QuickBooks Mobile update brings optimization for Android tablets

As a small-business owner myself, keeping track of expenditures and invoices can be a thoroughly maddening task. Without programs like QuickBooks, many of us would be completely lost trying to keep track of everything ourselves, or completely broke hiring someone else to keep track of them for us. With the arrival of Quickbooks Mobile’s latest update, we can keep track of our expenditures from our favorite 7 or 10-inch devices. The app features complete Holo themes and cross-device syncing so you will always have the latest information. Currently available for free as long as you have a QuickBooks subscription, I know it will be one of my most used apps in the near future. Hit the break for download links and full presser

The Samsung Galaxy Note II can create cool, trippy water art

The Phablet push is not over yet, and Samasung is leading the pack with it’s latest 5.5-inch monster, the Galaxy Note II. Samsung’s latest ad for the device shows Steak Studio, a London based design consulting firm, creating a work of interactive water art that is controlled by Samsung’s latest and greatest phablet. The art display features 408 small fish tank pumps, that replicate whatever the user draws on the screen of the Galaxy Note II into ripples on a pool of water. This extremely cool project took 10 days to complete and is being called “liquid-pixels”, and really showcases not only what the Note II can be used for, but also Android devices in general.

Hit the break for the video.

Meizu steps into the next generation of smartphones with the MX2

The Chinese based smartphone company Meizu announced its new latest-gen smartphone; the MX2. Try to ignore its iClone-ish looks, this phone is something all on its own. Packing a monster 1.6GHz quad core MX5S processor, 2 gigabytes of RAM, up to 64GB in storage, 8MP back-illuminated camera, and a 4.4-inch edge-to-edge HD display. With these kinds of specs, this Android 4.1 device places itself up there with the likes of the HTC DROID DNA, Samsung Galaxy S IIIGalaxy Note II, and the HTX One X+.

On the software side of things, the phone runs Meizu’s Flyme 2.0 skin on top of Android 4.1 Jellybean. The latest version of Flyme sports a complete re-skin of Android, a specialized camera app, as well as CABC brightness control for the display that can boost your battery life up to 50%. Other specs include retina-level 347 PPI pixel density, 10.2mm thick, 1800 mAh battery, and HSPA+ connectivity. No word on a launch date yet, but dont expect it to come stateside anytime soon.

Source: Meizu

Various stress tests show the durability of Samsung phones [Video]

Just how durable is that $600 Samsung phone in your pocket? The cheap feeling plastic may be more durable than you think. While Samsung builds some fantastic devices, build materials are not one of their specialties. A video put out by Samsung Tomorrow TV declares that the light, seemingly fragile plastics used are actually stronger than we give them credit for. From button stress tests to wash and rain tests to bend tests to your more standard drop tests, the plastic holds up remarkably well. Hit the break for the video.

More Samsung Galaxy S IV and S II Plus specs leak, announcement rumored for CES 2013

With the era of 1080p, quad-core phones approaching us, Samsung appears ready to unveil the next iteration of its extremely successful Galaxy series: the Galaxy S IV. Samsung’s latest entry to its Galaxy S line is rumored to sport a 5-inch, 1080p display, quad-core Exynos Adonis processor and a 13MP camera. The specs alone positions it to rival HTC’s DROID DNA and LG’s Optimus G series.

In addition to the news of the S IV, a Galaxy S II Plus is also mentioned. Among the noteworthy features of the Galaxy S II Plus are items like a qHD display and Jellybean running the show. For most customers, it should satisfy those looking for a lower cost alternative to the pricier top-tier phones of today. Its announcement is slated for late December to January.

Source: Unwired View

Samsung suing LG, claims infringement on OLED technologies

The Samsung-LG rivalry is back at it again. Samsung is retaliating for LG’s September lawsuit with a suit of their own. This time, Samsung is seeking to have seven patents granted to LG rendered invalid based upon previous infringement with some of their own. Samsung has long been producing Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) displays, and many of their current gen Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode displays (AMOLED) are being used is products around the world. This type of screen is immensely popular because of its ability to function without a backlight that many other kinds of displays require.

While both LG and Samsung produce similar displays. The function of them is quite different; LG uses their screens mainly for TV’s while Samsung focuses mainly upon mobile devices. Recently, with LG’s Optimus G line of phones and Samsung’s latest line of TV’s both companies have been stepping into each other’s territories. This dispute could potentially setting the boundary between these two markets for display technology and grant Samsung a strong monopoly in the mobile display market.

Source: Yonhap News

Box 2.0 for Android previewed, looks like a strong alternative to Dropbox

Ever hate having to access multiple apps just to check a document on your Dropbox? Box 2.0 hopes to solve that for you by including a document viewer that supports 75 different types of files. That’s right, you no longer have to first open Dropbox, check to see if its the latest version, then open Quickoffice all to just access your presentation you slaved over for hours.

This update brings a host of other features including automatically updating offline folders and files, a complete transfer manager as well as a completely browser-less experience. Now, the race for best cloud storage system for mobile devices just got a bit tighter. With 5 gigabytes free of space, I would strongly suggest you at least check this out if you’re in need of a more fluid cloud storage system. Hit the break for the download links.

Special edition DROIDs headed to Verizon employees while the rest of us look on in envy

Verizon employees are getting some special treatment once again, some of us are still seething over the awesome employees-only red and black Razr Maxx from last year, and now Verizon is laughing at us yet again. Rumor has spilled that more special edition red/black DROIDs are on their way to those on Verizon’s payroll for the DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR MAXX HD. Interestingly enough a special red DROID DNA as well as Windows Phone 8X are also mentioned. No word on whether they will be locked to employee specific usage such as the last round was, so be careful before you try bidding $2000 on Ebay for one of these puppies.

Source: Droid-Life

Battery life woes could be solved with crushed silicon

Current smartphone batteries haven’t really changed much since the days of the first Android smartphone even though new, more power hungry, smartphones are being continuously released. Engineer Sibani Lisa Biswal and scientist Madhuri Thakur are aiming to change all this with batteries that can hold three times the charge in the same size as current batteries. Click through the break for more information.

Should the Nexus 4 be considered a flagship phone with the lack of LTE?

The Nexus is a name we have come to know and love amongst the Android community. It’s the one place where we can count on the latest hardware and software meeting in a completely open environment. Powered by a completely open Android playground of the latest software, Android geeks and aficionados would often choose devices from the Nexus brand purely for development purposes because of the openness.

Every Nexus has had its flaws: the Nexus One had pretty subpar battery life, the Nexus S was just plain boring, the Galaxy Nexus had a meh camera, and now the Nexus 4 has arguably the biggest flaw yet…

Radioshack Black Friday ads show up, free HTC One X or Samsung Galaxy S II anyone?

The Holidays seem to come sooner each year and with them comes everyone favorite 5AM mall rampage known as Black Friday. For many of us, Black Friday is a chance to score a new phone at a reasonable price, and the latest leak of RadioShack’s Black Friday deals seem to promise just that.

So far the deals look to include an HTC One X for free with a new 2-year contract, as well as a Galaxy S III on Sprint for $50 or AT&T for $100. Other free phones include the Samsung Stratosphere 2 on Verizon, AT&T’s Galaxy SII Skyrocket, and Sprint’s Galaxy S II. Phones aren’t the only thing on sale either– all Zagg screen protectors are 25% off as well as many cases and headphones are marked down as well.

So, if you happen to be looking for a new phone or maybe just some extra accessories for your current device, this is definitely worth a look, especially when RadioShack is offering $10 store credit for every $50 spent.

Source: Blackfriday.com

Google’s wireless charging Orb could be the coolest wireless charger to date

One of the best features of Google’s new Nexus 4 is its native wireless charging capabilities, but until now, wireless charging has been convenient, but not actually useful. I will contest to how nice it is to be able to drop your device onto a pad and not have to worry about cables, but unfortunately it severely limits those who want to use their device while charging. Google’s charging orb for the Nexus 4 may just fix that.

Instead of a flat, boring mat for inductive charging, Google has chosen a half-sphere, very similar to the touchstone Palm used for its Pre and Pre 2. This orb offers a variety of advantages; you can orient the phone in either landscape or portrait mode, it allows for easier use as an alarm clock in similar ways to the original DROID’s desk dock, has a much smaller footprint to save space on your desk or nightstand, and looks much more interesting and attractive than a boring black mat.

Magnets will hold your Nexus 4 in place for optimal charging, as well as activate a new feature called “daydream” (another Palm Pre-esque feature) that displays recent photos, as well as various updates from your Google Now cards. Currently, there is no information on pricing, availability or compatibility with other devices, but I’m willing to bet that it will launch with the Nexus 4 on November 13th.

Source: The Verge

Qualcomm’s Project Ray shows fruits of its labor, a smartphone for the visually impaired

Hear ye, hear ye! Smartphones for one and all! Qualcomm has announced a breakthrough in smartphone interfacing to allow the visually impaired access to the smartphone technology we all know and love. The new interface, named Project Ray, adapts to user preferences and habits to allow easier access to commonly used actions such as contacts, SMS, and the dialer. In addition to custom interfaces, a set of finger gestures can be used at any time to access commonly used functions as well. Maybe this project will not only bring smartphones to people who were previously unable to use them, but pave the way for screenless handsets. Hit the break for the press release.

The iPad Mini is upon us, how does it match up against the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD?

The impossible has happened. The 7-inch iPad that Steve Jobs himself spoke against has come to the world in the form of the iPad Mini. In a world where price is ultimately king, can Apple persuade you into buying it’s option for over 50% more than its competition? Lets take a look at the specs and see how they stack up.