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HTC One E8 First Impressions & Hands On!

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

HTC has created an empire with its One series. The One M7 was shrouded with awards last year and the One M8 is on its way to becoming one of 2014′s best smartphones, with unparalleled build quality and an experience that can be challenged by very few.

For all intents and purposes, this device is a non-metal HTC One M8, made with affordability in mind. Can the Taiwanese giant accomplish the same without the metal construction, though? The HTC One E8 is here to prove polycarbonate (aka plastic) can be just as good!

First impressions

Seeing that build quality is the major differentiator between the One E8 and the One M8, it’s important to note that while more affordable, the HTC One E8 is far from feeling cheaper. The polycarbonate material offers a smooth, soft touch feeling that you won’t find in average plastic smartphones.

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The two-tone coloring makes the device very good-looking. Our unit displays a golden film surrounds the power button, lens, flash and HTC logo, making for a very elegant and simple look. All ports and buttons can be found around the edges of the device, but there is one hardware factor that may stick out to us Americans. The HTC One E8 comes with a dual nano SIM slot, aside from the micro SD card slot.

Another substantial difference between this phone and the M8 is the absence of the dual-camera set-up. Instead, users can enjoy a more traditional 13 MP camera that may or may not improve picture quality. We need to put it through the test. What does stand out is the gorgeous 5-inch 1080p display with 441 PPI pixel density (though some may find it a bit over-saturated).

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We can’t yet pass judgement on the device’s performance, but Android 4.4.2, Sense 6 and the device’s hardware seem to be working very well together. The device offers an experience very similar to any other high-end smartphone, with insignificant lag even when playing the most demanding of games.

And we can’t forget the manufacturer’s now-iconic BoomSound technology, which is definitely not missing here. Stay tuned for the official review! We are putting this phone through our most challenging tests, so we will give you every detail your little heart desires.

Specifications

  • Android 4.4.2 with Sense 6
  • 5-inch 1080p display
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • MicroSD up to 128GB
  • 13 MP rear-facing camera
  • 5 MP front-facing camera
  • 2,600 mAh battery

Gallery

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Stay tuned for the full review! Do you wish the original One M8 had this 13MP shooter?

The Droid Life Show: Episode 65

Posted by Tim-o-tato July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

The Droid Life Show returns this evening with Episode 65, at its usual time of 6pm Pacific (9pm Eastern). On tonight’s show, we will discuss our latest device reviews (SHIELD Tablet, OnePlus One, and LG G3), Samsung’s newly granted patent for circle watch faces, Instagram’s shot at Snapchat with the new Bolt app, and so much more.

Given that the Summer months are usually a bit slower in terms of major news, we have decided to cut our shows down to every other week, which means each show we will do from now on will be packed with additional news. At least, until news picks back up with Motorola, Samsung, and Google later this year.

We are live tonight at 6:00PM Pacific (9:00PM Eastern). 

If you miss us live, feel free to subscribe to us by following one of the links below.

Subscribe | iTunes | Show Page

The Droid Life Show: Episode 65 is a post from: Droid Life

Rotation Lets You Take Full Control of Your Device’s Orientation Settings

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Android Screen Orientation Rotation

To be brutally honest, the native options for screen orientation in Android devices aren’t particularly extensive. Actually, it’s not extensive at all, consisting of merely a toggle to turn it on or off. For many folks, this is totally sufficient. What other customization options could you possibly have for a setting that simply turns the screen sideways? But being part of the Android OS, a lot of us also expect some of the customization and flexibility that has come to define the OS as a whole. With this said, XDA Recognized Developer and Themer Pranav Pandey has developed an app which does a great job filling in the gaps.

Simply called Rotation, the app offers a plethora of options for the screen orientation setting. Now, in addition to the basic toggle on/off option, you can also:

  • Force auto-rotate, portrait or landscape mode
  • Reverse portrait or landscape mode
  • Set certain orientation for specific, individual apps
  • Override lock screen orientation
  • Rotate apps on demand

Rotation’s features aren’t limited to these either, as it also packs in different widgets for your home screen, which let you quickly toggle different modes and such. There’s also a ‘floating head’ function that appears on top of every app, allowing you quick access to Rotation and orientation settings, and to stop service. Additionally, Rotation has a full backup and restore function in case of app failure or when you reinstall the app.

It should be noted that Rotation is technically a paid app, but with a free and fully functional trial period of seven days. Pranav Pandey however, has allowed XDA users an exclusive version of the app that allows you to reset the trial period indefinitely by simply installing and reinstalling the app.

If you would like to check out Rotation, be sure to visit the Rotation app thread for more information and download.

The post Rotation Lets You Take Full Control of Your Device’s Orientation Settings appeared first on xda-developers.

Google Hangouts made more business-friendly with latest changes

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

google_hangoutsGoogle really wants businesses to use Hangouts for video chat, but the problem is that there are so many different alternatives with different features. Google is trying to get a leg up, by announcing that anyone with a Google account can now enter a video Hangout, regardless of whether or not the user has a Google+ profile. In addition, another big change is that up to 15 Google Apps users can be part of an HD Hangout.

In addition to those two big changes, there are numerous other updates, including additional markets for the Chromebox for meetings hardware, and increased customer support. They are outlined in the source link below.

Source: Google Enterprise Blog

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64-bit support for Chrome now in beta for Windows users

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Chrome_Beta_Large_Icon

If you’re running Windows on your computer, you’re in luck.

In Google’s most recent beta version of Chrome, the browser added 64-bit support. The support had been previously available in the Canary and developer editions of the browser, but it was a bit buggy.

Now, the capability is pretty solid (of course there will be a few hiccups), but this is the closest we’ve been to a stable 64-bit browser from Google. If you’re interested in getting the beta release, just head to the source link.

Source: Google Chrome

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FCC Chairman Not Excited About Verizon’s Plans to Throttle Unlimited Data Users

Posted by Kellex July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Last week, we exclusively reported that Verizon planned to begin throttling the top 5% of unlimited data users with 4G LTE phones come October 1, a move which Verizon has since confirmed. The throttling is a part of Big Red’s “Network Optimization” policy, which up until now has only affected 3G customers with unlimited data. As you can imagine, this news didn’t exactly excite those with unlimited data plans who have been long-time Verizon customers. According to a letter sent to Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler isn’t excited either. 

In the letter, chairman Wheeler doesn’t hold back, specifically noting that he is “troubled” by the announcement. He also points out that Verizon’s “Network Optimization” policy shouldn’t be used as a “loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams.” Wheeler calls it “disturbing” that Verizon would base its network management “on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology.”

He then moved on to Verizon’s obligations under the 700MHz C Block rules that Big Red adopted when it purchased spectrum for its LTE network and how this new policy could be in violation. These rules include not denying, limiting, or restricting the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing. Wheeler makes a good point in suggesting that in no way do these rules specifically state that unlimited data users could be used as an exception.

The letter ends with Wheeler asking for responses to three specific questions. The first asks for an answer as to why Verizon is treating customers differently depending on their plan type. The second and third ask about the rationale behind Verizon’s brand new LTE network needing speed reductions and if they can justify this new policy consistent with those previously mentioned in the C Block rules.

It’s a juicy letter, though we aren’t sure if it will lead to anything just yet.

Here is the full letter:

Dear Mr. Mead:

I am deeply troubled by your July 25, 2014 announcement that Verizon Wireless intends to slow down some customers’ data speeds on your 4G LTE network starting in October 2014. Your website explained that this was an extension of your “Network Optimization” policy, which, according to your website, applies only to customers with unlimited data plans. Specifically, Verizon Wireless “manage Es] data connection speeds for a small subset of customers – the top 5% of data users on unlimited data plans” in places and at times when the network is experiencing high demand. Verizon Wireless describes its “Network Optimization” as “network management.”

“Reasonable network management” concerns the technical management of your network; it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams. It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its “network management” on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology. The Commission has defined a network management practice to be reasonable “if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service.” Such legitimate network management purposes could include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by end users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with an end user’s choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network. I know of no past Commission statement that would treat as “reasonable network management” a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for “unlimited” service.

Accordingly, please provide me with responses to the following questions:

  1. What is your rationale for treating customers differently based on the type of data plan to which they subscribe, rather than network architecture or technological factors? In particular, please explain your statement that, “If you’re on an unlimited data plan and are concerned that you are in the top 5% of data users, you can switch to a usage-based data plan as customers on usage-based plans are not impacted.”
  2. Why is Verizon Wireless extending speed reductions from its 3G network to its much more efficient 4G LTE network?
  3. How does Verizon Wireless justify this policy consistent with its continuing obligations under the 700 MHz C Block open platform rules, under which Verizon Wireless may not deny, limit, or restrict the ability of end users to download and utilize applications of their choosing on the C Block networks; how can this conduct be justified under the Commission’s 2010 Open Internet rules, including the transparency rule that remains in effect?

I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely, Tom Wheeler

Via:  GigaOm [PDF]

FCC Chairman Not Excited About Verizon’s Plans to Throttle Unlimited Data Users is a post from: Droid Life

Google to show off self-driving cars at Maker Camp this Friday

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

android car

As a part of Google’s “Maker Camp,” a virtual summer camp with new DIY projects and virtual field trips each day, online campers will be taking a trip to check out Google’s self-driving cars this Friday.

It’s all free and includes a Q&A session, so you can get all of your questions regarding Google’s next big project answered.

The trip will occur at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern time this friday — just head over to +Make on Google+ to get started.

Source:  Google+

 

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“Moto Maxx” trademark hints at upcoming phone, or does it?

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Motorola Moto G aa 15

Motorola has filed a new trademark for a “Moto Maxx”, categorized under mobile phones, smartphones and accessories. It doesn’t take a mobile expert to realize this is probably a trademark for an upcoming smartphone, but confusion surrounds the mysterious device. Mostly because its name doesn’t follow Motorola’s traditional naming scheme.

If the Moto Maxx is to reach the light of day, we could see it taking multiple roads. The “Moto” moniker has been attached to global smartphones for some time now. This series includes devices like the Moto X, Moto G and Moto E, so the brand now has a fame for producing unlocked and/or easily accessible smartphones.

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On the other hand “Maxx” is closely associated with the Verizon-exclusive DROID brand. Devices like the Motorola DROID Maxx, DROID RAZR Maxx and others have been released and are known for their impressive performance in battery life. So, where does this leave the rumored Moto Maxx?

Is Verizon getting rid of the DROID branding (which does happen to belong to Lucasfilm)? Will it be part of the “Moto” family and simply come with a large battery, like other Maxx devices? For all we know this trademark could be nothing but a placeholder and will never make it to market. The Moto Maxx’s future is uncertain, but you can be sure we will promptly bring you any details that may emerge.


Via: Phonedog;
Source: USPTO;

Wednesday Poll: How Important is It to Have an SD Card Slot in Your Phone?

Posted by Kellex July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Back when the Galaxy Nexus was introduced, Google made it clear that they would rather not have to deal with micro SD cards in their Nexus devices or Android as a whole. Basically, they think the experience of dealing with one block of storage outweighs the experience of having removable storage.

Many manufacturers, outside of Samsung, adopted this philosophy shortly after Google made this known and removed micro SD slots from their phones for a couple of years. Then 2014 arrived and almost all major manufacturers have included a micro SD slot in their new phones, including HTC and LG. Both the LG G3 and HTC One (M8) have slots for expandable storage.

Our question to you is – how important is it that your phone have a micro SD slot? I think it’s safe to assume that manufacturers think you care or they wouldn’t have abandoned them only to bring them back as quickly. I can tell you that I appreciate the option to take storage with me from phone-to-phone, even with all of the cloud storage options available for free or little cost. But what about you? Would you pass on a phone if it didn’t have an SD card slot? Is it just an added bonus? Or does it even matter?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post’s poll.

Wednesday Poll: How Important is It to Have an SD Card Slot in Your Phone? is a post from: Droid Life

Grab coffee with Eric Schmidt, Google’s chairman, for winning a charitable auction

Posted by wicked July - 30 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

eric_schmidt_coffee_bidding

Have you ever wanted to grab a coffee with Eric Schmidt? Well, you have the chance to do so! Thirty minutes with the executive chairman of Google is up for auction to benefit the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Executives of other companies have done this in the past and now Schmidt is putting himself out there for one lucky bidder.

The estimated value for coffee with Schmidt is $50,000 and at the time of this post being published, there have been four bids and the highest is $8,000. Additional bids seem to be going by $500 increments. The winner can bring one other person along with them for the meeting. Also, you cannot transfer to any other person.

The auction ends on August 14. If you are bidding, we wish you good luck.

Source: Charitybuzz

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