The analog-loving Lomography camera company posted its version of Instagram on Kickstarter today. Thankfully, it’s not another app with a ton of retro filters. It’s a 35mm film scanner designed to be used by your Android (or iOS) handset. The Lomography Film Scanner, set to launch March 2013, has several pledge options available but you’ll have to spend at least $50 (at the time of this posting) to grab a hold of a scanner. It will work with a free scanning app that will allows users to share images and edit scans, including animating images into a funky stop-motion movie. A printing option will be available for those interested in a complete boycott of digital media. The printing program will presumably be offered as a mail order option but specific details were not released.
For those of us who shoot film from time to time, this might be a quick and dirty alternative to dragging out the film scanner. It might also be a good option for those wanting to get into film without spending too much on gear. If hipsters have taught us nothing else, it’s that sometimes old crappy antiquated technology can be cool again. Why do you think they still have iPhones?
Popup Browser for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 allows users to browse the interwebs via a re-sizable browser that floats over the desktop. The floating app produces a very similar result as the multi-window feature found on the Galaxy Note II. XDA user pidio1 created the app for the Galaxy Tab 2 running stock ROM. Another user tried installing the app on a custom ROM but did not fare so well.
I tried flashing the app on the original Galaxy Note but was unable to get it to run. Another XDA user reported the app ran perfectly on a Galaxy S III. Here’s the Download Link if you want to give it a go or hit the source below. Although it doesn’t specifically say you need to be rooted for the app to work, those flashing through ClockworkMod recovery are experiencing the best results. If you change your mind about it, just delete PopupBrowser.apk from /system/app. Good luck!
The Android Dropboxapp update to version 2.3 is now available. The update provides some UI improvements and slight updates but its focus is clearly on photo sharing. If you have the “Camera Upload” feature enabled photo sharing via Dropbox is pretty damn easy. The the app’s gallery view of your uploaded images allows you to select multiple images. Once selected you can add to an album, delete or share a link to the usual choices (Gmail, SMS, Facebook, Google+, etc.). The recipient gets a link to the images you selected. They can then decide to download or add to their own Dropbox account.
One of the questions I receive most often from my less tech-savvy friends (and iPhone owners) is about how to email multiple photos. “I tried to email the 50+ photos from my daughter’s birthday party but…” Ugh, stop. Just use Dropbox and quit bothering me. Everyone else, update via the Play Store or hit the download link below.
Play Store Download Link
In what maybe the best news for T-Mobile customers from this year’s CES, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray announced LTE will go live in “a week or two.” He actually said they were hoping to get LTE up in Las Vegas in time for CES but missed it by a couple weeks. Once Vegas is taken care of, Ray said they will have “a series of LTE markets coming on line through Q1 and Q2.” Assuming the MetroPCS merger goes through, T-Mobile is planning to stretch its LTE coverage to 100 million people by the end of Q2 and 200 million by the end of the year.
The obvious question is, when are the LTE phones coming? Ray said, “There will be a period when markets are up but we don’t have devices yet.” T-Mobile does have one phone that can take advantage of LTE. Ray said the Samsung Galaxy Note II can be made LTE capable via an “over-the-air software update.” He said another option for LTE on T-Mo will be “some AT&T LTE phones.” He did not mention when they would begin selling LTE phones but we’ll let you know if we hear anything… Galaxy S IV maybe? Keep up to date on CES 2013 here.
Source: PC Mag
The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) presented a state of the wireless power union of sorts from CES. Its lofty goal is to bring next generation wireless technology to the consumer electronics marketplace. The alliance formed a 30-member consortium in 2012, including Samsung and Qualcomm, and plans to hammer down a formal technical specification in 2013. If the A4WP can get enough players on board, the technology is pretty impressive. They demonstrated charging multiple devices, with different power requirements, at the same time all free of pesky wires. Check out some of the wireless charging options we’ve seen here and the rest of CES 2013 coverage here.
Press Release after the break
Harman showed off enough of its infotainment center at CES to make most of us instantly hate our car stereos. The system runs a virtualized platform where QNX runs the vehicle specific functions and an Android overlay takes care of the user interface. For now, it looks like users will have access to apps via a Harman curated appstore as well as one run by individual automakers. The unit has the usual array of mobile entertainment apps as well as a pretty cool augmented reality heads-up display. As you might expect, it’s controlled via touch screen but also has a set of gesture controls with Google voice (and Siri) functionality to come.
If you’re hoping to add another device to your shared-data plan, Harman is promising LTE connectivity support. Its being offered to OEMs but we haven’t heard of a partnership with any automakers so no telling where this might end up. CES addicts should click here for our complete CES 2013 coverage!
Press Release after the break
More leaked images for HTC’s Sense 5.0 hit the interwebs. We saw images of the leaked dialer a few days ago and what we’re seeing today looks just as nice. As with the dialer, these images are purportedly from the HTC M7.
Possible photo of the M7 and a screenshot of the settings past the break
Polaroid announced a few cameras at CES including the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running iM1836. While we don’t yet know all the details, its interchangeable lens sets it apart from the Samsung Galaxy Camera. The mirror-less body will, with an adapter, be able to use existing micro four thirds lenses and will shoot 18.1-megapixel photos and 1080p video. Its touch screen is a tad smaller at 3.5-inches but, like the Galaxy Camera, it includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’s set for a 2013 first quarter release for $399, including a 10-30mm lens.
We still have a ton of questions: What shooting modes will it have? Will it support full manual shooting? What’s the ISO range? What do the Android hardware specs look like? What’s the storage capacity? Will it support a microSD card? What about GPS? But I, for one, am excited to see what this little guy can do. Like with most CES announcements, stay tuned for more. Direct link for our CES 2013 coverage here.
LG announced a new “Panorama Note” mode for the Optimus Vu II which will let users write memos and/or draw on a ‘panoramic’ 3:1 ratio canvas. Users can scroll both vertically and horizontally or zoom in (up to 5.8x) on the scrolling pad. LG is surely hoping this new feature can help set the Optimus Vu II apart from other stylus-equipped devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, and purportedly the Galaxy S IV.
We’ll post any updates or hands-on with the Panorama Note on the Optimus Vu II from CES. Get your CES 2013 news fill with our complete coverage here.
Press Release after the break.
We knew HTC’s sales numbers were down entering the holiday season, and we’re far from what you’d call financial gurus, but the final quarter’s numbers released by the Taiwanese manufacturer are shockingly low. HTC posted net sales of just NT$21 million (New Taiwan Dollar, $34.4 million USD) for the fourth-quarter of 2012. That’s their lowest figure since 2004 and a whopping 91% drop from 2011’s fourth quarter when they posted a net of NT$11.02 billion ($379.5 million USD).
Even the financial pros were surprised by these sales numbers. Bloomberg looked at predictions from 20 financial analysts and came up with an average of NT$1.11 billion in operating income (not net). Their actual fourth quarter income was NT$600 million. Ouch! Given today’s dismal numbers, it’s no surprise the company is refocusing on bringing better products to market.
Samsung’s new portable Bluetooth speaker, model DA-F60, includes apt-X codec support and NFC pairing. Samsung has already made the simplicity of tapping to share, via S Beam, a big deal in their funny/naughty commercials. Now they’re using NFC to simplify Bluetooth pairing (which, if you hear my in-laws tell it, is nearly impossible). The apt-X codec, supported by only a handful of handsets including Samsung’s own Galaxy S III and Note II, boosts the dynamic range of streaming audio. We should get more details, hopefully to include pricing, at CES. Follow our CES 2013 coverage here.
Press Release after break
OUYA, the Android gaming console, is a relatively low-budget, yet intriguing approach to console gaming. In the minds of many in the Android community, it’s been high on promise but low on substance. Fortunately, we’re starting to see examples of actual gameplay on the device. The gaming site, Game Fans has put together a collection of videos showing some classics on the OUYA.
Checkout the N64 emulator, Street Fighter 2 Torbo and Sonic 4 on the OUYA. Hit the source for more videos.
SwiftKey’s take on the swipe keyboard, SwiftKey Flow, has been in public beta for about a month now. An updated beta was all but guaranteed as the version it replaces, 188.8.131.52, had a limited license for use set to expire January 7, 2013. Today’s release, 184.108.40.206, has a relatively short limited license, expiring on January 30, 2013, and comes with a host of improvements. The short beta window could be an indication SwiftKey is nearing the end of beta testing or is at least prepared to quickly launch another updated version.
The update brings performance and battery improvements and addresses a few bugs causing force closing and memory leaks. It will also allow for “flow” in landscape on tablets. Hit the source to see the full change log and download the update. I’ve been using it for weeks and have been very happy. Go get it!
HTC isn’t blind. The Taiwanese manufacturer can see the gap between itself and some of its competitors is growing. They’ve responded by promising to focus on bringing “unique products” to market in 2013. Judging by their declining sales numbers, HTC needs to do something. Chief Executive Officer Peter Chou believes innovation and not marketing is the key to an HTC rebound. He said, “Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing.”
HTC needs an angle, a market strategy for success despite being squeezed between Apple and Samsung. Sammi’s Galaxy S III topped the iPhone to become the best selling phone of 2012 Q3. The iPhone 5 did its thing. Chou said, “Although we don’t have as much money to counter, the most important thing is to have unique products that appeal to consumers.” HTC’s One X was well received in 2012 but failed to generate traction and certainly did little to threaten the iPhone or Galaxy S III. HTC is in a tough spot and they know it. Now let’s see what they do about it.
Source: Wall Street Journal