Google IO 2017 Coverage

Google Implements Data Compression and Bandwidth Management To Chrome For Android Plus More

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If you thought Chrome was pretty good for Android, it’s about to get even better. The Google Chrome team just announced via their blog the launch of a few new features and upgrades coming to the highly popular mobile browser. The company will be implementing a new data compression option and the ability to manage allocated bandwidth for the app, reducing your overall data usage by up to 50%. That’s a pretty big deal for those keeping a hawk’s eye on how much monthly data they’re using. In addition, the search giant is adding enhancements such as  “Safe Browsing” technology in an attempt to thwart malicious webpages.  Once the update rolls out, you’ll be able to go to Settings->Bandwidth management->Reduce data usage and toggle to “On“. This will also allow you to track how much bandwidth you’re saving on a monthly basis.  

Hands on with the Hisense X1 smartphone at CES 2014

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We know exactly what you’re thinking… “Damn, that’s a big phone!”. And rightfully so. Though it’s being considered for the “Phablet” market, this thing is seriously teetering on the brink of a full blown out tablet. Being just .2-inches shy of the Nexus 7 and other popular small tablets, we’re definitely thinking it’s a flat out tab. The Hisense X1 is “large and in charge” as stated by Editor in Chief Rob Nazarian as he tries to tame this bad boy one-handed. The X1 comes in at a whopping 6.8-inches sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 series CPU, making for a snappy experience when navigating. In addition, the handset comes with a 5-megapixel camera in the front and a 13-megapixel shooter in the rear. Battery life should be optimal to run the true definition IPS display (1920 x 1080) with a whopping 3900 mAh’s.  

Hands On With The Blumoo Bluetooth Audio Streaming and Home Theater Controller at CES 2014

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Home automation is still a hot topic amongst mobile enthusiasts and this year’s CES 2014 has no shortage of such technologies. The latest startup to flag the industry’s radar is Flyover Innovations, a small group of gents from Lenexa Kansas looking to bring the world its flavor of home theater and streaming control. At CES 2014 the company has introduced their latest product dubbed “Blumoo”. Blumoo is a small hardware platform offering the ability to connect any  home theater system allowing you to stream your media from your mobile device. The company and their product aim to rid of the traditional “dock” believing that mobile devices should be just that, mobile. Blumoo offers an open source API so the company is hoping other developers will get on board as well. What’s nice about Blumoo is the limited amount of hardware required. You’re in essence using your existing audio equipment.  

Hands On With Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Pen

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As if your life wasn’t digital enough with tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, digital credit cards, pedometers, car starters etc, Qualcomm wants to corner another small market in the industry, which of late, appears to be Samsung’s turf. At CES 2014 the company has put  on display their new Snapdragon Digital Pen for those not wanting to give up their pad and paper. We first saw this a few days ago however, our own Editor in Chief Rob Nazarian was on site to get a hands-on demo personally from Qualcomm. It’s easy writing on paper but what’s difficult is organizing those notes and then finding them later once you’re done.

Now you can have your cake and eat it. The pen uses high frequency ultrasound waves using at least five built in speakers as part of the new Snapdragon 805 CPU. With it, you can write on any flat surface such as a pad or notebook and all will be instantly transcribed on the tablet for safe keeping. In addition, Qualcomm also hinted at the fact they’re working on a second prototype that’s a little smaller and could be integrated with future devices. As of now, the device will be sold separately. Check out the hands on video below and don’t forget to head here for the rest of our CES 2014 coverage.   

Hands On With E-Fun’s NextOne Smartwatch At CES 2014

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As one who has been in the market for quite some time now for a smartwatch, I’m highly anticipating a slew of devices to come out of CES before I make my choice. The Galaxy Gear has great aesthetics but is extremely over priced for the amount of battery life you get. The Qualcomm Toq is certainly on my radar and then there’s the steadily popular Pebble smartwatch that continues to gain ground rapidly in the wearables department. Well, in steps E-Fun with their contribution to CES and the smartwatch arena, introducing the NextOne Smartwatch.  

Hands On With LG’s G Flex Back Cover Self Healing At CES 2014

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I can hear it already, GIMMICK! Well, call it what you will, we still give LG some credit for the innovation. And if you’re anything like me and can’t stand to see a single scratch on  your device (mostly because I know I’m going to resell it and get a new one) then this just might be your thing. At CES 2014 LG unveiled the G Flex’s back cover self healing capabilities thanks to its special coating which expands the material again after applying a little heat. Check out the video below of the demonstrator applying a little heat from the palms of his hands completely healing the deliberately applied scratches. Head here to check out the rest of our coverage of CES 2014 and feel free to let us know what your new favorite gadget is.  

Hands-On With Lenovo’s 19.5-Inch N308 All-In-One Android Tablet PC at CES 2014 (Video)

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Is a 7-inch tablet big enough for you? How about a 10.1-inch? Ok, there’s always the up and coming popular 12-inch? No? Well, if you’re finding yourself an overwhelming shortage of large tablets you might want to give Lenovo’s new PC/tablet a try. The company today announced at CES 2014 a 19.5-inch Android tablet running a pretty close to stock Jelly Bean 4.2 experience. However, the device is being marketed as of more of a family PC work station than a tablet. Overall, at the end of the day, it’s a big monster sized tablet. The difference of course is the fact that Lonovo made it possible for you to take this bad boy off the desk and make it more mobile, adding 3 hours of battery life off the charge and unplugged for the occasional family couch gathering.    

Sony Unveils First In-Dash Cradle That Converts Into A In-Car Multimedia System

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As a geek and lover of all cool gadgets, I’m filing this one under the “hell yeah, that’s what I’m talking about” category. For some reason Sony chose to quietly announce this little tidbit at CES 2014 this year dubbed the XSP-N1BT. The product would have been missed entirely by the tech blogosphere if it wasn’t for the folks over at @evleaks tweeting about it. Being called the world’s first double-DIN handset cradle receiver, the XSP-N1BT (this thing needs a cooler and shorter name) allows you to place your device on it, adjusting the slider for a firm fit. With NFC/Bluetooth functionality you can pair the devices instantly, allowing you to play audio through your speakers, make hands free calls and charge your phone via the USB port.

In addition, the company is further reporting that future Xperia devices may be able to charge wirelessly. To wrap up the cool device, the company has also added a little remote for easier functionality and access to all of the devices features. With a Sony remote application, you can even use an AM/FM radio app for those who have not jumped on the Pandora/Slacker bandwagon. To check out the rest of our CES 2014 coverage click here and feel free to leave a comment or two in the comments section below.

source: @evleaks

Samsung Shows Off Achievements And Evolution Of Smartwatch In The Form Of An Infographic

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Samsung, one of, if not the largest competitor in the mobile industry is taking a look back at 2013 in all its glory and achievements in the form of an infographic. Who doesn’t love infographics? Check out the company’s leaps and bounds over various milestones and see how the organization has had an active roll in shaping mobile communications both through smartphones and in the wearable devices market.

It’s no surprise how successful the company has become thanks to the launch of several key devices such as the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Note 3 and its all new smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear. With millions of sales under their belt one has to think it’s pretty darn cool to work for Samsung Mobile right about now. Check out the infographics below which depict how Samsung leaped over several milestones and also made Dick Tracy’s watch today’s reality. Feel free to offer your thoughts in the comments below.   

Xperia Z1s (Z1 Mini) Pictures Revealed, Hints At The International Version (model D5503)

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News surfaced of Sony’s mini version of the Z1 handset as more is revealed regarding specs and whether or not the device is slated for international stardom. Well, it appears as though the answer is leaning towards a resounding yes on the latter due to the fact we’re seeing leaked images of the device branded with non NTT DoCoMo nomenclature indicating this is in fact the international version. Expected to be called the Xperia Z1s, leaked images of the device have surfaced and model number D5503, Android 4.3, software version 14.2.A.0.205 and model number “SO-02F” can be seen from the device’s About screen.

In addition to the fact that these screen shots reveal that this is the mini version of the device due to its small dimensions (thanks to the ruler), we can also see there will be 2 GB of RAM on board and 16 GB of internal storage included. Hit the break to check out the screen shots of the handset and stay tuned as we expect an official announcement regarding this device very soon.   

Nova Launcher Beta Gets Updated, Includes KitKat’s 4.4 Transparent Nav Buttons and Notification Bar

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We’ve got to give credit and praise where credit and praise are due. When Google announces a new update version, such as KitKat, it can often take third party developers to catch up with the changes and get their application up to speed. So we’re tipping our hats to the developer behind Nova Launcher, a third party home replacement app that allows you to customize your home screen in a variety of ways. Since the announcement of the Nexus 5, we’ve seen the new “translucent” look that comes with 4.4 and well, we want it. As for several selected devices the new look has been added by the dev to Beta version of Nova Launcher and also takes advantage of custom icon packs. And though the selected devices, as we’ve mentioned, are slim, there are some big hitters (see changelog for full list on Kevin Barry’s G+ page at source link).    

Sideload this new apk to get Google Play Music support on Google Glass (Update XE11)

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Did you happen to drop the new XE11 update on your set of Google glasses? If you did, here’s an update feature you may not know it had. The new XE11 update introduced a plethora of changes to the device but did you know there’s support for Google Play Music? And while there hasn’t been an official announcement, yet, there is certainly support for the application. Sideloading the new apk will allow access to several commands specific to Google Glass which will in turn allow control for music playback.

To get the function rolling you’ll need to say “ok glass, listen to….” and just insert your playlist name, artist, album or song. You’ll instantly be met with a card that pops up starting the feature. In addition, a card remains up for you to control other functions of Play Music such as play, rewind, skip and stop. In addition, you’ll be able to control the volume and engage radio play via the hardware’s touchpad. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have Glass check out the full instructions below on how to sideload the apk to get started.   

Survey says: Apple Is Transposing More U.S. Android Users To Its iPhone?

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Survey time again folks. Gotta love these things. Whenever I come across surveys like this they tend to always beg more questions than provide any useful statistics. However, I’ll digress for a moment to report the news. According to a recent study over at Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP), this year exhibited a greater influx of Android users moving over to Apple’s OS and the iPhone was much greater when compared to last year’s iPhone launch.  According to Mike Levin, CIRP partner and co-founder “Ideally, Apple attracts a significant percent of its customers from Android and other systems,”.  

Furthermore, according to the research, during this year’s most recent iPhone launch the company saw a pretty hefty increase in users coming from a previous iPhone, most likely as a result of there being very few consumers left in the U.S. without a smartphone. According to the graph above by CIRP, in Sept of 2012 there was a 16% jump from individuals moving from an Android smartphone to the Apple operating system. The study goes on to further state that this year the number jumped to 21% with the launch of the iPhone 5s and 5c devices.   

Livestream Available For Moto G Event Thanks to Google and Motorola

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What could be better than announcing the new Moto G smartphone by Motorola? How about the ability to livestream that bad boy? As we mentioned in an earlier post, the company will be unveiling the new smartphone on November 13th however, place and time was unknown. The joint venture has announced the event will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil beginning at 9am EST. And for those unable to attend in person, you’ll be given the opportunity the livestream the entire event from their official Motorola Mobility Google + page.

As far as known specs go, the device will sport a 4.5-inch 720 x 1280 display with a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon by Qualcomm. In addition, the device will house a 5MP rear facing camera and there’s high speculation the device may be available for free on contract with several carriers. Overall, not a bad deal for the slightly scaled down Moto X. Feel free to leave your thoughts about the device in the comments below. Check out the source link as well for the full livestream on Nov 13th.

source: Motorola Mobility G+

 

ZTE Grand S Flex Coming To Europe, Sports 5-Inch Display and 1.2 GHz Dual-Core CPU

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The ZTE Grand S Flex, hinted back in June, and intro’d at CES 2013, has been announced for Europe and will sport a number of attractive features to give you that big phone feel while remaining in the mid-range class. Among the features you’ll find a 5-inch HD display and 1.2. GHz Qualcomm CPU. Throw in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and an 8MP camera along with a 2300 mAh battery and you have yourself a pretty good mid-range contender. Check out the full list of specs below and note that the device is already available in the Czech Republic, Spain and Slovakia with a projection to hit Germany very soon. The device is going for around $320 euros ($433 US) which is a bit steep for yesteryear’s specs but we’ll leave that up to you to decide for yourselves. Hit the break for the full list of specs, and feel free to let us know what you think about the device in the comments below.