Evernote updates to version 5.0, brings camera scanner and Shortcuts to an improved UI

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It’s been nearly four months since Evernote was updated to version 5.0 on iOS, and today Android will reap in the benefits of the update. Evernote 5.0 for Android brings a bunch of new productivity and utility features to the popular note-taking app.

One of the niftiest features of the update includes something new from Evernote called ‘Page Camera’. Page Camera allows the user to take a picture of a written (or typed) paper document and save the photo to Evernote. The camera automatically detects the text and enhances it to make reading it on a device easier. Another feature, which was released on OS X in January, titled ‘Shortcuts’, allows the user to access notes faster and easier than before. Finally, if you use Evernote to save pictures that you take, then ‘Multi-Shot Camera’ may be your new favorite feature. The camera update allows users to take multiple photos and save them in bulk, rather than the old method of taking shots individually.

The update is available today via the Play Store, or you can download Evernote right here.

Report: Motorola X to launch in Nov. with 4.8″ sapphire glass display, Snapdragon 800, 4000mAh battery

motorola-officeWe have been hearing a lot about the much rumored Motorola X phone. Motorola’s new advisor Guy Kawasaki has been hinting at some big customization options for upcoming Motorola devices, and previously Google CEO Larry Page said Motorola was working on some advanced new features for future smartphones. Some sketchy reports of specs first leaked earlier this month, but a new report today would seem to make sense given Page’s previous comments.

While they don’t exactly match the rumored specs from earlier this month, PhoneArena is reporting a tipster has provided some information on specs for the Motorola X device. Most notable is the mention of a 4.8-inch made of sapphire glass and a 4,000mAh battery, two things that would seem to line up with Page’s comments related to better batteries and impact-resistant designs.

Other specs in the report include corners “made with rubber bumpers”, a carbon fiber back case, and a quad-core 2Ghz Quallcomm Snapdragon 800. The rubber bumpers could also be related to Page’s comments about devices that are more resistant to impact. PhoneArena is also claiming that the device will be water resistant and launch in November in time for the holiday shopping season.

No word on potential hardware customization options as speculated by many following Kawasaki’s comments. Read more

FAA expected to allow tablet and laptop use during take-off & landing this year

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The Federal Aviation Administration’s investigation into whether airline passengers can be allowed to use tablets, eBook readers and laptops throughout a flight is apparently looking hopeful, as The New York Times cited an insider saying approval would likely be granted this year.

According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones.

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HTC attempts turnaround after missing the boat on HTC One launch

OB-WU880_HTCBen_D_20130325053504After failing to get its new HTC One phone into the stores before the Samsung Galaxy 4, and seeing its sales fall 41 percent last year, HTC has told the Wall Street Journal that it will make big changes to its marketing approach.

HTC’s new chief marketing officer Benjamin Ho said the company would withdraw the ‘Quietly Brilliant’ tagline that was symptomatic of its whole approach to marketing: low-key, product-focused, and refraining from head-to-head challenges to its competitors.

The first evidence of this switch in strategy was seen in its response to Samsung’s launch of the Galaxy S4. HTC tweeted that it was #theNextBigFlop and did demos of the HTC One to journalists queuing to attend Samsung’s press launch … Read more

Mini Galaxy S IV specs and photos leak

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Samsung is not very good at keeping secrets it seems, as a new leak of yet another device has slipped into the wild. The Samsung Galaxy S IV hasn’t even launched yet, but its Mini counterpart is already prepared and presumably ready for an imminent launch.

The pictures, found by SamMobile, show the device to look just like a shrunken down version of its bigger brother, with the exception of some lower quality components. You will not find an 8-core Exynos processor inside the Mini but rather a dual-core 1.6GHz. Of course, the main difference between the S IV and the Mini is the screen size. You’ll find a 4.3-inch inch display at 256PPI on the Mini—much smaller than the 5-inch inch 1080P at 443PPI found on the S4.

The Mini is expected to launch sometime in June at an unspecified price point. It’s also unknown what carriers it’ll be available on or if it’ll launch in the United States at all.

A full picture gallery courtesy SanMobile is available below.

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Google hosts Indonesian street art with Chrome Open Spaces, invites archipelago artists to submit work via custom Chrome app (Video)

Google is really into art, as evident by the company’s most recent update to the Google Art Project, and now it is hosting Indonesian art via the Chrome Open Spaces project.

The Google Chrome blog has the story:

From old masters like Basuki to contemporary street artists like Darbotz, Indonesia has a long and rich history of art. The rapidly growing population and economy has led to densified urban spaces,crazy traffic and the rise of Indonesian street art. The Chrome Open Spaces project used the web to bring all these elements together.

Google said the project showcases creativity blended with modern web technologies, such as HTML5, and it even allows archipelago artists to submit drawings through a custom-designed Chrome app that enables the creation of online ‘street art’ with digital values.

“Over 12,000 drawings were submitted and 11,000 votes were cast,” Google explained. “From these virtual paintings, nine winners were chosen to have their creations showcased on buildings and walls across Jakarta and Bandung.”

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HTC delays One phone until late April, now will hit at the same time as the Galaxy S4

Very bad news for HTC on the typical bad news Friday PR release timing:

“HTC has seen unprecedented demand for and interest in the new HTC One, and the care taken to design and build it is evidenced in early reviews. The new HTC One will roll out in the UK, Germany and Taiwan next week and across Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific before the end of April. We appreciate our customers’ patience, and believe that once they have the phone in their hands they will agree that it has been worth the wait.”

This might be a knockout blow for HTC. They aren’t going to be at volume until when the S4 hits stores, meaning they are giving up their first mover advantage.

Any advantage HTC has over the Galaxy S4 in hardware will likely be ceded by the lower-brand recognition, HTC Sense overlay or the perceived Ultra (low) Pixel camera.

Report claims Google’s Android team developing smart watch too

Im Watch (Android wristwatch 001)Update: The Korea Times reports that LG too is developing a smart watch and even testing products similar to Google Glass:

A source familiar with the matter told The Korea Times Friday that the Yeouido-based firm’s development of the next-generation watch, along with an innovative smart product similar to Internet giant Google’s Glass, was part of its long-term strategy to keep its competitiveness in the volatile information technology (IT) industry

While Apple and even Samsung have been at the heart of the rumors that new smart watch devices could be the products to keep an eye out for in 2013, Google too might try its hand at bringing a wearable computer in wristwatch form. According to a new report from The Financial Times, citing “a person briefed on the project,” Google’s Android unit is working on a smart watch platform of its own:

Google’s latest venture into wearable technology was more an attention-seeking gimmick than a serious new venture. But with the search giant ploughing significant resources into Google Glass, which embeds a screen, camera, microphone and other sensors into a pair of futuristic spectacles, it’s another indication that Google is serious about moving from the digital to the physical.

While Glass is being created in its X Lab, home to experimental “moonshot” projects such as the self-driving car, Google’s smart watch is being developed by its Android unit, according to a person briefed on the project

The fact that the device is reportedly being developed by Google’s Android unit, and not its experimental X Labs like Google Glass, could be an indication that Google plans to bring its watch product to the masses sooner rather than later. FT’s source also confirmed that the project is separate from the recently announced smart watch project from Samsung that is rumored to run a new operating system called AltiusOS and not Android.

Bloomberg reported in February that Apple had around 100 product designers working on its smart watch, and many analysts expected the product to be released by Apple as early as this year. Today’s report from FT doesn’t provide many details on what exactly Google has planned, but it’s a sign that Google isn’t betting on Glass as the be-all and end-all of wearable platforms. The report did note that Google is developing its smart watch “to act as an extension to the smartphones using” Android.

Google Babble screenshots leaked or more likely a mockup?

Update, March 26: After receiving the screenshots below that allegedly show Google’s rumored Babble messaging service, another anonymous tipster has emailed today sharing different screenshots. The tipster disputes the authenticity of the initial screenshots we posted below, adding that the rumored Google messaging service will not be dubbed “Babble”. The new screenshots (above) do seem to fit in with Google’s recent redesign of its mobile apps more so than the first set of images.

An anonymous tipster sent in these screenshots that appear to be the rumored Google Babble or a nice mockup:

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We have no way to know if these are real, but the font looks a bit block-y and not Roboto enough and the quote “JC has started a Voting” is suspicious.

The service is rumored to combine all of Google’s messaging platforms into one and compete better with Apple’s iMessage and BlackBerry Messenger. Chatting on Google services now includes Google Voice, Google Talk, Google Hangouts, and others.

The rumors also point to a May release at Google I/O.

Me personally? I’d have given this a less than 5-10% chance of being legit. Read more

Sergey Brin’s Ted Talk on Google Glass (Video)

Google’s Sergey Brin gave a Ted Talk late last month and it was summarized thusly:

“This act of looking down at my phone is one of the reasons behind Glass. We questioned whether you should be walking around looking down. That was the vision behind Glass and that’s why we created this form factor. (…) When we made this we thought, ‘Can we make something that frees your hands and frees your eyes.’ That’s why we put the display up high and out of your line of sight so you can make eye contact with people. The sound conducts through the bones in your cranium to free up your ears. If you want to hear it better you cover up your ears, which is surprising.  Our original vision at Google was eventually to get rid of the search query and you’d just get the information you need when you need it. Fifteen years later this is first form factor that delivers on that vision. The project has lasted just over 2 years. We’ve learned  lot.”

Via BI/Hacker News Read more

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt admits he still hasn’t kicked the Crack/Blackberry habit

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Even though he is the Chairman of Google (the company behind Android in case you are from Neptune), Eric Schmidt told The Guardian that he still uses a BlackBerry phone. Schmidt pointed to the physical keyboard of many BlackBerry phones as the reason for his continued usage of the platform. In comparison, most Android smartphones include touch-screen keyboards. The Android phones with keyboards are also stuck on dated generations of the Android operating system.

Below is a slideshow of Schmidt and his BlackBerry throughout the last few years: