Amazon pushes a big update to its Fire Phone, but no one really cares

firephone

Amazon’s Fire Phone, announced in June, was a flop to say the least. Offering hardly anything that wasn’t already on the market, the device launched at a price of $199 on contract (and AT&T-only, to boot), but very soon became basically free (and $199 unlocked) after sales figures turned out to be absolutely depressing. But even with the device’s failures, Amazon is today pushing a relatively substantial software update to its flopped attempt at entering the smartphone market…

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Inbox for Android updated w/ enhanced support for tablets and Android Wear

Inbox for GmailGoogle, as part of its Update Wednesday regiment, has started rolling out a new version of its Inbox app on Android. Inbox is Google’s latest attempt at making it easier to manage email. The app initially launched back in October and is still accessible by invite-only. Today’s update to Inbox adds a handful of notable features:

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Android One making strides in India as Karbonn commits to long-term partnership

Karbonn and Micromax Android One

Earlier this year, Google announced a new initiative called Android One that aims to bring high quality, affordable smartphones to emerging markets like India and China. Not long after, it confirmed that it would be aggressively marketing Android One smartphones in India, a largely untapped user base of nearly 1.3 billion people, and followed through by launching the program in the country last September. Now Karbonn, an Indian smartphone maker, is further committing to a long term partnership to the Android One initiative… Read more

Report: Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad hides malicious backdoor on millions of Android devices

Coolpad

While most malware is the result of third-party attackers trying to gain access to your device or information, security research firm Palo Alto Networks has discovered that Chinese handset maker Coolpad has deliberately installed a backdoor on two dozen of its Android handset models. The so-called “CoolReaper” backdoor presents several security risks and is believed to impact over 10 million users. Read more

IP Cam Viewer update lets you monitor your security cameras from Android Wear

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IP Cam Viewer is well known in the Android community as being one of the best solutions for keeping an eye on IP cameras in live time, but the app is also known for having a really bad user interface. Today, while IP Cam Viewer’s UI is still as ugly as ever, a slew of really useful new features have been introduced, including the ability to monitor cameras on your wrist via Android Wear.

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Ruggedized Acer C740, C910 highlight new round of Chromebooks set to be announced at CES 2015

Acer-Chromebook-C720-i3

Chromebooks have taken the bottom of the market sub-$300 category of laptops by storm over the last couple of years, and they’re expected to continue with that trend going into 2015. One of the devices that will be heading the charge is the Acer C740, which got leaked last week (via OMGChrome), and it’s said that at least one variation of it will be sporting one of Intel’s fifth-generation codename Broadwell chips—expected to be launched at CES in January.

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New website enables developers to generate and export Material Design color palettes

Material Palette

Last weekend, Berlin-based developer Matt Aussaguel decided to further his Material Design exploration by creating a website for generating and exporting Material Design color palettes for Android Lollipop. Aussaguel believes that Material Palette could be the first Material Design color palette generator and a very useful tool for both developers and user interface designers alike. Read more

Google emailing select devs with invite to buy Project Tango development kit

project tango

Project Tango popped up on the Play Store last month, but it has since sit there unavailable for purchase for anyone except those who registered for the device development kit at I/O. These lucky humans got access to the “Add to cart” button shortly after it showing up on the Play Store, but until today, that seemed to be the only way to purchase the device. Now, it appears certain developers are being invited by email…

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Google News withdrawal from Spain bites traffic to newspaper sites, traffic down 10-15%

spain-external

Spanish newspaper websites have seen their web traffic drop by an average of 10-15% after a law they lobbied for drove Google News out of the country. The figures were shared with GigaOM by web analytics company Chartbeat, which tracks around 50 Spanish news sites.

The law required Google to pay a fee for every story excerpt it displayed in search results, leading to the company – which generates no income from the ad-free Google News service – to close the service in Spain. Publishers clearly realized the implications right away, making a forlorn plea for the Spanish government to somehow ‘force’ Google to re-open the service …  Read more

OnePlus celebrates 1-year anniversary w/ invitation-free sales, a $15 battery pack … and being banned in India

oneplus

OnePlus is celebrating it’s first anniversary by making its OnePlus One ‘flagship killer’ smartphone available without the invitation you’ve so far needed to order one. Both the white 16GB and black 64GB models are available.

The company is also offering 11% of all accessories, a prize draw to win a 64GB model and a competition to name its forthcoming custom ROM in which you can win both a phone and a trip to Hong Kong to meet the team.

Yesterday’s ‘Go further’ teaser, however, turned out to be rather unexciting …  Read more