Samsung hints at upcoming iris detection features, will bring biometric sensors to low-end devices

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Samsung is looking to bring biometric sensors including fingerprint sensors and beyond to not just future flagship models but also its low-end and entry-level smartphones as well. The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung’s senior vice president Rhee In-jong confirmed that biometric sensors for security features— such as the fingerprint scanner already included in Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S5— will also soon come to the company’s less expensive devices. In addition, he hinted that iris detection features could be the next sensor technology it taps into for high-end devices: Read more

Alleged Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime struts its stuff in front of the camera (video)

GS5-Prime

Chang Dong-hoon may be out as Samsung’s head of mobile design, but his influence may still be on the company for quite a while. Pictured above is an alleged photo of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime, an upgrade to the South Korean electronics maker’s Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone. These images come from the folks at PhoneArena who claim the handset touts a QHD display, a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM and Android 4.4.3 KitKat all wrapped up an aluminum chassis.

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YouTube reportedly reaches deal to acquire Twitch game streaming platform for $1 billion

Twitch_Logo

Update: The Wall Street Journal reports the talks are at an early stage and a deal is not yet imminent.

Variety reports that Google has reached a deal to acquire the video game streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion. The move could provide YouTube with the resources to bolster its current live streaming platform, which doesn’t seem to be all that popular among its users. The entire amount will be offered in cash, according to the report.

Twitch has the distinct benefit of being the only live streaming platform built directly into both Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 consoles. A YouTube buyout would essentially bring all of those next-gen streaming customers to YouTube’s platform, along with the countless users already streaming PC games.

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Android Silver reportedly launching in February 2015, will replace Nexus program

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We first heard about Google’s new “Android Silver” program back in April. The service will reportedly be centered around the idea of providing support to customers after they purchase their Android device, including things like 24/7 live support and a new “Never Lost” feature, reminiscent of the iOS Find my iPhone feature. A later report also detailed that Google would partner with Android device manufacturers for the service, perhaps as early as early 2015.

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Apple and Google agree to settle patent litigation, but will not cross license

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

According to a court filing discovered by Reuters, Apple and Google’s Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle their ongoing smartphone patent litigation battle against each other. In a statement, the two companies said that this agreement does not include the ability cross license each other’s patents, but rather the promise to “work together in some areas of patent reform.”

The two tech giants have been battling it out over various patents for several years now, both directly and indirectly. It’s important to note, however, that this agreement is solely between Apple, Google, and its Motorola Mobility unit. This does not apply to any lawsuits between Android device manufacturers, such as Samsung and HTC, and Apple. Although theoretically, it would apply to patents owned by Google that device manufacturers are licensing.

A verdict was reached in the latest Apple v Samsung battle just a few weeks ago, with Apple being ruled as the victor, albeit small. The court ruled that Samsung owed Apple $119 million, which is far less than the $2 billion it was seeking.

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China’s search engine giant Baidu hires Googler to head new Silicon Valley facility

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We’ve covered the Chinese search engine giant Baidu before, commonly referred to as “China’s Google”, the search engine is one of the leading sites in web traffic in the country. Looking to further support its title as “China’s Google”, Baidu today made a significant hire. First reported by Technology Review, Baidu has hired Andrew Ng to oversee a new artificial intelligence research lab it is opening in Silicon Valley.

Andrew Ng is a Stanford professor who is most well known for his position at Google, where he was a key component in the company’s “deep learning” field. Ng also cofounded the online education company Coursera.

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Google buys visual translation app “Word Lens” for Translate

Quest Visual announced today it has been acquired by Google and will be joining the Translate team:

With Word Lens, we’ve seen the beginnings of what’s possible when we harness the power of mobile devices to “see the world in your language.”

By joining Google, we can incorporate Quest Visual’s technology into Google Translate’s broad language coverage and translation capabilities in the future.

As a thank you to everybody who supported us on our journey, we’ve made both the app and the language packs free to download for a limited time while we transition to Google.

We’re looking forward to continuing our work at Google – stay tuned!

The app, which debuted in 2010, features versions available on both Android and iOS (it was even featured in Apple’s latest ad) and has a Google Glass version for translating languages on the fly. It’s ability to translate text in real life scenarios using the smartphone camera and behind-the-scenes intelligence is quite sophisticated so it’s a good fit for Google’s portfolio. Read more

Google I/O schedule now live

Google I:O Schedule

Google’s annual I/O conference is a little over a month away and today the company has shed a little light on this year’s show by releasing its schedule. The overall theme of the event appears to be “design, develop and distribute,” so segments will most likely focus on these talking points. Things are set to start on June 25th at Moscone West in San Francisco. The first day of the show will include presentations about making your cloud apps faster, cross-platform design, an introduction to Polymer and an interactive Android fireside chat.

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Samsung Galaxy S5 Google Play edition may have crept through Bluetooth certification

 

Powered-by-Android-Galaxy-S5

An unannounced Samsung device listed as SM-G900FG recently cleared the Bluetooth SIG’s certification, so what might it be? The current model of the Galaxy S5 carries the SM-G900F, which suggests that this mystery gadget could be the Google Play edition of the GS5. Adding support to this theory, last year’s Galaxy S4 was listed as GT-I9505, with it’s Google Play counterpart being referred to as GT-I9505G. So that “G” at the end of this foreign device really stands out.

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Yahoo Mail for Android updated w/ integrated news, sports, weather, Flickr, & search

After releasing similar features for its iOS app, Yahoo today updated its Yahoo Mail for Android app with number of its other services like news and weather integrated into the experience. That includes new one tap access to news, weather, sports, stocks and the ability to search the web and Flickr directly from within the Yahoo Mail app.

Rather than the new tab UI it introduced on iOS, Android users will be able to swipe between the various new features: Read more