Google adds public Transit directions to Glass for Android users

Google announced today that its latest update to Glass (XE10) includes a few new features with the most notable being the addition of Transit directions. Now, Google Glass users paired to Android device will be able to see public transit directions in addition to other related information, like when to change trains for example, on their Glass display:

We have loads of great updates every month, but there’s one we’re particularly jazz hands about — Transit. Explorers who have paired Glass to their Android phones will now have the option to see public transit directions when navigating on Glass. When you get directions and select transit, you’ll be able to see all sorts of helpful info, like where to change trains, how far you have to walk to the bus stop and how long it should take to reach your final destination.

Google has also added the “ability to tap to select links in notifications.” Read more

Boeing prepares to move its 40,000+ smartphone users to Android if/when BlackBerry shutters

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It’s no secret that BlackBerry is currently amidst a downward spiral that will either land the company in bankruptcy, or more likely, to be acquired or end up as a privately-owned-firm. Unsurprisingly, the uncertain fate of the once Canada-based technology superstar is causing concern from companies and employees of firms that have relied on BlackBerry’s secure devices, enterprise software, and emailing/messaging functionality for many years.

We’ve learned that the concern over BlackBerry’s fate is definitely causing talk internally at one major firm: Boeing, the global aviation and space-based technologies company. According to a source, Boeing currently has just under 41,000 employees using BlackBerry smartphones, and Boeing is not sitting still on the possibility of service interruptions due to BlackBerry’s uncertain fate. We’re told that Boeing has conducted meetings in recent weeks with BlackBerry about this topic. A summary of the meeting was sent via email to Boeing employees:

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Samsung tries to establish itself as company that brought the fabled smartwatch to life with new ads

Despite the device’s universally-abysmal reviews, Samsung is continuing to market its Galaxy Gear smartwatch as the wave of the future—and the past—with two new TV ads. The first, titled “A Long Time Coming,” Samsung uses clips from some of the most popular TV shows of decades past to set the Galaxy Gear up as the long-awaited wrist-mounted computer from Dick TraceyThe Jetsons, Knight Rider, and more.

The ad has a similar feel to Apple’s “Hello” TV spot, which it launched with the iPhone 5c last month, but rather than featuring customers using the advertised product, Samsung’s ad shows fictional characters using Hollywood’s various conceptions of the smartwatch.

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Photos and tech specs of next-generation Nexus phone appear in leaked service manual

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Android Police has tracked down a leaked instruction manual for servicing what appears to be an upcoming Nexus phone. The handset is designated LG-D821 and looks to be the next device to support the pure Android experience. The manual contains instructions on servicing the unreleased phone, and includes detailed descriptions of the device’s internal components and photos of the phone itself.

According to the document, the phone will feature… Read more

Review: Samsung Galaxy Mega – Carrying around a 6.3-inch tablet as your phone isn’t as crazy as it seems

Size comparison between Nexus 7, iPhone 5s and Galaxy Note 2 and S4

“Is that a Samsung Galaxy Mega in your pocket?”, is how the joke usually starts.  Samsung, never content with having the biggest phone out there, released its crazy ‘Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3‘ contraption with a whopping 6.3″ display on AT&T customers in the US recently and I wanted to see if I could actually get by with it, and it alone, as not only my “Internet Communicator” but also my phone.

I should probably preface this with the fact that I’m a very sparse phone user. I rarely give my number out and even when I get a call, I rarely answer it. When I’m at my desk, I use Google Voice, Hangouts, Skype and iChat for voice communications. When I’m on the road, I’m on a cheap unlimited data plan which affords me 100 minutes of talk time a month. I usually use about half of that IYSWIM.

So with that in mind, how were my few weeks with the Mega?

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AT&T Moto X users getting the camera improvement firmware update

Beginning today, AT&T Moto X owners will be able to download the camera improvements that debuted a few weeks ago. According to AnandTech, this update greatly improves the quality of images taken with the Moto X camera.

There are some other improvements in this update from AT&T that focus on Touchless control accuracy, updates to Motorola Migrate and finding lost phones functionality.

  • Camera enhancements:
    • Enhanced camera auto-white balance performance and color accuracy.
    • Improved exposure when taking photos outside or backlit, and improved clarity in low light.
    • Faster touch-to-focus time and reduced unnecessary refocusing in low light or scenes with continuous motion.
  • Faster response and improved accuracy when using Touchless Control and easier set up and training of the “Ok Google Now” trigger.
  • Enhanced transfer of content from old phone to new phone using Motorola Migrate.
  • Fine-tuned feature that allows you to find phone when it is lost that sometimes prevented a lost phone from reporting its location.

More at AT&T. Read more

Samsung predicts record profits as HTC reports first ever loss

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Samsung is predicting a record $9.4B profit for Q3 in its latest earnings guidance, on estimated revenues of $53.9B. While both figures are estimates rather than confirmed results, Samsung’s earnings guidance is usually pretty much spot-on. If confirmed, this will build on the company’s record numbers in Q2.

HTC, in contrast, reported its first ever loss, as it warned back in July. Its revenue of $1.6B was lower than even its lower-end forecast, and it lost $101M – the company’s first ever loss in its 16-year history.

Bloomberg attributes the wildly differing performances to sales of mid-market handsets in growth markets like India and China.

While HTC has focused a revival on its flagship One handset and $12 million marketing deal with actor Robert Downey Jr., Samsung has expanded its range of mid-priced smartphones such as the Galaxy Golden and S4 Mini to capture sales in China and India …  Read more

Facebook adds content from Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr & Instagram to Home lock screen

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Zuckerberg recently announced that the company had plans to bring content from additional online sources to the lock screen for those using Facebook Home, and today that feature has officially been introduced in the latest Facebook for Android beta release.

At first, Facebook is adding content from Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram to the Facebook Home lock screen allowing users to swipe through photos and posts alongside Facebook content. Here’s how it works:

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WSJ: LG launching 6-inch “G Flex” smartphone with curved screen next month

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Following a translated report yesterday claiming that LG was planning to introduce its first smartphone with a flexible OLED display, The Wall Street Journal chimes in today with more details on the device. According to the report, LG will launch the “G Flex” smartphone next month featuring a 6-inch curved OLED display:

LG’s new phone, dubbed G Flex, will have a six-inch screen using organic light-emitting-diode technology, a person familiar with the matter said. The handset itself is slightly concave, according to sketches of the prototype viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

For the Flex’s curved display, LG employed what the company refers to as a “plastic OLED” screen, using materials that are more flexible than conventional liquid-crystal-display screens, said the person familiar with the matter.

The WSJ was also able to grab the image above showing a sketch for a prototype of LG’s curved device.  Read more

Jelly Bean likely to be on majority of Android devices within a week or so

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The latest Android stats from Google show that Jelly Bean is now installed on 48.6 percent of Android devices, and given current growth rates is likely to break the magic 50 percent barrier within a week or two. Jelly Bean became the most-used version of Android back in July.

The rather less impressive stat is that more than a quarter of devices – 28.5 percent – are still running Gingerbread, which dates back as far as 2010. It’s also worth pointing out that there are couple of fudge-factors in Google’s stats …  Read more

Report finds almost all Android OEMs, not just Samsung, cheat on benchmarks

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When a story earlier this week discovered Samsung was artificially inflating benchmark scores for its new Galaxy Note 3, many were quick to point out it wasn’t the first time Samsung had been caught engaged in such a practice. The same issue was discovered by AnandTech for the Galaxy S4 back in July, and today the site has an extensive report showing that almost every Android smartphone manufacturer is shipping devices that do the same.

As pictured in the chart above, that includes the HTC One, HTC One mini, LG G2, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and many others. In fact, the only companies that appear to not be using the method is Apple and Motorola, as well as Google with its Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 devices:

We started piecing this data together back in July, and even had conversations with both silicon vendors and OEMs about getting it to stop. With the exception of Apple and Motorola, literally every single OEM we’ve worked with ships (or has shipped) at least one device that runs this silly CPU optimization. It’s possible that older Motorola devices might’ve done the same thing, but none of the newer devices we have on hand exhibited the behavior. It’s a systemic problem that seems to have surfaced over the last two years, and one that extends far beyond Samsung…  None of the Nexus do, which is understandable since the optimization isn’t a part of AOSP. This also helps explain why the Nexus 4 performed so slowly when we reviewed it – this mess was going on back then and Google didn’t partake.

As noted in the report, the gains that OEMs are experiencing from the inflated scores are probably not worth the press they’ve been receiving. AnandTech points out that most of the inflated scores provide under a 10% increase in GPU and CPU performance benchmarks: Read more