LG will preload BBM on select Android phones beginning with LG G Pro Lite

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BlackBerry isn’t letting BBM go down without a fight as it strikes a deal to preinstall the application on select LG smartphones. BlackBerry’s once wildly popular Messenger application will come pre-installed on the LG G Pro Lite in “markets around the world.” The deal will allow a bundling agreement with LG involving “both the standard and virtual preloading” as well maintaining that BBM is available as a free download in Google’s Play Store.

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Google adds an additional 13 markets for Google Play Movies

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Residents of New Zealand, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago take note as Google Play Movies are now at your disposal. In total, Google added an additional thirteen countries bringing the total available market count to 27. This is the right time for residents of those countries to grab a Chromecast, kick their legs up on the sofa and watch a movie. Unfortunately, TV shows are still only available through the US, UK and Japan with no timetable for additional countries.

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Samsung upping the smartphone security stakes with iris-recognition – report

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A piece on ZDNet‘s Korean site reports that Samsung has developed an iris-recognition system to unlock smartphones, and that the technology is likely to be seen in handsets launched next year.

Iris-recognition is generally considered to be the gold standard for biometric identification, allowing extremely fast matches with a very low risk of false matching. It is commonly used for border controls …  Read more

LG announces the Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS desktop

Chrome OS-powered desktops have not caught on in the past, to say the least, but it looks like that won’t stop LG from trying. The company has just sent out a press release announcing a new Chromebase, that it will officially unveil at CES 2014. The Chromebase is an all-in-one computer, much like the iMac, but powered by Chrome OS. The Chromebase will feature a 21.5 inch 1080p display, as well as 2GB of RAM, 16GB of solid state storage, and an unspecified Intel Celeron processor.

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Google releases video highlighting the best YouTube ads of 2013

Keeping up with the year-end videos, Google has just released another video, highlighting the best ads that appeared on YouTube this year. The company says that 2013 was the year in which “brands re-invented ads on YouTube – by making ads people chose to watch.”

To celebrate this amazing year, and gear up for what’s sure to be an even bigger 2014, we created this video to celebrate just some of the great work done by brands. Do you remember all of these? Which was your favorite?

The video shows off twenty ads, many of which ended up going viral. The ads are for a variety of things, such as the Honda, Oreos, Kmart, and Samsung.

Check out the video above.  Read more

Google releases XE12 Glass update w/ wink gesture for photos, screen lock, Hangouts, much more

Google today officially released its latest update for Google Glass, XE12, alongside the news that its MyGlass for iOS app will arriving later this week. The app briefly made an appearance on the App Store today but was quickly removed. The update also includes a number of new features including enhancements to the Google Play music feature it first started rolling out earlier this month, a new screen lock security feature, improved integration with Hangouts and YouTube, and brand new winking gestures.

For those times you might miss a shot, try capturing the moment with a wink. The Wink feature is a exploratory feature that lets you take a picture with a wink. It’s even faster than the camera button or voice action and it even works when the display is off…Wink is a exploratory feature. To use it, you’ll need a device purchased or swapped after October 28th, 2013. If that’s you, give it a shot and tell us what you think in the Explorers Community.

Also new in the update is a new “Listen” action menu for Google Play Music, new YouTube options, the ability to set up a unique pattern as a screen lock much like on Android, and Hangouts Glassware for sending and receiving video calls. Read more

Google Glass companion app MyGlass launches for iPhone

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Update: It’s back!

Google has just increased compatibility between its Google Glass wearable computer and iOS: the company has released its MyGlass companion app for the iPhone. The application allows users to setup their Glass, connect to WiFi networks, install Glassware apps, integrate with contacts, and mirror content from Glass to the iPhone’s display. The app is free, but it (obviously) requires you to have Google Glass hardware on hand. Update: Looks like the app has been pulled. Google offered a mention of the app on a help document discussing the XE12 update to Glass:

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Google & HP recall 145,000 overheating Chromebook 11 chargers

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Following the decision to stop sales of the HP Chromebook 11 pending an investigation into overheating chargers, today the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reports Google and HP will indeed recall the netbook’s charger. Google says it received nine reports in total of overheating chargers and melting with some cases resulting in injuries and property damage:

Google has received nine reports of chargers overheating and melting during use. There is one report of a small burn to a consumer and one report of minor property damage to a pillow from an overheating charger… This recall involves chargers that were sold with the HP Chromebook 11. The charger is black with outlet pins, measures 1¾ inches by ¾ inches, and has a 6-foot long cord with a micro-USB connector on the end. The model number of the charger is MU15-N1052-A00S, which is stamped on the face of the battery charger that has the outlet pins.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s report claims the recall will include around 145,000 units and that users can contact Google to get a free replacement. Google is yet to resume sales of the device on Google Play or through its retail partners, but its website says to “please check back soon.” More info on how to contact Google below. Read more