Creators of Glass app LynxFit join $10M-backed ‘Glass at Work’ partner APX Labs

APX Labs - Glass@Work 2014-12-08 12-43-07

Google Glass may seem to be fading into obscurity, but—especially with recent rumors that it may soon be getting a reboot—I don’t think we should discredit the platform and assume it has been a failed experiment just yet. In fact, Google seems to be focusing on the workplace use cases of the device, as do many of its developers, and today we’ve learned that the people behind one of the most popular pieces of Glassware—LynxFit—are joining one of the “Glass at Work” certified partners: APX Labs.

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Google doles out free $20 Play credits to Chromecast owners

From 9to5Toys.com:
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Update (12/8 1:00pm): Target has Chromecast for $22.99. Redeem Google’s latest promo (below) to drop its effective price down to $2.99.

Google has just launched a new offer that extends a free $20 Google Play credit to anyone who purchases a Chromecast by December 21. According to the offer details, only Chromecasts purchased between December 7 and December 21 will be eligible for the free credit, but we were able to take advantage of it on our previously purchased Chromecasts.

You can check if you’re eligible for this promo by pointing your Chrome browser to chromecast.com/offers. The credit expires on January 31, 2016 and can be used on movies, music, apps, and other media. However, it can’t be used towards the purchase of any hardware. Only open to US residents.

Google Play, Amazon, and Best Buy are all promoting this offer for new Chromecast buyers.

At this point Google is pretty much paying you to own a Chromecast. Just recently, we’ve seen Google hand out free moviesHulu Plus and Play subscriptions.

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Qualcomm: Next year’s Snapdragon 810 is ‘on track,’ devices to launch in first half 2015

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report from Korea last week claimed that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 chip, which is almost surely going to power the next generation of Android smartphones, was facing some production issues that might cause some delay in the production of devices like the LG G4, Xperia Z4, and others. Although Qualcomm won’t comment on rumors that the chip is facing issues with overheating and GPU errors and the like, they do say that the chip is apparently still “on track” and that devices sporting the chip are still going to be available in the first half of 2015…

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YouTube stars being offered retention bonuses in face of offers from Facebook & others

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YouTube style star Michelle Phan, whose videos have 3.6M views

Top YouTube video creators are being offered bonuses in return for multi-year exclusivity deals in which they guarantee to post content on YouTube first, reports the WSJ.

Facebook Inc. and video startup Vessel, among others, have tried to lure YouTube creators to their services in recent months, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In response, Google is offering some of its top video makers bonuses to sign multiyear deals in which they agree to post content exclusively on YouTube for a time before putting it on a rival service.

YouTube is reportedly particularly concerned about subscription video startup Vessel, founded by former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar …  Read more

YouTube for Android updated to version 6 with Material Design and new search filters (Update)

YouTube for Android has finally been updated with a Material Design interface for devices running Lollipop. The entire app has been redesigned, from the “What to Watch” screen to individual channel and video pages.

Aside from the new design, the updated app also includes many new filter options for searches, allowing users to find videos that meet specific criteria. For example, you can now search only for videos that are available in HD, or have closed captioning enabled. You can also search for live streams.

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Google removes several piracy-based apps from the Play Store

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TorrentFreak is reporting that Google has removed several Pirate Bay apps from the Play Store today after strong pressure from copyright holders. Google sent an email to a handful of developers, informing them that their apps were being removed from the Play Store. The email explains why the apps were removed, citing violation of the intellectual property portion of the Google Play Store Content Policy.

“REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the IP infringement and impersonation policy help article for more information.”

The apps removed include The Pirate Bay Proxy, The Pirate Bay Premium, The Pirate Bay Mirror, and PirateApp…

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Microsoft’s ‘Bing Torque’ Android Wear voice assistant now works on your phone

Torque Search on Wear or Phone - Android Apps on Google Play 2014-12-05 11-20-25

A couple of months ago, Microsoft released a Bing-powered voice assistant app called Torque, and now the same app—which was previously only for Android Wear devices—can be activated at any time on your Android phone itself. The app works very similarly to Google’s own “OK Google” offering, but with a twist. Literally, you twist your wrist to activate the assistant rather than using your voice. But beyond that activation gesture, the app offers much the same information as OK Google, like weather updates, sports scores, information about nearby restaurants, stock prices, and more.

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Purported Samsung Galaxy S6 “Project Zero” specs leak in AnTuTu benchmark

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Every year when any company’s new flagship is around the corner, benchmarks for what are assumably prototypes of those devices tend to pop up on phone benchmark websites months before they see any kind of official announcement. Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6 smartphone isn’t any exception, and today we have evidence (via CNMO) that the phone has already shown up on AnTuTu, possibly corroborating previously leaked details about the upcoming handset’s specs.

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Senior heads rolling at Samsung’s mobile division in first stage of downsizing operation

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The downsizing expected at Samsung‘s mobile division has seemingly started at the top, with Re/code reporting that three senior execs are leaving the company. This follows the loss of five high-ranking execs earlier in the year.

Three deputies to the head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile division are leaving, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday, as the world’s largest smartphone maker faces a rapid decline in profit […]

The departures included global marketing chief D.J. Lee, the source said, confirming earlier media reports.

All three of those leaving are said to be direct reports to mobile head JK Shin, who survived the cull despite presiding over a 74% drop in profits in his division …  Read more

Lollipop to begin rolling out to HTC One M8 Google Play edition tomorrow (Update: M7 too)

HTC One M8 GPE

Update: Versi has also now confirmed that the One M7 Google Play Edition’s update will begin to rollout, as well.

After a few weeks of delays and last-minute issues with Google, HTC this evening has announced that it will begin rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop to the Google Play Edition HTC One M8 tomorrow. In a post on Twitter, HTC’s VP of Product Management Mo Versi confirmed that the update will begin to rollout tomorrow, December 5th at 12PM PT/3PM ET.

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Google Play Store update rolling out w/ new My Account page, interface tweaks, more

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A day after rolling out updates to nearly every app it makes, Google this afternoon has announced an update to the Play Store itself. In a post on Google+, Google employee Krill Grouchnikov announced the update, saying that it’s coming soon to Android devices everywhere. The update makes several user interface tweaks for both pre-Lollipop devices and ones on Lollipop. It bumps the app to version 5.1.

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