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Viewbox VR Headset is designed for smartphones

Posted by wicked December - 23 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

We have seen a number of VR headsets that are basically holders for smartphones in the past. One of the more interesting and cheap VR headsets out there came from Google in the form of Google Cardboard. Another new VR headset has been unveiled and this time it’s from a company called Evomade.

The Evomade unit is called the Viewbox and it looks to be much more comfortable than wearing a cardboard box on your head. Viewbox is a headset that is made from a neoprene type material and is meant to hold you smartphone in front of your face to make it seem like a larger screen.


The device works for both Android and iOS smartphones and supports any 2D or 3D movie. The head straps and housing of the device are one piece and phones up to 3.5″ x 6.7″ will fit inside the headset. The fabric the headset is made from is breathable to help prevent fogging.

The lenses inside the headset give a 90-degree field of view. Viewbox was designed to allow people who need glasses to wear it comfortably. The project is on Kickstarter seeking 80,000 SEK ($10,280) and has racked up over SEK 149,200 ($19,180) at the time of writing. A pledge of 200 SEK ($25) or more will get you a headset by April 2015.

SOURCE: Kickstarter

Metal unibody shell for Samsung Galaxy S6 leaked

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

So if these reports and leaks are true, then Samsung must be taking the jibes at them not being able to make a metal-bound phone very seriously indeed. We thought the Samsung Galaxy Alpha – including the whole Samsung A Series – was going to be the end of it, but here we are looking at a leak of the Samsung Galaxy S6’s purported metal casing.

If the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Samsung A Series was to be evidence, we would understand if the South Korean gadget giants went with a metal frame around its upcoming flagship smartphone. But nobody would have seen a metal unibody design (much like the HTC One) coming from the kings of plastic smartphones.


And yet here we are, looking at a leaked group of photos that if true, shows us that not only would the framing be metal, it would cover the whole back of the device as well. This design would mean that the Galaxy S6 would not be featuring a removable battery, a feature that had always been present in the flagship Galaxy devices to this point.


It is still not clear from this leak whether the rumors of two curved displays on the left and the right side of the upcoming Galaxy S6 would be true, but we have to take everything with a grain of salt, since it is still early days. But remember this leak, because if by March you would see the launch of a new metal unibody Samsung Galaxy S6, remember that this was leaked as early as December.


Probable Nokia-developed C1 to echo recent N1 tablet

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

We were just about ready to say goodbye to Nokia as a manufacturer of gadgets the moment their smartphone business was gobbled up by Microsoft, so it came as a bit of a surprise that Nokia released the N1 Android tablet towards the end of this year. There might yet be a second surprise with rumors of a smartphone called the C1 making the rounds.

The agreement between Nokia and Microsoft meant that the Finnish outfit could not – for a time – manufacture smartphones and tablets alike. But Nokia found a convenient workaround to this agreement – the N1 tablet was developed by Nokia but actually manufactured by Taiwan-based Foxconn. And it wasn’t that bad of a tablet either.

Just in the past few hours, some rumors started making the rounds with a blurry (but clear enough) image showing the rumored Nokia C1 – ostensibly a smartphone that looks very much like the design of the Nokia N1. If Nokia were to move forward with this project, it would most likely be a developmental role again, with the manufacturing given to an outside OEM.

According to the rumors, this smartphone will have a 5-inch full HD display, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. An 8-megapixel camera will allegedly be located on the back of this handset and the device should come with Android 5.0 Lollipop pre-installed, with Nokia’s Z Launcher on top of Google’s Android OS. Excited about this?

VIA: PlanetaRed

Project ARA announces small update, Spiral 2 progressing well

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

A little December update from our modular phone developing friends at Project ARA – which basically says that the Spiral 2 prototype, scheduled to be shown at the Project Ara Developers Conference in January, is moving along really well. We really hope 2015 will be a big year for modular phones.

Project ARA head honcho Paul Eremenko announced via the Google Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) Google+ page that they have just received the first 3 demo units of the Spiral 2 prototype. What’s more, Eremenko confirms that the processor was able to connect to the display module after a fashion. Good news.


The Spiral 2 prototype is mainly headlined by the Toshiba UniPro switch and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits). These allow the connection between module elements, especially the processor to the other modules.


Speaking of the processor, Eremenko mentioned that they are working with Marvell for a PXA1928 processor module and with NVIDIA for a Tegra K1 module. That is very exciting news my friends. Hopefully we will be seeing more progress as Project ARA plans to move into the Spiral 3 prototype early next year.

IMAGE: SlashGear

Pics and Video: How Android 5.0.1 translates to Sense 6

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

During the time of Android 4.x, HTC was notorious for being slow in integrating Android updates to their own proprietary Sense UI. Not these days, it seems. It wasn’t too long after Google rolled out their first Android Lollipop patch (5.0.1) that we saw the build roll out to the HTC One (both M7 and M8) devices. Let’s see what it looks like.

If you already know about what the 5.0.1 patch brought, then those bug fixes would already be enough for HTC users to be thankful about. But there are lots more to the new Sense 6.0 based on Android 5.0.1 (LRX22C). There are new Google apps included in the build for office type files (Docs, Slides, Sheets), but these apps are also downloadable via the Google Play Store.


HTC has also made its notification area closer to stock Lollipop, which is prettier in our opinion. All notifications and quick settings are now on the same page, and notifications are also available on the Sense lock screen.


There’s also a re-design of the multi-tasking element of Sense, closer to Material Design.


Lastly, there is a new feature for Sense 6 called the “Easy Mode”. It will make more sense if we let the video explain to you how this looks like. Also in another video, new Accessibility features like “High Contrast”, “Color Inversion”, and “Color Correction” are explained.

SOURCE: LlabTooFer

Android Community Weekly Digest: Dec. 21, 2014

Posted by wicked December - 22 - 2014 - Monday Comments Off

Holidays are fast approaching, and so is the end of 2014. But while most are preparing their shopping lists and wish lists, the tech industry is already gearing up for next year’s big event: CES and MWC. This week has also seen the rise of some new devices, while a couple of apps have been gifted with some pretty interesting changes. Welcome to the latest edition of Android Community’s Weekly Digest, covering the period from December 15 to December 21, 2014.

CES, MWC 2015 Warm up

It will just be two weeks before CES 2015 and a month or so before MWC 2015, so naturally the mobile world is awash with rumors, leaks, and expectations of things and devices to come. Hitting the rumor mill are Samsung and Sony. Samsung‘s next flagship, unsurprisingly expected to be called the Galaxy S6, is said to combine the “best” of both worlds of the S series and the Edge’s eccentric, well, edge. The Galaxy S6 might bear that curved display of the Galaxy Note Edge, but the major difference will be that it will feature that on both sides, instead of being limited to the right.

While word of the Sonyx Xperia Z4 is still scarce, the mini and giant siblings are already making their way to the news. In true Sony fashion, the Xperia Z4 Compact is expected to be pretty much an incremental upgrade over this year’s model. The biggest change will be the CPU architecture, jumping to the 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810. The handy 4.7-inch screen happily also now rests on a 1080p resolution. This year’s Xperia Z3 family came with a small tablet, but word is that next year’s lineup will have a phablet instead. Coming back into the roster is an Ultra, the Xperia Z4 Ultra, with a massive 6.44-inch screen and an equally massive UHD resolution. Snapdragon 810, 3 GB of RAM, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery rounds up this early sneak peek.

Android Lollipop Rollout

Slowly but surely, Android 5.0 Lollipop makes its way to devices, particularly Google Play Edition devices. The oldest GPE devices still on Google’s shelves finally gets its Lollipop, with the update rolling out to the Samsung Galaxy S 4 GPE this week. The LG G3 also continues to get updated, but still in Europe unfortunately. Samsung’s devices are still a no go, but it seems that a beta update for the Galaxy Note 3 might have accidentally rolled out in Vietnam. In the meantime, after being left out of the early party, the Nexus 5 finally receives the Android 5.0.1. maintenance update. And speaking of that maintenance release, word is that Samsung will update the Galaxy Note 4 and Edge directly to Android 5.0.1.

Looking to the future, HTC has hinted that Android Lollipop will hit the HTC One M7 and M8 next month, hopefully without the same delays that their GPE counterparts received.


We’ve seen a couple of new devices revealed this week, primarily coming from Asia and particularly in India. Huawei puts out the Honor T1 with an aluminimum unibody design in India but also reveals the large Honor 6 Plus in China. BLU Studio launches a ridiculously large smartphone in the form of the 7-inch Studio 7.0. Micromax finally reveals its first YU branded smartphone, the painfully named YUreka, the first and only Cyanogen OS smartphone in India.

As for the recent drama unfolding in India, Xiaomi gets a slight reprieve with the High Court allowing it to sell only its devices utilizing Qualcomm chips. Unfortunately, OnePlus isn’t so lucky, with the court banning its smartphone because of Micromax’s exclusive claim over the Cyanogen name in the country.


The holiday break will be a perfect time to sit back and enjoy some entertainment, and the new roster of games this week might help you with that. Beloved RPG Baldur’s Gate II lands on Android in its Enhanced Edition version. Blizzard finally unleashes its Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft card game, but sadly on tablets only for now. Telltale Games brings a more story-centric Borderlands title to the platform and Gameloft ramps up the action in the latest Brothers in Arms 3. But if you’re in the mood for some mindless Hollywood glitz, you might want to check out Lindsay Lohan’s Price of Fame.

Be sure to head over to our Gaming tag portal for more new games and updates.


A couple of apps have gotten a much needed refresh this week. BBM catches up with the times, adding stickers to its feature list. Viber also catches up with rivals by introducing games to its offering, limited only to some countries. Pebble opens its arms to Android Wear notifications, expanding the smartwatch’s capabilities exponentially. Todoist also goes on your wrist, with some rather interesting features. And after what feels like years of silence, Instagram finally gets an update with five new filters.

Boeing enlists BlackBerry to help build their military grade secure phone

Posted by wicked December - 21 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off


Boeing has long been building aircraft for commercial flight and military application alike, but did you know that they have also been supplying tools for secure communications to the U.S. military and government? Those tools include their self destructing Boeing Black smart phone.

Taking the Boeing Black to the next level, the Chicago headquartered company has teamed up with BlackBerry to leverage the Canadian smartphone maker’s BES 12 Enterprise Service software.

BlackBerry has not been on the greatest roll in the last few years. They were once considered innovators in the smartphone industry, but quickly fell off the radar when Android powered smartphone powerhouses began rapidly iterating their own hardware. Failing to keep up with the specs of the big-name phones from the likes of Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG and Sony, has all but sent BlackBerry to bankruptcy.

Struggles in the hardware market are not the end for BlackBerry.

BlackBerry Z10 review

I was given a lesson once on BlackBerry’s software, with emphasis on the medical industry and enterprise solutions. I know now, 4 years later, that I should have paid more attention. What I do recall is that, at that time, BlackBerry was the only smartphone vendor that was approved through the Canadian medical system’s requirements for secure communications. Primarily due to their encryption and data compression techniques.

These tools are, in part, what Boeing will leverage for their Black phone, which itself offers full encryption of voice and data using Boeing’s PureSecure architecture.

The Boeing Black promises to be an interesting beast, for those few that will have the pleasure. They tout it as being tamper proof. Not to say that you can’t crack one of these guys open, but to do so will be very difficult, with epoxies holding things shut and fancy screws with heads that are very tamper evident. Worst of all for would-be bad guys, functions are built into the unit that will trigger a full data wipe and software lockdown, a self-destruct protocol.

Finally, the Boeing Black comes with two SIM slots, so users can securely connect to government networks and commercial networks alike, and an expansion port for things like more power or a satellite hook up. Otherwise, the folks at Boeing and BlackBerry are very tight lipped about the terms of their collaboration, as you would hope they would be for a U.S. defense and homeland security project.

Do you think BlackBerry should focus on their future as a securities software company, or do you think their latest consumer hardware is enough to keep them rolling?

Samsung Galaxy S6 rumored to have curved display on both sides

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Some people think it funny putting out rumors like this – that Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6, will have curved displays running on both sides. We’ll treat it like any other rumor we get – it’s possible, but we’ll have to wait on whether it will be probable or not.

The rumor goes that the Samsung Galaxy S6 will take the best things out of the Galaxy Note Edge and the new Samsung A Series – that it will have curved displays running on both its right and left edges, and that it will sport an aluminum shell. The Galaxy Note Edge, quirky though it may be, has been relatively well received. The A Series, on the other hand, has made it clear to the world that yes, Samsung can make metal-bound devices.

The logic behind the rumor is given more fuel by the flagging sales of the current flagship, the Galaxy S5, and that Samsung is looking for something new to amaze the global market and regain its place as the top smartphone seller bar none.


What do we say about it? Well, just because something could be done doesn’t mean it should be done, or that it will be done. Samsung is scheduled to unveil the Galaxy S6 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in March 2015. There are still a good 2 months where we’re sure more details about the Galaxy S6 will come out – and maybe put this funny rumor to rest. Or prove us wrong.


Gresso Regal Black Edition made from titanium packs 5.0-inch screen

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

Gresso has been making very expensive smartphones for years now and the company has added another new model to its high-end line. The smartphone is called the Gresso Regal Black Edition. The skeleton of the smartphone is titanium that is coated with black PVD and then features inserts made of shiny gold.

The good news with this Gresso device is that it actually packs some nice hardware inside. Typically, you are only paying for the looks of the Gresso device. The Regal Black Edition has a 5-inch screen and full HD resolution. It has 2GB of RAM and internal storage is 32GB.

The rear camera has 13MP resolution while the front is a 5MP snapper. One of the things this phone lacks is support for LTE. In this day and age, a device without LTE is annoying for most users. It’s unclear what processor is used, but it is a 1.5GHz quad-core unit.

The PVD coating over the Grade 5 titanium means that the case will resist scratches and is strong but light. The 18K gold insert can be had in yellow or white gold and has the Gresso name and the number of the device. Only 999 will be made at a price starting at $3000 with no insert and no PVD coating. The R1 and R3 models start at $5,000 with PVD and inserts.


SOURCE: SlashGear

Xiaomi faces difficulties expanding overseas

Posted by wicked December - 19 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off


According to a report published by DigitTimes this morning, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is facing major difficulties selling its devices outside of China despite its belligerent marketing techniques.

There are many possible reasons for Xiaomi’s current failure to expand its reach out of China.

The first is that India recently banned Xiaomi from selling any of its smartphones in its country due to an infringement of Ericsson’s patents. Although the court has temporarily lifted the injunction until the next trial on January 8, 2015, the company has decided not to ship any devices to the region until a final decision has been made.

Second, Xiaomi has been criticised for plagiarism, so if it were to launch smartphones in any other country, it’s more than likely that other key smartphone manufacturers would start taking legal action to have the devices prohibited.

Third, most of Xiaomi’s handsets aren’t patented, and without spending large sums of money to resolve the potential lawsuits that major OEMs would initiate, they would most probably loose, preventing them from manufacturing any more of the devices highlighted during the trial.

So, overall, Xiaomi isn’t in a good enough position to start shipping its smartphones Internationally. If it were to start expanding overseas, it would face a lot of negative press and competitors would definitely try to challenge the company in an effort to have its devices banned.

If you wish to read the full report — hit the source link below.

Source: DigiTimes

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