Sapphire to be incorporated into manufacturing of flagship smartphones in 2014

HTC Onea

Sapphire isn’t just for jewelry, folks. HTC and LG could begin using sapphire in its smartphones’ home buttons to implement fingerprint scanning devices into their 2014 flagship devices— these devices are of course the HTC One 2, and the LG G3.

There isn’t much more information regarding the fingerprint scanners, but we do know they will be there— the only hope is that they’ll be a tad bit better than the scanner on the latest iPhone.

Source: DigiTimes

HD Widgets and Dayframe Prime on sale on Google Play for just 99 cents

Dayframe

App developing team Cloud.TV has two of its most popular apps, HD Widgets and Dayframe Prime, on sale in the Play Store for 99 cents.

If you’re looking to customize your device a bit, then these two apps will certainly do the trick.

With HD Widgets, you’ll get a whole variety of great-looking widgets for your device that are fully customizable. Dayframe Prime will essentially turn your device into a digital picture frame, as it can connect to a number of picture services such as 500px, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, Twitter and more to provide nice photos to display on your device.

Get the apps fast if you’re planning on getting them at any time in the future— this is the cheapest they’ll probably ever get! Hit the break for links to the apps in the Play Store.

KitKat comes to Nexus Q in unofficial update from XDA developer forums

nexus_q_banana

Remember that bizarre orb-like device that Google unveiled with the original Nexus 7 back in June 2012?

Although we’ll most likely never see another version of that awkward little orb, the Nexus Q, there is some good news for those that actually own one.

While the device originally shipped with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, there wasn’t another update for it as Google pretty much marked it internally as a failure— or at least marked it as a device that needed a bit more R&D.

Now, XDA forum member hharte has released a nearly perfect build of Android 4.4 KitKat based on CyanogenMod. Current issues include WLAN and audio w/ Google Music. Either way, there isn’t really any reason why you shouldn’t want to upgrade to this experimental version of KitKat. Hit up the developmental thread in the source link below to get going.

Source: XDA-Developers

CyanogenMod hits 10 million installs in time for launch of CM-powered Oppo N1

CyanogenMod_Logo_1355

The folks over at CyanogenMod have a little celebrating to do tonight. The popular Android ROM just hit 10 million installs as of 3:44 p.m. Eastern U.S. time, and the team expects the growth to continue.

It took nearly four years for CyanogenMod to become a cornerstone of the Android rooting world, and it doesn’t look like it’s slowing down with the Oppo N1 coming on the 24th of this month. Congrats to the CM team and best of luck in the future!

Via: XDA-Developers
Source: CM Stats

Updated Apex Launcher comes to Play Store with new KitKat details

apex launcher

Each time stock Android gets a new look, launcher developers usually adjust their designs to match the much sought-after “vanilla Android” experience. Apex Launcher has done the same, and today, version 2.2 has hit the Play Store with a transparent notification bar as well as other KitKat details.

Also included is the quick search bar, folder icons, an icon font-selector, and some key bug fixes.

Get the updated application for free from the Play Store or buy the Pro version for only $4. Hit the break for the link to the app.

Updated Nova Launcher includes elements of 4.4 KitKat in new version 2.3 update

Kit Kat Nova

Nova Launcher is one of the more widely used launchers on the Google Play store, and for good reason. Updates are of plenty, and the developers continuously bring great content to devices.

Today, Nova Launcher received update 2.3, which adds the genuine KitKat “look and feel” to the launcher— this includes the KitKat scroll indicator, KitKat folders, and more. Beta testers have been using these features for a while now, so the rest of you can finally get your hands on it!

The full changelog and a link to the app in the Play Store are after the break.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Crystal Edition made available in Thailand

Crystal Edition

Samsung recently launched a Crystal Edition of the Galaxy S III mini in Germany, and now it will be launched another Crystal Edition device, this time with the Galaxy S4, in Thailand. The device will be available in limited quantities (3,500 units) and comes with studded Swarovski crystals on the back and is essentially the same phone as the Exynos variant of the device.

The price is 20,300 baht, or $630 USD, making it more expensive than the standard 17,400 baht, or $540 USD. It makes sense, because there are crystals on the back.

It’s pretty unlikely that we’ll be seeing the phone in closer markets anytime soon, but if you want one, hurry up before it’s out of stock.

Source: SamMobile

Action Launcher adds quick-access home screen to its intuitive UI

Action Launcher

Action Launcher was pretty much just your basic launcher when it was first released, but it has certainly grown a lot since that point.

First of all, the launcher features a “Quickpage,” which gives instant and easy access to a home screen card by simply swiping to the side of the screen. “1-Swipe,” another new addition, gives you access to both Quickpage and the previously added Quickdrawer by simply swiping to the left or right.

The best part about these new features is that you can use them alongside other launchers. The update also adds some nice KitKat additions including the new folder design as well as the status/nav bars.

The pro version is on sale for half-off right now for $2 and adds some customization features to the free version. I’ll certainly be giving it a long look when my new Nexus 7 comes in the mail tomorrow! (Can you tell I’m excited?) Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.

New custom ROM for Chromecast released on XDA-Developers

Chromecast_481

A diamond in the rough tends to pop up on XDA-Developers every week weeks, and this time it’s ddggttff3‘s PwnedCast ROM for the Google Chromecast. The ROM is based on the 13300 stock image, is rooted, and features its own OTA system. It also has a dedicated recovery and a custom kernel. If you have a rooted Chromecast, hit the break to link over to the XDA-Developers post with instructions and more details.

Amazon Appstore renovated with new-look UI

Amazon Android

The Amazon Appstore has gained a lot of traction as well as respect in the Android community, but was somewhat slacking in the “looks” department.

In Version 7 of the app store, Amazon continues its dark UI scheme, while it still doesn’t really resemble the normal controls used in other Android applications, but still is very nice looking and built well.

This new Appstore is actually based on the one in Kindle Fire HDX devices and is a pretty smart move by Amazon, as the company works to create a more unified ecosystem on devices.

You can download the Appstore to your device in the source link below.

Source: Amazon 

Sony files patent for “smart wig” with computing technology and sensors built in

Sony wig

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, especially after the Motorola filed a patent for a “smart tattoo” to be placed on one’s throat, Sony comes along to outdo it all.

The company filed a patent today for special wigs with computing technology and sensors built in. It’s definitely not as permanent as the tattoo concept, but perhaps a bit more bizarre. We’re one step closer to being complete cyborgs. Here’s an excerpt from the patent application:

Wearable computing device, comprising a wig that is adapted to cover at least a part of a head of a user, at least one sensor for providing input data, a processing unit that is coupled to the at least one sensor for processing said input data, and a communication interface that is coupled to the processing unit for communicating with a second computing device. The at least one sensor, the processing unit and the communication interface are arranged in the wig and at least partly covered by the wig in order to be visually hidden during use.

Like I’ve said before, we can’t really judge whether this is totally insane or not, because most of the things we now see as mundane would have seemed pretty insane back in the day.

Source: Techaeris 

Samsung plans for flexible screen on next-gen of smartphones leak, features interactive side-pane

Flexible 1

The race to release the first smartphone with a flexible screen is over. The LG G Flex and Samsung Galaxy Round have been released in all their glory. Now, the race begins to create an a smartphone that actually utilizes the flexible screen correctly.

Some Samsung sketches just leaked, which show exactly what they’re trying to do here with their next generation of smartphones. These ideas aren’t anything new, as Samsung showed us a prototype with a bent screen on the side of the device, creating a control/information bar.

Bloomberg brings us today’s leaked plans. Hit the break to see just a few things that could be done with such a phone:

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

Nova Launcher 4.4 Update Translucent

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).    

Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Limited Edition to begin shipping internationally in December

CyanogenMod Oppo N1

The upcoming Oppo N1 will start shipping internationally this December, and one of its key features is that it will come with support to easily flash the CyanogenMod ROM. News also came in that there would be a limited edition version of the phone that would be pre-installed with CyanogenMod, and will be available at the same time as the regular variant.

A news release sent out today also mentioned that special features such as O-Touch and the O-Click Bluetooth remote will also be included. Elements of Oppo’s ColorOS will also be built in, with the ability to wake the phone by double-tapping its screen, much like LG’s “Knock-On” feature.

The limited edition variant will also come with some CyanogenMod extras, including a special edition case, stickers, and some other things. The best part of all this? The limited edition variant costs exactly the same as the standard version.

Anyone interested in picking one of these bad boys up?

Source: Oppo

Motorola files patent for “smart tattoo” on throat

Wearable Tattoo

We’ve seen some pretty crazy patents filed in the past few months, and simultaneously, wearables are becoming more and more popular in the mobile device industry.

But it still may be a bit surprising to find out that Motorola has just filed a patent for a “smart tattoo” which would be placed on one’s throat, and would act as a microphone to improve voice quality so well that you would be nearly crystal clear on the other end.

Most of these far-out patents don’t go into too much detail about how they will work, but Motorola’s filing actually gets pretty extensive. Hit the source link below for more information.

A lot of people think this idea is extremely ridiculous, and this could never possibly reach the market and be successful, but we have certainly been surprised before.

Via: Android Guys
Source: US Patent and Trademark Office