Oyster “Netflix of books” subscription service now available on Android

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Oyster, a startup out of New York which lets you pay a subscription fee for access to books, has released an Android app after having been available on iOS since August of last year. It has appropriately gained a reputation of being the “Netflix of books,” allowing users to pay just $9.95 for unlimited access to over 500,000 ebooks, but also touts human curation as being one its most important features. Read more

Nike finally launches FuelBand app and compatibility for Android

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Just over a year ago, Nike announced that it would not be developing a FuelBand application and compatibility for Android devices. Now, times have changed. Nike has just announced that it is bringing Fuel to Android and it can be found on Google Play.

Here are the features:

NikeFuel Daily Goal – Create a goal, edit and view progress toward that goal.

Sessions – Track deliberate periods of movement, such as workouts and games, by starting and ending a Session on the Nike+ FuelBand SE. Review session data afterward for a focused analysis of movement. Users can calibrate and share sessions via Nikeplus.com.

Move Reminders and Win The Hour – Users can set up Move Reminders on their Nike+ FuelBand SE so they will remember to get moving for five minutes out of every hour. The Nike+ FuelBand App allows users to track their success with Win The Hour stats.

NikeFuel Leaderboards – Compare data with friends and the community by using Nike+ Friends and the NikeFuel community.

Activity and Session History – Analyze past activity data to see progress and patterns.

NikeFuel Daily Goal Recognition – When a goal is achieved, an onscreen celebration will appear.

Automatic Syncing – Bluetooth LE seamlessly syncs Nike+ FuelBand data to a compatible Android handset.

Profile and Settings – View and edit Nike+ account information and Nike+ FuelBand SE device settings on the app.

The launch of the app comes as Nike winds down development of FuelBand hardware and as its engineers get poached by other hardware makers like Google and Apple.

Google will reportedly block indie record labels from YouTube if they don’t sign up for its new subscription service

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YouTube is currently working on its own paid music streaming service that will let users watch videos and listen to tunes without ads. As intriguing as this may sound, it could come at the expense of the outlet’s relationship with several indie bands. Historically, the Google-owned video streaming platform has been a major springboard for independent record labels looking to gain mainstream exposure, but this could soon change. According to Financial Times, YouTube will start blocking videos from record labels that haven’t signed licensing deals with the company’s subscription-based service.

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OnePlus One hands-on and first impressions (Video)

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The OnePlus One is one of the most talked about devices in 2014. This budget flagship smartphone is here to take out the competition with high-end specifications that are comparable with any other top of the line device. OnePlus unveiled the device earlier this year and since then it has grabbed the attention of many consumers.

The first wave of devices are finally shipping and today we’re taking a look at the 64GB Sandstone Black model to find out what all of the hype is about. Check out our hands-on and overview video below for more information and a closer look at the OnePlus One…

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Amazon’s first smartphone will reportedly be exclusive to AT&T

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We’re one day away from Amazon’s big reveal and it’s now being rumored that the company’s new smartphone will be exclusive to AT&T, according The Wall Street Journal. If true, this would nurture an existing relationship between the two companies, with Ma Bell currently offering wireless services for Amazon’s Kindle tablets. As for non-AT&T customers interested in the online retailer’s first smartphone, it’s unclear if Amazon will offer an unlocked version of its new handset, or the device will truly be exclusive to America’s second largest wireless carrier.

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Google+ premium features expanding to all Google Apps customers

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Google recently expanded its Apps services for enterprise users by making its premium communication features available to everyone. Apps customers can now broadcast a 15 person Hangout chat session with HD video quality, a perk previously unavailable to standard subscribers. Furthermore, these new premium features introduce enhanced privacy controls that let admins restrict a Google+ post’s visibility, along with the option to hide employee profiles from external searches.

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Nest Protect goes back on sale for $99 as company touts safety data

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Update: The Nest Protect is also now available on the Google Play Store for the same $99 prices. Previously, the Nest Thermostat was the only Nest device available from Google.

Earlier this year, 440,000 Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors were recalled following the discovery of a critical safety flaw that could accidentally deactive the system. Today, Nest has put the Protect back on sale at a reduced price of $99—previously $129. However, the “wave” feature that allowed the user to disable the alarm with a hand gesture has been removed.

In the blog post announcing the return of the Protect, the company boasted some of its safety statistics and recounted the story of one Nest Protect user who was alerted to the presence of carbon monoxide in his home by the device, which saved his life. Nest’s Doug Sweeny writes:

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Parallels Access lands on Android, lets you pin Windows/Mac apps on home screen

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After launching on the iPad nearly a year ago, Parallels is today launching Parallels Access on Android tablets and smartphones running version 4.0 or newer. Parallels Access is a remote desktop client that allows you to access your Mac or PC via the touchscreen of your Android device. The software is also launching today on the iPhone and bringing new enhancements to the iPad.

In our review of the iPad version last year, we noted how blown away we were with the speed and performance of Parallels Access. The software makes accessing and using a computer via the iPad’s touchscreen a breeze, and it provides a huge convenience factor for those times when you need to access something on your home computer but do not have the machine with you.

The application is far and above other remote desktop client applications because of its integration with Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, its speed, and its overall reliability. Parallels Access utilizes gestures, Android’s native keyboard with editing, “SmartMagnification” and “SmartTap” to make the computer feel responsive and alive on your Android device. The application allows you to use your Mac swiftly and connects over the internet…

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Microsoft’s private Android patents revealed by the Chinese government

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For the past few years, Microsoft has been licensing several of its patents with Android device makers. These agreements reportedly generate around $1 to $2 billion in revenue for the company. The software maker estimates that it has active licensing deals that cover around 70 percent of the Android devices in the US. So far, the company has never outlined what patents are being infringed on by Android, but a recent investigation by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has uncovered a stockpile of patents and filings held by Microsoft while reviewing the company’s acquisition of Nokia.

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Google Glass to have an active role in upcoming Hunger Games-inspired fan flick ‘Mockingjay: Burn’

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It appears that Google Glass is actually coming to the movies relatively soon, despite news that the device has been banned in one of the country’s well-known movie theater chains. In this case, the Hunger Games craze continues between movie releases with a fan-made film called “Mockingjay: Burn”, but interestingly, it could very well be one of the first Hollywood-produced films to include footage both of and from Google’s head-mounted computer. Read more

Nuance has reportedly held acquisition talks with Samsung

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According to a new report out of the Wall Street Jounral, speech and dictation service Nuance Communications has held acquisition talks with Samsung and has been exploring the possibility of a sale. It is widely speculated that the Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is powered by Nuance in the back-end. Samsung started partnering with Nuance late in 2013 for the voice recognition functionalities on its Galaxy Gear smart watch and Galaxy Note 3 smartphone.

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