OnePlus launches “invite contest,” participate to earn invite to purchase 64GB Sandstone Black version of OnePlus One

storm of invites

The OnePlus One is finally ready for launch, and to celebrate, OnePlus has begun a contest where it will be giving away invites to purchase the 64GB Sandstone Black version of the device.

In case you didn’t read that right, the company will not be giving away the device — they are simply giving away the right to buy it. (Hey, they’re still basically a start-up, give ’em a break!) One winner will receive the device for free though, so I do suppose you have some kind of chance.

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Nest Protect returns to shelves after being recalled, price drops to $99


In April, the Nest Protect was recalled due to some safety concerns. There was an issue with the device misinterpreting the user’s gestures and possibly disabling an alarm when that was not supposed to happen. After recalling and fixing the issue, Nest Protect has returned to shelves. The feature, called Wave, has been disabled and consumers who are still uneasy about the news can receive a full refund through Nest.

Nest has even slashed the price to $99 to make it more accessible for consumers. Both Nest’s online store and Google Play have the device in stock with the new price.

Source: Nest

Sony partners with YouTube to allow live broadcasting from new app


Sony has partnered with YouTube to allow live broadcasting from the Xperia Z2. The app is officially called “Live on YouTube — by Xperia” and it allows public or private broadcasting. There is also a feature to remind friends when your broadcast is about to start. It is a dedicated app available in the Play Store and requires a you to sign in with a Google account. In addition to signing in, you will need to activate the live broadcast feature within your YouTube account. For now, it is exclusive to Sony’s flagship smartphone, but support for other Xperia devices should arrive over time.

Hit the break for download links. Read more

Samsung working on world’s first Smart Bike


There is no market that Samsung isn’t willing to try to step into. Whether you’re talking about cell phones, refrigerators, cameras, or even virtual reality equipment, you can almost always find something with a Samsung logo on it. Looks like that might be the case with bicycles, too.

Samsung has developed what they’re calling a “Smart Bike” that puts the bicycle on the same level as your smartphone. The bike includes tons of electronics and sensors that add a ton of (possibly unnecessary) features, some of which are actually pretty cool. It comes with a GPS, for instance, that would be able to give you great navigation and directions. It’s not impossible to do that on a bicycle right now, but it’s definitely not convenient. Read more

Unicode Consortium announces version 7.0 including 250 new emoji


The Unicode Consortium, keepers of specifications that enable users around the world to access computers in many different languages, has announced version 7.0 of their standard. Included in the new specification are around 250 emoji. Each emoji corresponds to a pictograph symbol. For example, the emoji descriptions include things like Boys symbol, Girls symbol, White sun with small cloud, Raised hand with part between middle and ring fingers (aka the Vulcan salute), and the one that has the Internet snickering – Reversed hand with middle finger extended. Read more

Terrain Home, backed by Samsung Accelerator, aims to simplify your Android device


Last year, Samsung launched Samsung Accelerator to help experienced entrepreneurs bring their products to the marketplace. A new app called Terrain Home was developed by Dwipal Desai within this program.

Terrain Home is a replacement launcher that aims to simplify your Android phone. The main feature is its Smart Sidebar that organizes your content into cards. These would include your calendar, the traffic, Facebook, the news, music, and so much more. This sidebar can include over 60 cards and they can be arranged by preference. The premise is to save how many steps it takes to navigate your device, and at the same time, save precious battery life.

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Garmin launches new premium navigation app called víago


Garmin finally decided that its $30 StreetPilot app might be a little overpriced, and has just released a new app called víago. With víago, pricing starts at $1.99 ($.99 until July 13), but you can also add additional features through in-app purchases.

Let’s start with what you get for $1.99. You will get off-board maps for many regions around the world along with lane assist, weather information, in-map traffic display, photo-realistic junction views, and the current speed (with speed limits). Premium add-ons include downloadable maps (“Maps to Go”) for when you don’t have a data connection, real-time traffic, urban navigation with public transportation, 3D terrain view, and more. In app purchases range from $4.99 to $19.99.

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New Amazon smartphone to be an AT&T exclusive

The Amazon logo is seen on a podium duri

Amazon is going to finally announce their new smartphone tomorrow, but it looks like you you will only be able to buy it on AT&T. I guess this isn’t a shocker since Amazon and AT&T already partner for the Kindle tablets.

In case you have been living under a rock, Amazon is hoping that glasses-free 3D will get consumers excited. I won’t say I am excited, but I am interested to see what Amazon has to offer. Is this going to be something really cheesy, or will it actually be useful? Amazon has worked on this project for a long time, so I would like to think that Amazon will change the game. Either way, you will have only have one carrier choice, and that’s AT&T.

source: WSJ

US Transportation Department investigating ways of regulating navigation apps on your smartphone


One of the greatest features of a modern smartphone is its ability to completely replace your GPS. There are tons of navigation apps, from Google Maps for your location searching and turn-by-turn directions, to Waze for crowd-sourced road data, to apps like Foursquare that help you find interesting places in your area. The apps are fantastic, but there’s always a risk of distracted driving (and accidents) if a user plays with the app instead of paying attention to the road. Because of those accidents, the US Transportation Department may be looking into ways to impose stricter rules on the use of those apps. Read more