on xda-developers.

Google will accept Glassware despite Glass being paused

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

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Two weeks ago, the Google Glass Explorer program was shuttered. The entire future of Google Glass was questioned and existing owners of the smart glasses expressed concern over software support. Fortunately, developers will still be able to submit Glassware to make available on MyGlass.

Here is the statement a Glass representative provided to 9to5Google:

For now, you can still build Glassware, submit it for review, and after a successful review, release it on MyGlass. It’s never a wasted effort to experiment and innovate with a new form factor. There’s so much to learn with a new paradigm for computing such as Glass and the best way to learn is to build something and test. That said, it’s too early to say exactly what the developer experience will be like for future versions of Glass. We’re still building platform components and polishing the overall user experience, and it’s safe to say you’ll need to make some changes.

Google clarified yesterday in its fourth quarter earnings report that the team working on Glass will be rethinking their strategy. Rather than dropping Glass altogether, Google is merely pausing the project in its current state and composing a new approach before moving forward.

Via: 9to5Google

Come comment on this article: Google will accept Glassware despite Glass being paused

HTC One (M8)’s in Canada now receiving Lollipop upgrade

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

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HTC has now started rolling out the much-anticipated and eagerly-awaited Lollipop update to all Bell, SaskTel and WIND Mobile carrier-branded variants of its flagship smartphone, the One (M8), located in Canada. This upgrade transports the latest build of the Android operating system, together with a multitude of bug fixes and stability improvements.

Hit the break for the full changelog.

System Improvements:

  • Radio stability improvement
  • Transition improvements

Eye Experience Implementation:

  • Split Capture
  • Crop-Me-In
  • Photo Booth
  • Auto Selfie
  • Voice Selfie
  • Swipe-To-Switch
  • Video Face Tracking
  • Live Makeup
  • Video Screen Sharing
  • Application Improvements:

Material Design: You will quickly notice a whole new colorful look and feel to your device – from fluid animations to new application and system themes, colors and widgets.

Notifications UI & Priorities: In order to alert you to the most timely and relevant information, the format and behavior of notifications have evolved:

  • notifications will appear on the lock screen and are intelligently ranked by type and who sent them.
  • you double-tap to open one, swipe left or right to clear one, or clear all notifications from the bottom of the list.
  • you can set the priority and privacy of notifications for each application.
  • very high priority notifications will pop up briefly over other applications so that you can take action.
  • when you dismiss a notification on one device it will be dismissed on your other Android devices, if they are connected to the Internet.
  • you can further tailor how notifications behave with the new Downtime and Ambient Display settings (see below).

New Interruptions & Downtime Settings: You can tailor how interruptions behave, choosing to allow all, none, or only priority interruptions.  You can personalize what counts as a priority interruption (reminders, events, calls, messages) and even tailor them to be from only contacts you specify.  The Downtime setting will allow only priority interruptions during the times and days that you specify.  e.g. allow only priority interruptions on the weekend.

Recent Apps (Multi-tasking): The redesigned Overview space (formerly called Recents) will include both applications and separate activities within those applications.  For instance, each open tab in Chrome will also appear here along with recent applications; both your Gmail Inbox and a draft email message will appear as separate cards.  This provides a consistent way to switch amongst tasks.

Flashlight: Lollipop includes a new flashlight option as part of Quick settings (swipe down with two fingers from the status bar to see it).

Pin a view/app: Screen pinning allows you to keep a specific app or screen in view. For example, you can ‘pin’ a game and your child will not be able to navigate anywhere else on your phone.

Battery: The Battery settings panel now shows an estimated projection for how much time you have left while discharging or charging.  You can also enable a new battery saver mode that will save power by reducing performance and most background data operations to extend your battery life.

Smarter Internet Connections: With Android Lollipop, your phone will not connect to a Wi-Fi access point unless there is a verified Internet connection. This feature improves hand-offs between Wi-Fi and cellular connections, helping to maintain your video chat or voice-over-IP (VoIP) call as you switch.

Performance: Your phone now uses the new Android Runtime to help optimize application performance.  After upgrading to Lollipop, your applications will undergo a one-time optimization process.  Note that the optimization for ART requires more space.

Security: Encryption can now use a stronger 256-bit key to help protect your data.  Note that the stronger key willonly be used after you perform a factory reset on Android Lollipop.  Otherwise encryption will continue to use 128-bit key.  You can turn on encryption in the Security settings menu.

To see if the update is ready for your device, head into ‘Settings’, ‘About Device’, then tap ‘Check for Updates’.

Come comment on this article: HTC One (M8)’s in Canada now receiving Lollipop upgrade

Get the ball in the hole in Ultraflow

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

“Minimalist yet complex” is something that we often find in the description of a lot of games now (thanks a lot Flappy Bird and its ilk). One of the latest games to sport this tagline is Ultraflow, and if you’re up to the challenge of trying to put a small ball in a hole (we’re looking at you, golfers, or virtual golfers at the least), then you might want to check out Ultraflow, a new game now available on Android devices.

There is no other motivation for the small ball except to get into the hole. But it becomes more difficult because you only get a certain number of bounces to complete each level. And each level is “oddly shaped” so it presents a challenge in itself. And as you progress through the 99 levels, of course everything becomes crazier with rotating platforms, angles that will make you doubt your ability to simply get a ball in that whole, different terrains, etc.

The non-linear, abstract, 2D game relies heavily on physics as you try to get to your goal, while racking up the points. If you’re feeling a bit competitive, there is a Google Play Games Achievements board which you can also see how you stack up against the others also playing the game.

Ultraflow is available to download for free from the Google Play Store. The best part? There are no in-app purchases needed and there are no ads throughout the gameplay to distract you from your game.

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What’s the Worst Android Phone You’ve Ever Owned?

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

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All of us here at XDA appreciate just how far Android has come. The incredible flagships of today come packed with bleeding edge technology and are hard to complain about, but it wasn’t always like this. Tell us about the worst Android phone you’ve ever owned, and what made it so dreadful.

The post What’s the Worst Android Phone You’ve Ever Owned? appeared first on xda-developers.

Cricket, deliverer of the value, upgraded its “All In” plan line-up this morning by increasing data across their two lowest tier options without raising prices. They also introduced a new 20GB “Advanced” plan that is available for a limited time at just $55. All of these plans still include unlimited talk and text, along with access to AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

The Basic and Smart plans now include more 4G LTE data than ever, with the Basic plan jumping from 1GB up to 2.5GB and the Smart plan topping out at 5GB, up from 3GB. The Basic plan still runs $35 (if you sign-up for auto pay) and the Smart plan is also staying the same at $45 (again, with auto pay).

The new Advanced plan is available only for a limited time, but does include 20GB of high-speed 4G LTE data per month at a semi-insanely low price of $55. That’s a lot of data for not much cash.

For a limited time, if you switch over to Cricket from another carrier and sign-up for the Basic, Smart or Advanced plans, they will toss in a month of service for free. Thanks, Cricket!

As a reminder, Cricket may use AT&T’s 4G LTE network, but they cap your data speeds at 8Mbps. In other words, your LTE connection is fast, it’s just not insanely fast. Once you use up your data allowance for the month, things get slower, with data speeds dropping to 128Kbps.

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Via:  Cricket

Cricket is All About That Value, That Value – “All In” $35 Bumped to 2.5GB Data, New 20GB Plan Joins the Party is a post from: Droid Life

5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Etheme Launcher Android appsSponsor: ETheme Launcher

[Price: Free]
Our sponsor this week is ETheme Launcher. It is a launcher that boasts over 2000 themes, 200 fonts, a light feel, and more. It comes with a home screen set up to help you get to your apps quickly with additional home screens available if need be. It also comes with a lock screen and new themes every week. It’s free with no in app purchases if you want to check it out!
Get it on Google Play
etheme launcher android apps


Welcome back the newly redesigned Google Play Weekly show, now called Android Apps Weekly! We hope you enjoy the new format. Here are your headlines for this week!


Here are some of the big Android app updates that took place this week!

And here are the new Android apps releases this week!


Microsoft Word Android appsMicrosoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Tablets

[Price: Free]
Microsoft has released Word, Excel, and Powerpoint for Android tablets after a year of hearing us complain about not having it. The basic functionality of each app is free to use but to get the full experience, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription. So far, each app seems to work pretty well but do keep in mind that these are early releases and improvements are likely right around the corner.
You can pick up Microsoft Word by using the button below.
Download Microsoft Excel from Google Play here.
Download Microsoft PowerPoint from Google Play here.
Get it on Google Play


facebook lite best new Android apps and gamesFacebook Lite

[Price: Free]
Facebook has released a new lite application that is intended for devices with spotty connectivity and lesser specs. The interface is very scaled down although it is noteworthy that the messaging is built back into the main app here. Otherwise, it’s a basic Facebook experience without too many frills. It’s only available in some countries and on some phones but you can get the APK for yourself by clicking here.
Get it on Google Play
facebook lite best new Android apps and games


Wrap up

If we missed any great Android apps or games news, let us know in the comments!

Cricket Wireless bumps up its data allotments, as low as $35 for a 2.5GB plan

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

Cricketstorefront
Cricket is already one of the best prepaid options out there for those of us in the United States, offering discounts for multiple lines, auto-pay discounts and pricing that includes taxes and all other fees without any surprises. Now they are getting even better, as the AT&T-owned prepaid carrier is increasing the data allotment for its plans.

Under the new structure, Basic is raised from 1GB to 2.5GB while retaining the same $40 a month pricing and Smart is still $50 but is raising from 3GB to 5GB. The $60 Smart plan remains at 10GB just like before. For those that really want a ton of data though, Cricket now offers an advanced tier for the same $60 a month as the Smart plan for a “limited time”, giving you a massive 20GB of data a month. The only catch with this later plan is that it isn’t eligible for Cricket’s “Group Savings” program. It is also worth mentioning all these plans can be had for $5 less if you simply sign up for auto-pay.

As for the phones you can use with these plans? While any unlocked GSM device compatible with AT&T’s network will play nicely, Cricket also has a wide variety of phones on offer with the best deal being the Moto G 4G LTE for $25 after mail-in rebate. For more details, check out Cricket’s announcement of their new data/plan options or visit their website.

OnePlus Names Its Upcoming ROM ‘OxygenOS’, More Details Set for Feb. 12

Posted by Tim-o-tato January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

After hosting a public contest, OnePlus has decided on an official name for its upcoming custom ROM, set to be available for OnePlus users in the near future. The name chosen by the team, entered by a forum member, is OxygenOS.

OnePlus’ explanation for this decision was rather deep, with the company stating, “Oxygen is all around us. It’s part of us and everything we do. It creates the water that carves out valleys and moves mountains. By itself, it’s simple and pure – a fundamental building block. But, as a part of something greater, it can do amazing things. Just like us.”

Yes, much deep. 

OnePlus states that more information regarding its upcoming ROM is set for release on February 12. What we do know, however, is that the ROM will feature no bloat, is completely open, and is totally customizable. Sounds exciting.

When more information is available, we will keep you posted, OnePlus One owners.

Via: OnePlus

OnePlus Names Its Upcoming ROM ‘OxygenOS’, More Details Set for Feb. 12 is a post from: Droid Life

Hand-drawn Steampunker game now available on Android tablet

Posted by wicked January - 30 - 2015 - Friday Comments Off

The steampunk “movement” is a reimagining of 19th century Western civilization, specifically the Industrial Revolution or the Victorian Era in Britain, in science fiction and fantasy literature, which has crossed over to movies, TV shows, and even cosplay. The theme and look has also sometimes been adapted by game developers, but none more so than Steampunker (the name is a dead giveaway), an award-winning game that has now launched its Android tablet edition.

Named as app of the year by some game award-giving bodies, Steampunker is a 2D point-and-click adventure game that has a very distinct look. It boasts of “unique hand-drawn graphics” that makes it even more enjoyable to play, along with the actual gameplay that you get to experience. The main protagonist is Vincent, and through him, you get to solve puzzles, fly to the moon in a rocket, defeat robot enemies, all while getting points and exploring a fantastical world.

The game has five chapters in its story, with more than 30 puzzles and brain teasers, which includes a bit of math, and a knowledge of mechanical things like fighting a steam leakage and such. It also involves a bit of hidden object search, which is challenging and sometimes difficult, given the nature of the game’s graphics. But if you like looking deep into hand-drawn artwork, then it would be rewarding for you to explore these puzzles.

Steampunker Tablet Edition is available at the Google Play Store for $2.81. That’s already a pretty good deal, given the painstakingly created graphics and artwork that the game has. And there are no in-app purchases available, so everything is all in with that price.

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