Verizon officially announces Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini, preorders start today

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At its event today in New York City, Verizon announced three new Motorola DROID devices coming to the carrier, which isn’t much of a surprise if you have been following the latest rumors. When Verizon sent out invites to the event earlier this month, the carrier hinted that we’d be seeing new Droid devices, and we speculated we’d be seeing the Ultra, Mini, and Droid MAXX that had floating around in recent leaks. Confirming our suspicions, Verizon just made things official and announced pricing and availability for three new devices:

DROID MINI: A compact design with an edge-to-edge 4.3-inch HD display and wireless charging capabilities.

DROID ULTRA: The thinnest 4G LTE smartphone available, measuring 7.18mm, and with a 5-inch HD display. The ULTRA will be available in Black and Red models.

DROID MAXX: Features wireless charging and a 3500mAh battery that gives users nearly two days of battery life on a single charge, making it the longest lasting 4G LTE smartphone available.

The devices pack in much thinner dimensions than their predecessors, as well as some new software features and many of the upgraded specs we’ve been hearing about leading up to today’s launch. Motorola confirmed that the MAXX will come with the 48 hour battery life that was previously rumored, while still coming in at 9 percent thinner than the last generation MAXX. As for software, we see some of the new features we’ve seen in leaks for the Moto X, including: quick access to your device’s camera by twisting your wrist twice, and the ability wake the device hands-free with the “Ok Google Now” command. Also included is the new Touchless Controls and Active Display alerts: Read more

Prototype Moto X appears in new 4-minute video ahead of release

Following a what feels like non-stop leaks for the upcoming Moto X phone from Motorola, today Tinhte.vn (via AndroidPolice) point us to the 4 minute video above showing what is likely a prototype of the device. There’s no way of telling how far along development this build of the Moto X is, but it certainly looks legit based on the previous rumors floating around. Yesterday, another leak claimed to show off a new minimalistic camera interface, while Motorola already confirmed its upcoming August 1st event in New York will officially introduce the Moto X. Read more

Leak allegedly shows new, minimalistic camera interface for Moto X

In a continued barrage of Moto X news and rumors, Android Police has just published an extensive gallery of images showing what it believes is the camera interface and app that the device will feature. The interface is noticeably different from what we saw on the Google Play Edition devices, as well as all Android 4.2 devices.

Along the left hand side of the interface is a control wheel that allows you to adjust certain settings, such as the exposure, flash, focus, camera setting (HDR, video, etc) and more. It appears that you will be able to scroll the wheel around to see even more options. I’m not exactly a fan of this interface, as it’s not always clear what settings the icons are representing. It also looks like the device will be capable of slow motion video. Read more

Samsung announces new system-on-a-chip, offers 20 percent more CPU power and double the graphics capability

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Samsung has just unveiled a new Exynos 5 Octa system-on-a-chip (via Engadget) that promises 20 percent faster CPU performance and twice the graphics processing power of its predecessors. It’s unclear when we’ll start seeing this chip in Android devices, but theoretically we could see it in phones this fall, with the Galaxy Note III seeming like a likely candidate.

The Exynos 5 Octa packs four ARM Cortex-A15 cores clocked at 1.8GHz and four Cortex-A7s in the big.LITTLE configuration. Samsung is claiming that the new 5420 variant of its Exynos chips also offers improved memory bandwidth, coming in at 13.9GBps thanks to dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz.

The new Exynos 5 Octa processor also features a memory bandwidth of 14.9 gigabytes per second paired with a dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz, enabling an industry-leading fast data processing and support for full HD Wifi display. This new processor also incorporates a variety of full HD 60 frames per second video hardware codec engines for 1080p video recording and playback.

The Exynos 5420 is currently being sampled by Samsung’s partners and will enter mass production in August.

SETI@Home style distributed computing projects running on Android devices

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You’re probably aware of the SETI@Home project, enabling the spare processing power of home computers to help process chunks of radio telescope data in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Since that initiative, other distributed computing projects for good causes have sprung up. What you may not know is that your Android smartphone or tablet can also participate …  Read more

LG sends yet another invite to August 7th event, teases rear buttons on the G2

9to5G2Invite

For the past few months, LG has been teasing the Optimus G successor like crazy. It announced in back in June that it would feature a Snapdragon 800 processor, and later scheduled an event for August 7th in New York. Since then, the company has officially announced that it will be called the LG G2, dropping the Optimus branding, and today, another invite for the same event has been sent out that teases rear facing buttons on the device.

We first saw the rear buttons in a set of leaked presentation slides, and have since seen them in very clear image and video. The device also features a glass back, much like the Nexus 4 and Optimus G. Read more

T-Mobile not yet on board to offer the Moto X, will begin shipping to other carriers in August

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Just got word from our Motoleaker with the latest in X Fon news. As of now, only Sprint, Verizon and AT&T are major carriers confirmed to carry the device in the US. T-Mobile (perhaps because it already subsidized the similar-specced Nexus 4?) hasn’t yet finalized any deals with Motorola for the device.

The X phones will begin shipping to carriers in August and should be ready for back to school.  The price is cheap enough for the carriers to subsidize the complete upfront cost, though it isn’t certain if they will or not. $300 is the current number being thrown around as the unsubsidized price (Again, like the Nexus 4). Read more

Verizon announces its fastest FiOS plan ever, still not close to Google Fiber and costs 4 times as much

As much as people wish it would change, Google Fiber is only available to a select group of cities, which means that the rest of us are stuck with other alternatives, like Verizon FiOS. Today, Verizon has announced its fastest tier of FiOS to date, but it’s still not as fast, or cheap, as Google’s offerings. Dubbed Quantum, the plan offers theoretical download speeds of 500Mbps  and 100Mbps uploads. For comparison’s sake, Google Fiber offers one gigabit both up and down.

Where Verizon’s offerings really differ, however, are in price. FiOS Quantum requires that you have a “double play” package, which starts at a whopping $309.99 a month. For a “triple play” bundle, which in includes phone service, the price jumps to $329.99. Both those packages also require a two-year contract. Google Fiber, on the other hand, costs $70 a month for just internet, and $120 for internet and TV.

The 500Mbps/100Mbps plans are available “in parts” of every existing FiOS market, with Verizon looking to bring it to more places soon.  Read more

Google (mostly YouTube) accounts for a quarter of all North American internet traffic

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According to new data from analytics firm Deepfield (via Wired), Google services now account for an incredible 25% of traffic on all internet providers in North America. Not only is that significantly more than Netflix, it’s a huge increase from the approximately 6 percent Google held just three years ago. As noted in the report, Google now measures in at more than Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter combined, but mostly due to YouTube: Read more

Samsung schedules first developer conference for Oct. 27-29 in San Francisco

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Samsung has just announced that it will be hosting its first developer conference later this year in San Francisco. While we assume that the event would include typical developer sessions for Samsung’s Android/TouchWiz devices, it looks like we’ll also be getting a look at the latest from across the company’s other product lines as well. Samsung isn’t saying much, but it is teasing “what’s next” for developers, hinting that we’ll be seeing at least some new developments with its SDK and developer tools.

The event is scheduled to take place at Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco from October 27-29. Registration isn’t yet open, and no specific details on what we’ll be seeing at the event, but you can sign up on Samsung’s website now to get notified when more information becomes available.

Two-minute SIM card hack could leave 25 percent of phones vulnerable to spying

Image: joyenjoys.com

Image: joyenjoys.com

UpdateCNN reported on 1st August that five major carriers have pushed out a patch to block the vulnerability.

A two-minute SIM card hack could enable a hacker to listen to your phone calls, send text messages from your phone number and make mobile payments from your account. The vulnerability, discovered by a German security researcher, is present in an estimated 750 million SIM cards – around one in four of all SIM cards.

Give me any phone number and there is some chance I will, a few minutes later, be able to remotely control this SIM card and even make a copy of it …  Read more