Samsung S5 “Prime” & “Standard” models on the way, Sprint getting lower-spec’d one?

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Samsung looks set to launch at least two different versions of the Galaxy S5, its replacement for the current range-topping S4, code-named Prime and Standard – and it appears possible that Sprint will be getting the lower-spec version.

The two versions first showed up in benchmarks by AnTuTu, showing a Prime model labelled US Cellular and a lower-spec Standard model labelled Europe …  Read more

Americans officially living in post-PC world, spending more time using mobile apps & web

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According to new data from Nielsen, Americans now spend more time using mobile web and apps on their smartphones than they do online on their PCs, reports Engadget.

That shift toward mobile is affecting how many spend their free time. Americans spent an average of 34 hours per month using mobile apps and browsers in 2013; that’s more time than they spent online with their PCs, which chewed up 27 hours …  Read more

Survey: workers willing to pay out-of-pocket for Google and Marketplace apps

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The Wall Street Journal points to a recent survey in which over 1,100 IT administrators and business users were asked about their use of Google Apps in the workplace. According to the report, over two-thirds of respondents said that they prefer Google’s services to the point that they would be willing to spend their own hard-earned money on Google Apps for use in the office.

The survey also indicates a strong correlation between businesses that allow workers to bring their own devices for use at work and support for Google’s software. Of those surveyed, 83% said they brought their own mobile devices to work. It seems that Google’s move to create software for everyday usage has created an path to the workplace through employees who want to make their work tasts as easy to manage as their personal tasks.

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Google Search updated with new voice commands for easily calling/texting relatives

Call MomGoogle today rolled out a minor update to its Search app on Android. The update doesn’t add a lot, but does make the voice recognition functionality even better. With the update, you can now assign titles to people in your contacts. For example, you can say “Ok Google, call Mom” and it will either call the number that you have assigned to your mom, or prompt you to choose who you want to be labeled as your mom and remember that option for future use. The funcationaily also works for texting. Simply say “Ok Google, send a text to my wife” and the Search app will pull up the wife contact. Officially, the app supports the following relationships: father / dad, mother / mom, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, grandmother / grandma, grandfather / grandpa, wife, husband, girlfriend, and boyfriend.

Want to save time keeping in touch with your loved ones? Or just not drop your phone or your shopping bags whilst you try to find a number to make a call? You can skip scrolling through your contacts and just say to your Android phone “Ok Google, call Mom” or “Ok Google, send a text to my wife.” Starting now, the Google search app on your Android phone will be able to pull up the right contact for you—and if you don’t have Mom saved as “mom,” it’ll help you set that up quickly.

The update appears to be a staged rollout, so it may take a little while to appear on your device. Keep an eye on the Play Store.

Chart shows how much of your phone is actually display

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Have you ever wondered how much of your phone is actually screen? That is, how much of your phone is usable screen real estate in relation to the overall size the device? The chart above from @somospostpc shows you exactly that for some of the most popular devices from LG, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, Motorola and Apple. The LG G2 comes out on top at 75.7% display compared to 60% and below for the current lineup of iPhones. If the rumors are true, we could start to see manufacturers try to increase screen real estate by eliminating even more of the bezelRead more

Samsung teases new-look TouchWiz, hints at possible first look at Galaxy S5 this month

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Samsung has updated its blog with what appear to be nine new-look icons, each with a superscript 5 hinting at the possibility of an earlier-than-expected first look at the Galaxy S5 at the company’s Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 24th February. Samsung had previously suggested that the S5 would be launched “by April.”

It’s possible that Samsung could officially announce the Galaxy S5 on the 24th but not make it available for sale until April …  Read more

Virgin Atlantic testing Google Glass at Heathrow airport to identify & assist passengers

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With Google Glass finally available to just about anyone willing to sign up and throw down the $1500 purchase price, we’re seeing more and more professionals take advantage of the handsfree, head-mounted computer to make daily tasks more efficient. The latest to trial Glass, according to a report from TheDailyMail, is Virgin Atlantic airlines in a test at London’s Heathrow airport. Staff of Virgin’s Upper Class lounge are apparently using Glass to identify passengers in order to greet them by name and pull up relevant trip information: Read more

WSJ: Nokia’s Normandy Android phones finally coming this month

normandyNokia could finally show off those Android-based “Normandy” smartphones we’ve been seeing surface lately. The company will debut its rumored fork of Android later this month at Mobile World Congress, according to The Wall Street JournalThe event kicks off in two weeks in Barcelona, Spain, and runs through February 27th.

Nokia, whose devices and services division was acquired by Microsoft last fall, had been working on the Android phones ahead of the acquisition, WSJ says. Nokia has been the primary handset maker for Windows Phone OS-based smartphones since dropping its own OS years ago, and even its Android fork borrows heavily from the signature Windows Phone design as seen in recent leaks. Read more

HTC plans to emulate Samsung’s something-for-everyone strategy to reverse losses

HTC acknowledges that it needs more than high-end handsets

HTC acknowledges that it needs more than high-end handsets

While HTC technically ended 2013 in profit, the company says that declining margins are likely to see it end the first quarter of this year with a loss. HTC reported a wafer-thin profit of $10M from revenues of $1.4B, the latter figure 28 percent down year-on year. Its global market share of shipments was just two percent.

Reuters reports that the company plans to make a wider range of more affordable phones – the same strategy used by Samsung. Samsung made most of its money last year from a combination of its chip-manufacturing business and low- to mid-range handsets, and has itself come under pressure from low-cost competitor handsets …  Read more

How-to: Setup and Use Chromecast to stream your content from a Mac and Android device

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The Chromecast, Google’s streaming HDMI dongle came out last summer. It is compatible with any Android device running 2.3 or later, iOS devices with iOS 6 or 7, and any Mac or PC. Initially, users were able to stream Netflix or Youtube from an iOS device and Android device, Google Play on Android, or stream websites to a TV using the Chrome browser on a computer. The Chromecast works differently from Apple’s AirPlay system in that you can multitask and do other tasks on the device or you can let it go to sleep while streaming.

Very quickly after its release, Chromecast has received support for Hulu +, Pandora, and HBO GO. Last month a major update added ten new apps including Plex, Vevo, Songza, Red Bull TV, Post TV from the Washington Post, Viki, RealPlayer Cloud, Avia, Revision3 Internet Television, and BeyondPod. The most recent update the Chromecast received allowed users to stream Google Play movies and music directly from the Chrome browser on a computer.

In this How-to, we’ll discuss how to setup the Chromecast, use it with a Mac and Android device, and explore its gaming potentials.

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Samsung announces Black Edition Galaxy S4 & S4 mini w/ Note 3-style backside

Samsung announced today that it’s releasing a couple variations of its Galaxy S4 and S4 mini smartphones that introduce the faux “leather-style” backside that first made an appearance on the new Note 3 at IFA in September. The new devices are dubbed “Black Edition” and come with wallpapers to match, but otherwise are the same 5-inch and 4.3-inch Galaxy S4 devices that have been on the market for nearly a couple years now. Samsung says the special Black Editions will be available in select markets starting this month. Read more

Sketchy rumor suggests Google to launch 8-inch Nexus tablet at the end of April

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DigiTimes, a site whose supply-chain-based rumors have a rather variable record of reliability, claims that Asustek is working on a new 8-inch Nexus, to replace the Nexus 7 at the end of April.

Google is no stranger to the form factor having just recently Play-editioned the LG 8.2″ G Pad  which has gotten some stellar reviews.

It’s suggested that Google feels the 7-inch market is too crowded, especially with 5- and 6-inch phablets cannibalising some of the 7-inch market …  Read more