Starbucks goes with Power Matters Alliance as its wireless charging standard

Starbucks_logo

The folks over at Powermat Technologies are really happy these days. Why? Because Starbucks announced that it will adopt the developer’s Power Matters Alliance (PMA) standard for wireless charging. The coffeehouse chain is launching 1,500 wireless charging stations at two hundred stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Starbucks is rolling out these wireless charging stations to cities over time rather than doing it nationwide. Starbucks does not exactly say which cities or countries are ahead, but does clarify more will follow in 2015. This approach allows any problems to be identified and fixed before proceeding to the next city.


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Google adds Nexus 9 factory image for LRX21R update

Android_Lollipop_Statue_Screenshot_From_Unwrapping_Video_01

The Nexus 9 is getting another update (LRX21R), which should clean up some bugs. As usual, it will take at least a week to hit all devices, so the impatient types can download and install the factory image, which Google posted earlier today.

If you need help flashing it, you can check out our full instructions here. Alternatively, you can opt to manually install the over-the-air (OTA) update, which will keep your data, assuming your Nexus 9 isn’t unlocked. Click here for those very extensive instructions.

source: Google Factory Images

Google will give you and your friend $5 when you introduce them to Wallet

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Google has just launched a new promotion for all Wallet users in the US. The search engine giant is offering to give both you and a friend $5 each in your Wallet Balance when you introduce your pal to the service. All you have to do is send a sum of money, which could be as little as “a penny,” to a buddy who doesn’t have a Google Wallet Balance yet, then when they claim the funds, you’ll each receive $5 free credit within 3 working days.

Hit the break for the full list of terms and conditions.


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Google releases Android Auto APIs for developers

android auto

Earlier this year, Google announced Android Auto (a version of Android designed to bring the Android platform into cars), and today the search engine giant has granted developers access to its APIs for this service. According to the company, this will enable mobile apps to “be extended to the car in a way that is optimized for the driving experience.”


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[Lollipop Bug] Camera stops working when flashlight times out

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Now that Android 5.0 Lollipop is out and public, the bugs will pop up. The newest one deals with an issue between the new flashlight toggle in the quick settings, and the camera. Apparently, if you turn on the flashlight in quick settings and leave it on until it times out, you will not be able to use either the flashlight, or the camera until you reboot. This bug has been spotted on the Nexus 5, but it’s unclear whether it’ll pop up on other devices as well.

This will surely be fixed in the next OTA update, but until then, it’s worth noting to remember to turn off the flashlight when you’re done using it.

Source: Android Police

Google invites you to submit an app for its Fit Developer Challenge

Developer Challenge

Google has teamed up with three of the worlds top sports, fitness and technology companies, Adidas, Polar and Withings, specifically to kick off a great new competition for developers all over the globe. Starting today, and for the next thirteen weeks (up until February 17, 2015), programmers are invited to submit a newly created, coded, working application and/or showcase an updated existing app that integrates Google Fit.


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Front panel to Sony’s Xperia Z4 leaked, shows a similar size to the Z3

xperia-z4-lcd-touch-digitizer-4We’ve heard a few things about Sony’s upcoming Xperia Z4, but thanks to a leaked front panel, we’re getting our first actual look at what may potentially be Sony’s first phone of 2015. The panel is the touch screen for the device, and while we can’t get a screen resolution or anything out of it, we can at least see how it stacks up next to the size of the Xperia Z3.

Fortunately, it looks like Sony is sticking to that 5-inch range with the Z4 instead of going with a massive 6-inch screen like we’ve heard off and on. The display looks very similar to the Z3 with just a few minute differences. The cut-outs for the proximity sensor and camera have switched, and the speaker hole has moved up to the edge of the digitizer instead of sitting halfway between the screen and bezel.
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Google working on image recognition that can describe scenes and objects

google image recognitionGoogle is cconstantly working on improving their image search and recognition algorithms, and the latest research shows some really impressive results. Thanks to some recent advances in translation technology, Google’s image recognition can actually see a photo and describe what’s going on in the picture, like you can see above.

Not only is the algorithm able to recognize individual objects, but it can describe scenes and phrases. This could potentially help users to search for images based on a very specific phrase, or on the opposite end, help users see understand a picture when they can’t see the image, like when a slow data connection can’t manage it.
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[Deal] HTC offering 50% off all phone accessories for this week’s Hot Deal

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It’s the third week for HTC’s Hot Deals, so starting at 12:00 pm ET / 9:00 am PT, you can grab any phone accessory for 50% off. This is of course while supplies last, which we hope is more than what was included in the last two sales. It’s not clear if you will be limited to one accessory, but we suspect that to be the case.

HTC still has 6 weeks to go for their Hot Deals sale, so be sure to tune in next Tuesday at the same time to see what they have cooking.

source: HTC Hot Deals