Samsung unveils new Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, ditches Android for Tizen

Following a pair of leaked images this morning, Samsung has just taken the wraps off of two new Gear smartwatches, the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo. The difference between the two models is the lack of a camera on the Gear Neo. As rumored earlier this month, both of the models have ditched Android in favor of Samsung’s Tizen operating system.

According to Samsung, the switch to Tizen will offer many improvements to the end-user. First off, Tizen is much less power intensive, which means battery life has improved to 2-3 days, according to Samsung—much better than the one day life given by the original Gear. Tizen will also offer an “enriched application ecosystem” to the user.

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Opinion: Will the spring launch of Amazon/Nexus/Apple TV signal the beginning of the end of live, broadcast TV?

roku

Streaming TV is heating-up. Amazon looks set to launch its TV box in March, we’re expecting Apple to announce a new Apple TV box in April, and Google is reputed to be not far behind with a Nexus-branded box.

So-called cord-cutting – people who give up their cable TV subscriptions in favor of streaming content over the web – is growing in popularity. Mobile TV viewing on tablets is increasingly common.

All of which makes me wonder whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of live TV … ?  Read more

Amazon’s long-rumored Roku-like TV box to launch next month?

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Image: digitaltrends.com

Amazon’s TV box, which the company is believed to have been working on for around a year, is to be launched next month, according to unnamed content distribution sources cited by re/code. It had originally been expected to be launched in time for last year’s holiday sales.

People I’ve talked to who are partnering with Amazon believe the company is aiming for a March rollout […]

Sources tell me Amazon’s box will be powered by Google’s Android operating system, which is also not a surprise — Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets use a “forked” version of Android …  Read more

Google announces ‘Project Tango’ Android prototype w/ advanced 3D space and motion sensors

Google today announced “Project Tango,” an experimental effort that will see a prototype Android phone equipped with sensors for advanced motion and space tracking to a limited number of developers. The sensors embedded in the hardware will allow 3D scanning to map environments and the ability to track the full 3D motion of the device to open up new opportunities for developers from indoor navigation to gaming experiences. Here’s more on the hardware from Google’s new Project Tango website:

Project-Tango-Android-ATAPOur current prototype is a 5” phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment. These sensors allow the phone to make over a quarter million 3D measurements every second, updating it’s position and orientation in real-time, combining that data into a single 3D model of the space around you…It runs Android and includes development APIs to provide position, orientation, and depth data to standard Android applications written in Java, C/C++, as well as the Unity Game Engine.

The prototype includes a 4MP camera, 2x Computer Vision Processors, integrated depth sensing, and a motion tracking camera.

Developers will be able to sign up starting today, but Google will only hand out around 200 units of the device initially. The project is lead by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group, the same team behind Project Ara and one part of Motorola that Google did not sell to LenovoRead more

Leaked photos claim to show Nokia’s Normandy Android smartphone in the wild

We’ve already seen a few leaked press shots claiming to show Nokia’s much rumored Android smartphone and UI often referred to as the “Normandy” project. Today we get what appears to be the first shots of the device in the wild and better look at the device’s mix of Lumia and Asha design traits. The images above come from a thread on Coolaxap.com where leaked images of Windows devices have popped up before.

While nothing is official, recent reports said the device could debut as early as this month at the Mobile World Congress event that runs through February 27. We’ll be bringing you coverage from MWC next week and updates on Normandy as we find out more.  Read more

Google Currents officially no more as latest update forces users to switch to Play Newsstand

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 7.52.54 PM

Back in November, Google announced that Currents news service would slowly be transitioned into a new Google Play Newsstand app, and today, the company has finally taken the final step. Google today released an update for the Currents app that makes it nothing more than a pathway to Play Newsstand (via Android Police).

When users launch the Currents app after updating, they will be presented with a screen telling them to download Google Play Newsstand. Newsstand will be able to automatically import all Currents subscription, making the transition as easy as possible for users. Once users agree to make the switch to Newsstand, the app icon for Currents will disappear, making it impossible to ever return.

iOS users are still waiting for Google’s Newsstand app, but there’s something with an eerily similar name preinstalled on all iOS devices already…

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Google announces I/O developer conference will take place June 25-26 in San Fran

Sundar-Pichai

Google’s Android and Chrome chief Sundar Pichai just announced the official dates for Google’s upcoming 7th annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco. While last year’s even took place in May, this year Google is moving up the conference to June 25-26. Pichai also noted that Google will implement a new registration system that will avoid tickets selling out within minutes like last year: Read more

Samsung mocks iPad Air & iPhone’s screen size in new Galaxy Tab Pro & Note 3 ads (Video)

Like it has done on several occasions in the past, Samsung is directly mocking Apple in its latest advertisement for the new Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. The commercial, posted to Samsung’s YouTube page, is a clear parody of Apple’s Pencil ad for the iPad Air that has been airing on TV since Apple debuted it for the introduction of the new tablet in October of last year. Another ad for the Galaxy Note 3 (below) takes on the iPhone’s small screen size. Read more

New gold “HTC One 2014” leaks in images ahead of official unveiling

HTC-One-2014

Following weeks of rumors regarding the next-generation flagship smartphone from HTC, today images of the device have leaked via reliable leakster @evleaks. The image above shows off what appears to be an evolution of the previous HTC One design with camera and flash components that line up with earlier leaks of the device. Up until now most leaks of the device have been referring to its “M8″ codename. However, the tweet from evleaks seems to indicate that the device will be branded the new “HTC One 2014″ edition. It also looks like at least some partners will be getting a gold version of the device.

Yesterday, HTC sent out invites for an event being held on March 25. Rumor has it the company could skip any unveilings at Mobile World Congress later this month and hold out for its own event at the end of next month.

So far rumors for the device include a 5″ 1080p display, Android 4.4 KitKat, 3GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 800 processor, and Sense 6.0. Evleaks shared another image of the device showing off a protective case and the latest Sense homescreen (below): Read more

Samsung reportedly set to unveil “multiple” Galaxy Gear models at MWC, one supposedly running Tizen

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We’re just a week away from Mobile World Congress kicking off in Barcelona, and while the event has been rather quiet for the past couple of years, it looks like that may change this time around. Samsung has already announced a press event for MWC, during which it will unveil its Galaxy S5 flagship. According to two new reports, however, the company also has more planned for the event.

Both USA Today and The Verge are reporting that Samsung will unveil at least one new Galaxy Gear smartwatch variant at its press event next week. The Verge report is sparse on details, simply reporting that Samsung could unveil “multiple new Galaxy Gear” models at the event.

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Samsung confirms next-gen Galaxy smartphone coming this month w/ improved LED flash

Photo: digitaltrends.com

Photo: digitaltrends.com

With the number of Galaxy S5 leaks in recent weeks, many are expecting we’ll get our first official glimpse of the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February. While Samsung’s invites for the “Unpacked5” event did all but confirm an unveiling for MWC, today the company has flat out said that a new flagship Galaxy smartphone will be launched in the coming weeks. In a blog post announcing new LED flash components for mobile devices, Samsung said the technology will be “used in the next Galaxy smartphone, which is expected to be introduced later this month.”

Because high-quality smartphone cameras require a wider FOV (Field of View) angle for better picture quality, Samsung’s new reflector-integrated flash LEDs are designed to enable a great deal of flexibility by providing a wide FOV within a small space through the integration of a light source,  a lead frame, and a reflector with its own optics and diffusion features.

Of course Samsung has a long line of Galaxy devices that it could possibly be referring to, but there’s a good chance we’ll see the new flagship S5 on Monday Feb. 24. The event will be live streamed at youtube.com/samsungmobile and we’ll be bringing you live coverage as new products get announced.  Read more