Expect more Chromecast apps soon as Google schedules hackathon

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We haven’t yet seen too many apps that can stream content to Chromecast dongles, but all that is likely to change over the next month or two as Google has scheduled a Chromecast ‘hackathon’ at its Mountain View HQ next month, reports Engadget.

Google has invited several developers including CyanogenMod / AirCast dev Koushik Dutta and Thomas Kjeldsen to a hackathon on December 7th and 8th in Mountain View. An opportunity to test drive the “upcoming release” of the Cast SDK is promised, plus an opportunity to talk with Google engineers about what it can do …  Read more

Android 4.4 KitKat update begins rolling out to Moto X on T-Mobile

After rolling out the KitKat update to Verizon first in somewhat of an unexpected move earlier this week, Motorola just announced on its blog that the update is now ready for T-Mobile users.

The update comes ahead of many other devices that we expected to get the update by now, including the HTC One Google Play Edition, the Nexus 4 for many users, and the Nexus 10, to name a few. There’s also still no official word on the update for the Moto X Developer Edition, but a few people today report they’ve received the update.  Read more

Verizon launches Samsung Galaxy S4 mini & S III mini for $49/$99 on contract

Verizon announced today that it is releasing new mini variants of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices. One is the Galaxy S4 mini, the latest mid-tier version of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4. However, Verizon is oddly also launching last year’s model today, the Galaxy S III mini.

Despite the fact that the S4 mini is the newer device, the S III mini might be the better option for those on a budget as it will cost customers just $50 on a two-year contract after a $50 mail-in rebate. The S4 mini will come in at $99 with the same rebate. You’ll also be able to grab a month-to-month plan if you drop $249 or $399 for the S4 mini or S III mini, and $10 and $16 a month offers are available through Verizon Edge.

You can grab the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini and the Galaxy S III mini from Verizon now.  Read more

HTC One max arrives on Verizon for $299 on contract

 

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Following the launch of the HTC One max on Sprint earlier this month, Verizon this morning officially made availability and pricing details available. As expected from an earlier leak, Verizon is pricing the HTC One max at $299.99 on the usual two-year agreement and it will also be available as upgrade to those part of Verizon Edge for around $25/month or $599 for those that wish to go month-to-month. That compares to the $249 Sprint is asking for existing customers and a special introductory price of $149 for new customers on a two-year contract.  Read more

Google Shopping launches revamped experience on desktop & mobile w/ curated holiday shopping lists

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Google today announced some nice additions to its Google Shopping service available to users browsing for products in Google search and directly through the Google Shopping site on desktop and mobile. In addition to new curated shopping lists from some of its partners (note: These are Google’s partners buying paid product listing ads), Google Shopping also receives an updated look and feel, part of an ongoing update that Google started rolling out back in October with an updated storefront and improved local listings.

One new feature in the redesigned shopping experience pictured above is the ability create your own shortlists that are easily accessible from the top of each page while browsing: Read more

Talking Schmidt: “We can end government censorship in a decade”

In our perpetually continuing series fondly known as Talking Schmidt, we catch up with the Google Chairman and mouthpiece in mid-speech in Washington courtesy of Bloomberg:

Schmidt described the coming of a “network age” in which Internet users communicate and organize socially through private channels shielded by encryption, which scrambles data with a mathematical formula that can be decoded only with a special digital key.

“We can end government censorship in a decade,” Schmidt said during a speech in Washington. “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.”

ENCRYPT. EVERYTHING. REALLY?!

Read more

Samsung S4 beats HTC One in ‘uncheatable’ benchmark test

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Following revelations that almost all Android handset and tablet manufacturers cheat in benchmark tests, detecting the benchmark software and ramping up performance for the duration of the test, GameBench thinks it’s come up with an approach which is impossible to cheat.

Engadget reports that the company – whose co-founders both worked for chipmakers – take a different approach, running real games and using a background app to take systems measurements while those games are running …  Read more

Google releases redesigned Google Translate app for Android

Google today announced that it’s releasing an all-new Google Translate app for Android. The app features a new design, adds support for additional languages, and introduces some interesting new features to make translations even faster.

The app now makes it easy to have translated conversation with someone at the tap of a button and also adds gesture support for quickly switching between languages: Read more