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Scott Buscemi

September 11, 2013

Haswell Chromebooks announced, promises 2x battery life

At Intel’s Developer Forum today, Google and Intel announced three new Chrome OS devices running on the latest Haswell processors. On the Google Chrome blog, Google says the new processors “sip less power to improve battery life by more than 2X over previous generations, while offering increased performance.”

Sadly, no prices or dates were announced for these devices, but these will probably be hitting the shelves shortly to join the touch-screen Pixel.

Via The Verge

 

September 5, 2013

Galaxy Beam 2 with brighter, higher resolution Pico projector coming soon?

Today at IFA 2013, Texas Instruments DLP Products brought out a new version of its tiny Pico projector chipset that boasts “100% higher brightness on a frame-by-frame basis while consuming 50% less power.” It also doubles the resolution as compared to the previous version.

Samsung’s Galaxy Beam is probably the most well-known device taking advantage of this chipset, and we’ve heard that TI’s better version can be making its way to the Galaxy Beam 2 in the coming months.

Here’s the full press release from TI DLP Products:

September 4, 2013

At UNPACKED 2013 Episode 2, Samsung just announced the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the “next evolution” of Galaxy. The device has an on-board 1.9 megapixel camera that can take pictures and video memos, a pedometer feature, and security measures that allow you to require the Gear to be nearby when you want to unlock your Samsung phone. More highlights:

  • Built-in speaker and microphone for phone conversations
  • Super AMOLED 320×320 touch screen
  • 4GB storage
  • 512MB RAM
  • Uses Bluetooth 4.0

The Galaxy Gear will launch globally September 25th for $299 along with the Galaxy Note devices. It looks like leaked press images that we reported on earlier. expand full story

Jordan’s got the details on the liveblog, but here’s the video of the new Sony Xperia Z1. It’ll be launching globally this month, but no pricing was announced during today’s keynote. The phone is listed as “Coming Soon” on Sony’s website.

SAMSUNG CSC

Official press release and photos from Sony:

expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

September 3, 2013

Details and video of Sony’s upcoming QX lens-shaped camera leaked: two versions coming later this month

Details of the rumored smartphone-compatible, Carl Zeiss lens-weilding camera attachment from Sony, set to be announced tomorrow, have been leaked by sonyalpharumors. The promotional video above shows the features of the QX100/QX10 “lens-style cameras”.

For devices with NFC, a simple tap hooks up the camera/lens and makes it ready to share or save files right on the spot:

For added convenience, the app can be activated using NFC one-touch with compatible devices. Once pictures are taken, they are saved directly on both the phone and the camera*, and can be shared instantly via social media or other common mobile applications.

The device will take advantage of the PlayMemories Mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. The device will come with a piece to attach to a phone, however, it is also detachable as seen in the video.

The QX100 and QX10 will be available some time later this month for $500 and $250, respectively.

(Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com)

KIT KAT posts Android KitKat 4.4 (parody?) video, “The future of confectionary”

“A beautifully immersive and multi-sensory experience”

“When we set out to create confectionary perfectionary by designing the perfect chocolate bar, we nailed it the first time.”

The above video was posted to KIT KAT’s YouTube channel and parodies the regular tech product videos by talking about the features of a KitKat® in very geeky ways. Nothing is revealed about the upcoming Android operating system Android 4.4 KitKat, but it seems the partnership / promotion platform between KIT KAT and Google is strong.

August 27, 2013

Galaxy Gear’s upcoming announcement confirmed by Samsung exec

Samsung’s Lee Young-hee spoke with Korea Times and confirmed the rumored Galaxy Gear smartwatch will be announced at the upcoming September 4th event. The Verge posted some interesting quotes and insight:

The device will be based on Android and feature a “non-flexible” display. Lee calls the Galaxy Gear a “wearable concept device,” which raises the question: will Samsung sell its smartwatch to the mass market? Lee adds that Samsung is “confident that the Gear will add meaningful momentum to the mobile industry,” implying the device is just an early exploration of a potential market, rather than one aimed at mainstream adoption.

The idea of the device being a “concept” makes it sound like this product could be a small “test” entry to see how consumers react, just like Google Glass. It’ll only be a short time until we find out how the device operates and what the interface looks like.

August 23, 2013

Google Ventures’ $250M investment in Uber makes a lot more sense with some news reported by Jessica Lessin this morning. The site is reporting that Google is making its own driverless cars to be “robo taxis”:

Google Inc., which has been working on software to help major automakers build self-driving cars, also is quietly going around them by designing and developing a full-fledged self-driving car, according to people familiar with the matter.

While the Prius has been Google’s main guinea pig of the self-driving car efforts, it looks like Google would like to control the entire manufacturing experience for these cars. In addition, the company’s focus is geared towards driver-free taxi services rather than selling the cars direct to consumers.  expand full story

August 22, 2013

Now that Chrome 29 has gone mainstream, Google has introduced Chrome 30 to the beta stage. This release makes it easier to use Google’s search-by-image feature, which allows you to upload an image and search the internet for webpages that have that image (also great for finding larger sizes of images). Right-click any image on the web in Chrome 30 and you’ll see the option to “Search Google for this image”.

Chrome for Android also sees some improvement in this release with the introduction of new gestures: expand full story

August 20, 2013

Facebook’s Android SDK updated with share dialog and new login interface

Outlined in a new Developer Blog post, Facebook has updated its Android SDK with an easy-to-integrate Share Dialog and new login UI.

Rich native sharing experiences

The Share Dialog offers a lightweight and consistent way to enable sharing to significantly enhance people’s sharing experiences from your app.

People now have the option to share activity from your apps without needing to login to Facebook first, eliminating up to 3 extra steps required for login when sharing via the feed dialog. With just one line of code, you can enable people to start sharing in an engaging way that lets them tag friends and share where they are. In addition, the Share Dialog includes support for publishing Open Graph actions to make it easier for people to tell their stories.

Improved Login UI:

The updated Facebook Login UI not only looks better, but our tests also show it converts at a higher rate. We’ve refreshed the design in the LoginButton control and changed the default text to read – “Log in with Facebook.” Your apps gain the benefit of the redesigned UI without any code changes, and you can still override the default text via localization.

The new tools will allow developers to more easily take advantage of the social network’s sharing and user-information features.

Meanwhile, the company’s “Home” application for Android devices has continued to receive updates as Facebook aims to re-imagine the home screen experience.

Barnes & Noble changes its mind, will stay in the tablet business

(Cross-posted on 9to5mac.com)

Just two short months ago, Nook manufacturer Barnes & Noble was telling the world that it was moving out of the tablet business and focusing on content. Now it appears the company is scrapping that new strategy and going full-speed ahead with their original plans (memories of Netflix’s Qwikster plans are brought to mind).

Although the Nook business has been hurting Barnes & Noble’s bottom line since its inception – and the revenue continues to decline – CNET is reporting that B&N president today stated the company “intends to continue to design and develop cutting-edge Nook black and white and color devices” and one new Nook will be launched before the end of the year.

With the company losing nearly $87 million in the last quarter and lack of CEO (former CEO William Lynch resigned back in June and the company isn’t currently looking for a successor) paints a sad picture for the ailing company.

August 19, 2013

HTC One mini coming to AT&T August 23 for $100 on contract

AT&T will be the exclusive carrier for the HTC One mini handset and you’ll be able to get your hands on one August 23 for just $99.99 on contract (or $21/month using AT&T’s Next program). This is in line with Bloomberg’s original report back in June that the device would be available this month.

The device boasts many features of the original HTC one, but the smaller 4.3″ 720p display may appeal to those who want the functionality without the huge screen.

From AT&T’s press release:

Shorter, thinner and lighter than the original HTC One, the new HTC One mini boasts a striking aluminum body with a 4.3-inch Super LCD 2 HD 720p display, a powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 400 dual-core 1.4 GHz processor, and HTC’s UltraPixel Camera with backside illuminated sensor that captures 300 percent more light than traditional smartphone camera sensors, so you can take better photos in low light and bright light.

The HTC One mini packs all the great features you love about HTC One including:

  • HTC BlinkFeed™ puts your favorite content at the center of your mobile world, delivering social updates, news updates and photos directly to your home screen. It aggregates the freshest content, with more than 10,000 feeds served up daily from the most relevant and interesting sources. Enjoy all the information at a glance, without the need to jump between multiple applications and websites.

  • HTC Zoe™ brings special moments to life in three-second videos, enabling a range of advanced editing capabilities and creative flexibility. Photos, videos and Zoes can also be featured as part of automatically edited 30-second Video Highlights with pre-selected themes with music or using sound tracks from your personal music library.

  • HTC BoomSound™ provides dual front-facing speakers and a built-in amplifier to bring music, movies and games to life with minimal distortion, as well as the authentic sound experience you expect from built-in Beats Audio ™.

August 16, 2013

Moto Maker’s engraving service for Moto X filters profanity and brands

If you’re looking to put a few curse words on your brand new Moto X, you’re out of luck. Even more interesting, the Moto Maker engraving site will block you from typing in “Apple,” “Google,” or “DROID”, according to The Verge.

Anything you try with “Apple” in it will fall victim to the block, including “An Apple a Day” and “Apple Martin-Paltrow,” while “Powered by OS X” and “WebOS forever” slip through unscathed. “iPhone,” curiously, also makes it through.

Of note, Apple’s engraving service has no brand filter, but is known to prevent curse words.

August 15, 2013

Google explains Fiber in Provo roll-out plans, adds tv shows & movies from VUDU

Now that Google and the City of Provo have an agreement in place, the fiber provider has outlined their plan for roll-out on the Google Fiber blog.

We also have new information for you on how much Google Fiber will cost in Provo. When we start sign-ups, all customers will be able to choose from one of three plans:

  • Free Internet. Get today’s basic broadband speeds (up to 5 Mbps download, 1 Mbps upload) for free for at least the next seven years.
  • Gigabit Internet. Connect to the web at speeds up to 100 times faster than basic broadband (up to 1 Gbps download and upload) for $70/month.
  • Gigabit Internet + TV. Get 100 times faster Internet plus hundreds of HD channels. Record up to 8 shows at once and store up to 500 hours of HD content on your Storage Box for $120/month.

Each of these plans will require a one-time $30 construction fee which you’ll pay when you choose your plan (for single family homes) or your landlord will pay after they sign an agreement with us to wire up your apartment/condo.

For current Veracity customers in single-family homes — we want you to know that nothing changes for you yet. You can continue to use your service as you do today. Later this year, you’ll have the option of becoming a Google Fiber customer and the option to sign up for any of the services listed above.

The original announcement for Provo’s fiber future was made only four short months ago in April, and now residents will have the blazing fast internet and TV service in just a few short months. Locals can sign up for information on their web form.

VUDU

Also, Google has announced a new on-demand video service available to subscribers – VUDU.

Yesterday, we launched VUDU right on our Fiber TV Box. VUDU is an on-demand video service that subscribers can use to rent or purchase movies and TV shows — and combined with Netflix and our Google Fiber Video on Demand Library, Google Fiber customers now have access to one of the largest on-demand collections of movies and TV Shows. You can access all of this great content under the “More” tab on our TV menu.

Microsoft’s updated Windows Phone YouTube app blocked by Google

After Microsoft’s first attempt at a Windows Phone YouTube application was blocked by Google for violating the Terms of Service, this morning the company’s second attempt has also been blocked due to the same issue, according to The Verge. This is despite the two companies working together to build the HTML5 application.

The Verge posts the following quote from a Google spokesperson:

“Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service. It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines.”

Microsoft told TechCrunch that they are “working with [Google] to resolve the issue.”

We’ll update this post as more details arise.

August 14, 2013

Online accounting service ‘FreshBooks’ releases Android application

Adding to Android’s repertoire of business-oriented applications, popular cloud accounting software ‘FreshBooks’ released their first foray into the OS.

Introduced on the company’s blog, the company appears to have gone all-out with version 1.0 of their application. Rather than waiting to complete accounting tasks once back at a computer, the app allows users to take care of invoices, enter in expenses, and track time (with a built-in timer and fee calculator).

The app’s description in the Play Store also states that users can work offline and data will be synced back once an internet connection returns.

FreshBooks is available for free in the Play Store.

August 13, 2013

Box for Android update brings new updates feed, real-time updates to offline files and account switching

Popular storage service Box has updated their Android application to bring a slew of new user-requested features, including:

  • A new hamburger navigation drawer
  • Newly designed updates feed with document previews
  • Real-time notifications of updates to offline files
  • In-app account switching, for those with multiple Box accounts

The company posted a video to their YouTube account that demonstrates all of the features in version 2.2:

August 5, 2013

Spotify introduces ‘expert playlists’, rolling out to iOS/Android users gradually

(Cross-posted from 9to5mac.com)

Popular music app Spotify has just introduced ‘expert playlists’ – a collection of songs chosen by the Spotify staff to match every moment, mood, or what’s hot. The feature is being rolled out to mobile devices first.

Press release from Spotify:

Introducing expert playlists for every mood and moment. Browse is available on mobile from today.

Going for a jog or to the gym? We’ve got the playlist to help you go the extra mile. Hosting a dinner or getting ready for a big night out? We’ve got you covered. We even have playlists for different moods, so regardless of whether you need an upbeat boost or something more relaxing to wind down to – we’ve got just the thing. You can also browse through a collection of our top lists and check out new releases.Rolling out to all mobile users from today, Spotify’s new Browse page offers carefully chosen playlists for every moment of your day, handpicked by our experts. With an easy-to-view interface, features include:

● Music for every moment: We’ve got just the right tunes for your morning commute, the party tonight, and the hangover tomorrow. ● Music for every mood: More than just genres, listen to a playlist for romance or a collection of face melting guitarists. ● Browse for what’s hot and what’s new: Find all the latest album and single releases from your favourite (or soon-to-be favourite) artists, and a collection of our top lists.

Recent innovations from Spotify have been all about helping people discover even more great music.

First, our social features made it simple to follow your friends, favourite artists and tastemakers, and to easily send music recommendations to your friends in return. Then, with the launch of Discover, we offered personalised recommendations, based on the combination of our unique algorithms and years of experience and data. Now, Browse adds the human touch to this mix, creating a three-dimensional approach to music discovery. Between your friends, our personalised recommendations and real music experts, it’s the perfect formula to ensure you’ll always have the right music for every moment.

“We don’t rely on one source for recommendations in real life – and music discovery can’t be onedimensional,” said Gustav Söderström, Chief Product Officer, at Spotify. “Our three-dimensional approach now combines the human touch with strong social features and unique technology from over five years of experience. We know music and we’re the first to marry all three aspects in one service, making it easier than ever for users to navigate the treasure trove of content within Spotify.”

Browse will be gradually rolled out to our iOS and Android users, and will soon be available across all platforms.

July 23, 2013

Agreement completed with City of Provo to bring Google Fiber ‘later this year’

This morning, Provo residents received an email from the Google Fiber team letting them know that they have finalized an agreement with the City of Provo to bring Google Fiber’s TV and Internet services to the city. Fiber roll-outs are moving faster than ever, as Google hopes to start connecting city residents later this year.

Hello, Provo! Goodbye loading bars.

We are excited to announce that Google Fiber is officially coming to Provo! Yesterday, we officially completed our agreement with the City of Provo, and we are looking forward to bringing you gigabit Internet and Google Fiber TV service. Over the next few months, we will be upgrading the existing fiber network in Provo to make it even faster. We hope to connect our first customers in Provo later this year, and will have more information to share this fall.

In the meantime, you can read all about the official announcement from Provo Mayor John Curtis.

We can’t wait to see you all in Provo!

– The Google Fiber Team

According to FierceTelecom, Google has finalized the purchase of the flailing fiber network iProvo for $1. Competing network CenturyLink opposed the acquisition and “sent a letter to the Provo City Council protesting the deal”, but that didn’t succeed in stopping Google’s purchase.

The company has set up a sign-up form for interested Provo residents to stay in the loop with the Fiber rollout.

July 16, 2013

Popular casual dating app ‘Tinder’ arrives on Android

Popular casual dating app “Tinder” is now available on Android. The app has been available for quite some time on iOS, boasting nearly 100 million total matches as sits at #17 in the free social networking apps in the App Store. Interestingly enough, the company’s blog does not have any mention of the newly launched application, but it does appear to be legitimate.

In short, Tinder is an “actionable” hot-or-not game/dating app. Once you create your profile, you flick through pictures of other people and view their profiles. From there, you can choose whether you’d want to be matched with them or not. If both users want to be matched, Tinder sends a notification and a conversation is opened. Where it goes from there is uncertain…

The app is free and available in the Google Play Store.

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