New Google+ Photos app now available for Chromebook Pixel, coming soon to other Chrome OS devices

single-album

Google on Tuesday released a new Google+ Photos app for the Chromebook Pixel. The company originally demoed the app when the Pixel was announced, but is just now releasing it to the public. The app lets you log in with your Goolge+ account and backup any photos on your Chromebook to the service.

For example, if you plug-in an external SD card the app will automatically back the pictures up to the Google+ servers. You can choose to upload them in either full resolution or Google’s default 2048 pixel wide format, though there’s a cap when it comes to uploading at full resolution. When offline, you have the ability to view your most recently uploaded photos, as well as anything on your external storage device. All your images that are uploaded are private at first, but you have the ability to share them with the public or individual people, as well. Read more

Verizon Galaxy S4 Developer Edition now available for $649

GS4_Verizon_Black_400x400_large1_HERO

Following the original announcement of the Galaxy S4, Samsung stated that a developer edition variant would come soon after launch for both AT&T and Verizon, and it looks like one of those models is finally here. Samsung has quietly added the Black Mist Galaxy S4 Developer Edition for Verizon to its website. The device will run you a steep $649 and is exactly the same as the normal Verizon Galaxy S4 except for the fact that it comes with the ability to unlock the bootloader.

The Developer Edition is good for people who like to quickly hack and mod their devices, which is not easy with Verizon’s strict bootloader policies. Keep in mind that the Google Edition Galaxy S4 launches on June 26th and will also be hack-friendly, so it might be a better option for those on a GSM network and prefer stock Android. Read more

Facebook phone experiment over as AT&T clears stock and nobody else steps forward

htc-first-colors

The final nail in the coffin of the Facebook phone seems to have been hammered into place as AT&T has sold the last of it’s HTC First handsets and has no plans to purchase any more, reports CNET.

AT&T had earlier denied that any plans had been made to discontinue the handset, but there had seemed little doubt about the handset’s future after the carrier dropped the price from $99 to 99 cents. Even Facebook itself went as far as telling users that the  front-end could be switched off … Read more

BlackBerry launches ‘Secure Work Space’ feature for iOS & Android enterprise users

BlackBerry already started providing enterprise management tools for iOS and Android devices through its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 suite, but today it launched a new ‘Secure Work Space’ feature that will bring even better multi-platform device management and security to companies allowing iOS and Android devices in the workplace. The idea is to separate work apps and the user’s personal data:

Secure Work Space is a new containerization, application-wrapping and secure connectivity option that delivers a higher level of control and security to iOS and Android devices, all managed through the single BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 administration console… On a personal iOS or Android device, users with Secure Work Space get integrated email (with attachment viewing), calendar and contacts for productivity, as well as secure browser access to intranets and document editing capabilities with BlackBerry’s Documents To Go™. With corporate data separated and controlled within the Secure Work Space container, these standard apps can be deployed with confidence to any user, together with other apps chosen by the company.

BlackBerry noted that it is working with partner Box for the cloud aspect of the new service, while users interested in taking advantage will have to purchase a $99 per year, per device license to access the new Secure Work Space feature through Blackberry Enterprise Service 10. The big benefit, according to BlackBerry, is that users “no longer need to configure and manage expensive VPN infrastructures to provide mobile device access to data and apps that reside behind their corporate firewalls.”

A free trial is available here.

Carbon-fiber phones and tablets on the horizon from Samsung?

cf

A new joint venture between Samsung and carbon fiber specialist SGL Group suggests that the company may be looking at the hi-tech material as an alternative to its traditional plastic handsets and tablets.

The cooperation is expected to provide a stable long-term supply of carbon fiber materials for Samsung and promote its use in various Samsung products and applications such as consumer electronics, medical devices and engineering applications. Carbon fiber materials from SGL Group will be preferred by the Joint Venture …  Read more

Sony officially announces 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra

0_Xperia_Z_Ultra_Black_Campaign

After several months of leaks and rumors, Sony has finally confirmed the Xperia Z Ultra at an event in Beijing. The device is packing a whopping 6.4-inch Full HD display with Sony’s Reality sensor, which the company says provides richer and wider colors. Sony says the device carries support for a stylus or any sort of pencil, which is an interesting feature. The company touts that it is the “world’s slimmest and largest full HD smartphone,” though coming in at 6.5mm and 212 grams, it’s not quite as thin as the 6.18mm Huawei Ascend P6  we saw last week.

Xperia Z Ultra features a 6.4” touchscreen Full HD display with Sony’s unique TRILUMINOS® Display for mobile, creating a wider palette of rich natural colours thanks to Sony’s BRAVIA TV expertise. The breakthrough technology includes X-Reality™ for mobile – Sony’s intelligent super resolution display technology which analyzes each image and reproduces lacking pixels to optimize quality for the sharpest videos. It analyses elements depending on the scene and adjusts them based on pattern, outline and colour composition. It also strengthens subtle patterns and accurately portrays their detailed feel, as well as reinforcing bold outlines. The large Full HD display has been optimised to experience at least 60%*** more of the screen than most other smartphones.

Read more

OUYA $99 Android games console goes on general sale

ouya

The $99 OUYA Android games console that raised an incredible $8.5m on Kickstarter, and which started shipping to backers in March, is now available on general sale. Best of all, if you missed out on it on Kickstarter, it will still only cost you $99 from Amazon and other retaillers.

The OUYA is pretty much a Nexus 7 without the screen: a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage with a USB port that allows both USB keys and external hard drives to be connected. It comes with a wireless controller with removable faceplates. Hook it up to your TV and the box outputs at full 1080p HD …  Read more

Sony releases photos & specs for its new Android smartwatch

More details on the smartwatch Sony was teasing last week have now been released, though it isn’t expected to be launched until September. No pricing is yet known.

As with the company’s previous watch, it’s designed to act as an accessory to an Android phone. Sony still isn’t telling us everything, but we do now have a name (the obvious if not overly imaginative Sony SmartWatch 2), photos and specs below the break …  Read more

Google now piloting Google Play for Education across US, accepting app submissions

Back in May, Google announced during its I/O keynote even that it would be opening a new service called Google Play for Education that allows schools to easier find and distribute Google Play content to Android devices in an education environment. The new education only Google Play store is coming this fall, but today Google announced that developers can now submit their apps for inclusion in the store:

Starting today, you can use the Google Play Developer Console to mark your apps for inclusion in Google Play for Education, which is actively being piloted in schools across the country. Marking your app identifies it as targeted for the US K-12 educational market and queues it for evaluation by a third-party network of educators. These educators perform a first-pass qualification of apps, assigning the appropriate subject, grade, and common core standards metadata, while evaluating whether they meet the Google Play for Education criteria for classroom use.

Developers that do so now will have the opportunity to get in the store during the pilot program already taking place with select schools in the US: Read more

HP unveils the Slate 21 AIO, a 21.5-inch Android tablet for $400

At an event in Beijing, HP on Monday announced its latest foray into the tablet market in the Slate 21 AIO. The device packs a 21.5-inch display with a full HD resolution, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, and a Tegra 4 processor. Yes, you read that correctly, a 21.5-inch display. The tablet looks to be meant for desktop use (obviously), as the press images show it with a keyboard and mouse. The display also has a built-in kickstand that allows it to be lowered to what appears to be a 30 degree angle or kept at an upright angle.

HP touts that it will make the process of accessing content through the cloud easier and will also feature the ability to live stream TV thanks to access to Google services, such as the Play Store.

“Customers are looking for technology that simplifies their lives while keeping them connected to the entertainment they enjoy and the content they need,” said Jun Kim, vice president and general manager, PC Displays and Accessories, HP. “The HP Slate21 allows families to easily access content through the cloud and enjoy it together on a large, interactive screen.”

The Slate 21 AIO features an HP TrueVision HD webcam and Wireless Direct capabilities, which allow users to share content between devices. It also has built DTS Sound technology, which will supposedly supply “concert-like” sound quality.

HP says the device will be available this September in the United States for $399.

Read more

Google retires old Groups interface, makes new version available to everyone

googlegroups

In a post on the official Gmail blog, Google has announced that the new Google Groups interface is now available to everyone and it is retiring the old look effective today. The new design is totally different than before and with the new look comes a host of new features. For example, you can now create an inbox that lets you share and track responsibilities with other team members.

One of the recently improved features is the ability to create an inbox that allows you to collaboratively share, distribute and track responsibilities with others. Imagine you and a few friends are organizing an event for your school and want a single email address to coordinate with vendors, parents, and volunteers. Members of the group can work together to manage email, assign items to each other, and mark items resolved. This can be a great feature for teams seeking a really simple way to get things done without sharing passwords or losing track.

The experience for moderating a Google Group has also gotten much better and faster. Moderators can now browse and manage their group on the go via the new mobile site design. They can also now use canned responses to make the moderating process even quicker.  Read more

Samsung to exit desktop computer business, signaling the end of Chromeboxes?

chromebox_02

Update: Samsung has denied the claim, quoted in TNW as saying:

The rumor that Samsung is withdrawing from the PC desktop business is groundless. Samsung will continue to offer diverse PC products according to consumer and market needs.

 

Samsung has been the sole manufacture producing Chromeboxes over the last couple of years, but according to a new report from the Korea Times, the company will soon close its traditional desktop business. The report claims that Samsung has decided to close its unprofitable desktop PC business to focus on tablets, all-in-ones, and hybrid laptops. The company says that “demand for conventional desktop PCs is going down,” and that it would like to dedicate its resources “to popular connected and portable devices.”

Samsung says that even those in research and technology departments are being pressured to switch to tablets and convertible laptops.

“Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung’s current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants,” said a Samsung official.

Read more