HTC’s lead designer announces his departure after less than a year

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In 2008, HTC acquired design firm One & Co to help bolster its smartphone team. Slowly but surely, however, the team has disintegrated to the point that as of tonight, only one of the design team members remains. HTC’s VP of Industrial Design, Jonah Becker, announced on Twitter tonight that he is leaving the company. Becker was named vice president less than a year ago.

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Nexus Player now available in the UK, new accessories land in Google Store

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Amazon accidentally revealed earlier this week that this would be happening today, but we now have proof that the slip was legit: the Nexus Player has now launched on the Google Store in the UK for £79. A couple of new Android Wear accessories have also landed in the store today though, including a Sony SmartWatch 3 watch band and a standalone charger for the Asus ZenWatch.

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Sprint announces HTC One M9 and Galaxy S6 preorders begin March 27

T-Mobile and AT&T both announced today that preorders for the HTC One M9 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 will begin tomorrow, and now Sprint has come out to do the same. It seems as if each carrier is using a different tactic to get you to go with their service (what’s new?), and Sprint’s method will be to offer a lease of the Samsung Galaxy S6 for completely free for those willing to sign up for the Sprint Unlimited Plus plan. Read more

T-Mobile offering Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge for presale, free 1-year Netflix subscription (Update: AT&T also)

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Update: AT&T has now shared their Galaxy S6 preorder details too.

T-Mobile and AT&T are both offering an HTC One M9 presale, but it looks like the un-carrier is also going to offer a similar promotion for Samsung’s Galaxy S6. Starting Friday, March 27 at 7 a.m. PDT you’ll be able to order Samsung’s newest flagship from T-Mobile, and the company says it will be shipping presale orders sometime before the device’s official April 10th launch date.

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HTC One M9 goes on sale tonight unsubsidized but should you buy it?

The HTC One M9 goes on sale tonight in the US. We’d love to tell you all about it, but it is currently under embargo and Dom will have an amazing video review when the embargo is eventually over. Sure, lots of publications got to review the almost identical international version, and to sum up those reviews, it isn’t a huge upgrade from the M8. Think tweaked look, more megapixels in the camera, and a slightly toned down Sense overlay.

The device that goes on sale tonight is the GSM version, which is similar to the one that will be sold on AT&T and T-Mobile in the US. It won’t be subsidized by the carriers and will cost $650.

If we were allowed to tell you about it, we’d probably tell you that the heat issues you’ve seen are unfounded. From pictures (above), you can tell it looks very nice in both the popular Gunmetal and Gold/Silver models. It feels less slippery in the hand and is very subtly smaller and lighter than its M8 predecessor (or so we’ve heard).

In general I do recommend buying a phone outright and getting yourself on an inexpensive pre-paid plan. If your carrier starts messing with you, you can easily go to another carrier either with number portability or, Google Voice/Hangouts (my choice).

Even with that in mind, though, should you buy this phone at full price?  Read more

Invites for April 8 HTC event go out to Chinese media, probably for ‘HTC One M9+’ announcement

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Invites for an HTC event taking place in Beijing on April 8th, 2015 have reportedly been sent out to the Chinese media (via Nowwhereelse.fr). As you can see, the device shown on the image above is a bit different than the HTC One M9—it has a dual-camera set up and a circular main camera, rather than the single, rectangular shooter on the back of the new flagship. The render does look similar to the regular One M9 in some ways though, showing what looks to be the same dual-tone finish. In all likelihood, this is the rumored HTC One M9+.

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More leaked images of HTC One E9 appear, show a glossy backside

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Some images of the HTC One E9 appeared earlier this month thanks to a leak via Chinese regulators, showing a phone that sports a super-big camera on its rear and a 5.5-inch screen on its front. Hardware wise, Upleaks said earlier this month that the device will likely pack a 64-bit MediaTek processor, 32 GB of flash storage, 3 GB of RAM, a 20-megapixel main camera, and a couple different front shooter variants (either 13-megapixel or 4-megapixel “UltraPixel”). On the software side, it’s almost surely going to ship with Sense 7.0 (which launched alongside the HTC One M9).

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Lasting impact: 5 groups that are still doing important things with Google Glass

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The Google Glass Explorer program ended somewhat abruptly in January, and this didn’t come as much surprise to the Glass-bashing media nor those who tried the device for their own consumer use. In these situations, where Glass was a privacy nightmare and an underpowered gadget, the head-mounted wearable display would appear to be a failed piece of consumer technology (and Google’s Astro Teller believes that allowing this mindset to spread was one of the project’s biggest failures).

And it’s true. The first-generation of Google Glass might not really bring much value to the daily lives of most people, and it’s definitely not close to being socially acceptable quite yet. But many companies and organizations that adopted the experimental $1,500 spectacles for specific use cases weren’t so quick to dismiss the device. In fact, there are many groups—even now, after the Explorer program has ended—who are still doing some exciting things with it.

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Google rolling out new on-body detection security feature to Android 5.0+ devices

Google appears to have started rolling out a new device security feature called on-body detection. Basically, this feature uses your device’s accelerometer to figure out if your phone is in your hand or in your pocket. If the feature detects that your phone is not in one of those two locations, it will automatically lock. Ideally, this means that if you forget your phone or leave it sitting on a table somewhere, it will lock and prevent nefarious thieves from gaining access (via Android Police).

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Magic Leap shows off augmented reality concept including futuristic Gmail experience (Video)

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Google invested $542 million in virtual reality startup Magic Leap last year, and the group is reportedly working on putting together an augmented reality headset capable of displaying extremely realistic images directly onto the user’s retina. Now, Magic Leap has shared a video (which they were planning on sharing during a TED talk, but were unable to), and it gives us a little glimpse of what the group has been working on… Read more