We first heard about the Samsung GamePad all the way back in March, and it’s availability finally been officially announced by the company. The GamePad will launch in European markets for Android phones between 4 and 6.3 inches, and will be compatible with devices running Jelly Bean or higher with Bluetooth 3.0. It will obviously be more compatible with Samsung phones, as the company says that the ”most convenient features optimized for Samsung Galaxy devices running Android 4.3 such as Galaxy Note 3, S4, Note II, and S III enable easy connectivity with GamePad via NFC tag and quicker access to games via the “PLAY” button.”
The mobile app to control GamePad is available currently in the Samsung App Store. New markets will be released in the upcoming weeks, but there is no word yet on US availability or pricing. You can see the official press release past the break. » Read the rest
Nobody ever questioned the simplicity of the Chromecast. It came without any pre-release buzz, and unsurprisingly was able to create all the hype for itself at launch.
In 2014, Google will have some even bigger plans for the Chromecast.
Not only will the device launch in a number of new countries, but the SDK will be opened up so that thousands of apps can be made Chromecast-compatible, as well as a number of other devices as Google plans to partner with a number of electronics companies. The ultimate goal is to make even the most rare apps “castable.”
Folks who have Chromecast devices know well that there are two types of casting from the desktop. First there are those applications or sites that support Chromecast directly. This includes services like YouTube or Netflix where the cast button can be found in the video player area and allow you to use the Chromecast as intended, with the content delivered directly to the Chromecast. The other type are those sites that require the user to just cast the entire web page from their browser tab. This is rather slow and requires the content to be delivered from the computer to the Chromecast. Surprisingly, Google did not include the first type of casting for Play Movies and Play Music from the web when using a laptop or desktop. That oversight has now changed.
According to Google, if the Google Cast extension is installed for your browser, you can look for the cast button in the video player area when you fire up your favorite title. This will then cause the movie, TV show, or song to be streamed directly to the Chromecast, just as it would if you had launched the title using a smartphone or tablet.
The Alliance for Wireless Power, one of the groups of tech makers that’s pushing for wireless charging standards, has announced that they’ve picked out a brand name for their products that support their specific type of wireless charging. The brand? Rezence, complete with that fancy logo you see above.
Unfortunately, there are no actual A4WP products on the market yet. The Wireless Power Consortium (which back the Qi wireless charging standard) and the Power Matters Alliance all have at least a few things available on the market. However, we should see the first Rezence-capable products shown off at CES in January with plans to get those devices into market by the middle of 2014.
What do you guys think? Will adopting a brand name to promote help wireless charging become mainstream?
Qualcomm’s Toq smart watch became available earlier this month exclusively through the company’s site. But starting today, you can purchase one through Amazon. The Toq is priced at $349.99 and comes in black, although white is on the way for Qualcomm’s site. With its high price point, Qualcomm is aiming for developers and early adopters and plans to produce a very limited run. This smart watch, unlike the Galaxy Gear, works with any device that is running at least Android 4.0.3. The standout feature for this smart watch is its Mirasol display that allows for excellent battery life. If you’re interested in getting the Qualcomm Toq smart watch, hit the source link below.
A new report out of Korea says that Samsung has lowered their smartphone sales projections for 2014 from 360 to 330 million units. In doing so, Samsung hopes to focus on smartphone accessories and peripherals next year. The reason for shifting its focus and lowering sales projections is because the smartphone market is becoming increasingly crowded. But by no means is Samsung worried. Selling 330 million units is certainly a great goal to have. This new focus will likely start with the release of the Galaxy Gear‘s successor when it is rumored to launch beside the Galaxy S 5. This could also mean that the S Pen’s functionality will be expanded with the release of the next Note device. Only time will tell to see how Samsung innovates in 2014.
You say you decided to spring for the new white Nexus 7 or took advantage of Google’s bundle offer for a Nexus 7 and Chromecast device? Don’t forget to get some extra protection for your new tablet with a new Nexus 7 Folio. The case now listed in Google Play comes in black or red with a price tag of $49.99 in the U.S. The case is made from polycarbonate with elastomer. The bumper-style case has a trifold cover that gives users a couple different options for how the devices sits depending on how it is being used. Your Nexus 7 will also be able to tell when the case is opened or closed and will wake-up or sleep as appropriate. The case will work with wireless chargers as well.
To grab one, just hit the source link to head over to the Google Play store.
Google is busy with new deals in the Google Play Store today, releasing some new devices and new versions of existing devices. However, if you have just been waiting to get your hands on a couple devices that have been around for a while, this new deal may just be for you. Google is offering a $35 credit for buyers of a Nexus 7 and a Chromecast device. Just for good measure, they are also throwing in free shipping.
The Nexus 7 and Chromecast must be submitted on the same order. Once the order ships, Google will send the information for buyers to claim their credit via email. The credit can be added to a Google Wallet account and must be added no later than March 31, 2014. If you are ready to place an order this combo of devices, just hit the source link. Act fast though, as Google does not indicate how long this particular promotion will last.
Dead Zebra wanted to release these cute Ornamental Androids with Series 4, but they weren’t ready yet. Thankfully they just got announced and should arrive in time for your decorations or at least to put in someone’s stocking or under the tree. Unfortunately, that might not be the case for international buyers though. They are offering either blue or red, and both come in a matte metallic finish with silver glitter and a small metal hook.
They go on sale tomorrow (Dec 10) at 11:00am EST and again at 11:00pm EST. They are $10 each and there is a limit of 2 per person. You can buy 2 of the same color or one of each color. You can also opt for the special “Tree Pack,” which costs $90 and includes 5 red and 5 blue. Hit the source link for more information and make sure to put in a Google Now reminder in for 11:00am EST tomorrow. Hit the break for more images.
Developer-wiz Koushik Dutta of CyanogenMod has made a bit of a discovery in the Android 4.4.1 patches.
It looks like Google is preparing to add Android mirroring to Chromecast in the near future. However, Dutta pointed out that the API isn’t available to anybody except Google and the OEM. This essentially means that developers won’t be able to tool around to come up with new ways to integrate the feature. Similar solutions like Android mirroring on Chromecast won’t be able to be built into things such as Apple TV.
The API could become available to everyone in the future, but for now we’re pretty much left in the dark.