Google is rolling out a Chromecast update with stability, volume improvements, and bug fixes


Google just announced today that it is rolling out an update for the Chromecast. It carries the build number 16664 and brings a few changes along with one important feature.

According to the changelog, the update brings a few bug fixes and stability improvements, better support for IPv6, an “improved DNS robustness” and most importantly, “Chromecast audio volume level is retained across sessions”. This means that the volume settings will be saved so that when you switch to Chromecast, you’ll never have to deal with really high volume levels or a low one.

Source: Chrome Releases


AT&T version of Samsung Galaxy S 5 missing Download Booster feature


Reports are surfacing today indicating the Download Booster feature on AT&T versions of the Samsung Galaxy S 5 is missing. The Download Booster, a feature that Samsung highlighted during their launch event, gives users the ability to combine WiFi and LTE connections when downloading files larger than 30 MB. The combination is supposed to give a boost to download speeds. It appears that consumers who have started to receive their devices from AT&T have discovered the feature is not enabled and the switches to turn it on are not even present in the settings or notification panel. Read more

Samsung opening “Experience” stores in U.K.


Samsung has started opening dedicated retail space today in locations throughout the U.K. Similar to Apple stores, the locations give consumers the ability to get some hands on time with a wide variety of Samsung devices. In a special treat, Samsung is making the new Samsung Galaxy S 5 and Samsung Gear devices available in the new “Samsung Experience” stores before the official launch on Friday. The stores are actually being operated by Carphone Warehouse, a Samsung partner in the U.K. Locations include London, Newcastle, Liverpool, Bradford, Bristol, Manchester, Bournemouth and Cardiff.

source: Engadget

Google testing out new interface for Android’s calendar app

Google calendar new UI

Google has been internally testing out a new design for the calendar app in Android, and some screenshots of the new interface have leaked out for us to take a look at. The app is picking up a much cleaner look, abandoning the grids and lines that we’re used to in favor a slightly more colorful, flat, minimalist design. There’s a daily agenda feature and a heavy dose of social integration thanks to Google’s massive push with Google+.

The daily agenda feature rounds up all of your events for the day, including contact birthdays and information from G+, and pools them into one place for you to look at. Many other third-party calendars and OEM skin calendars have been doing this for a while now, so that would be a very nice addition to the stock Google calendar. There’s also a new separate birthdays menu that will show you upcoming birthdays from your contacts. It looks like a nice way be able to keep up with your friends’ birthdays without having it clutter up the rest of your calendar. Read more

Winds of change in smartphone market to put squeeze on manufacturers

New Samsung Galaxy S5 smarphone, Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness band are displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

After news came out earlier this week that Samsung, despite its size and commanding position in the smartphone market, was still expecting a decline in operating profit for the second quarter in a row, many people started wondering what the future may hold for smartphone manufacturers. Analysts indicate the market is already suffering from softening margins and the pressure will be on market leaders, like Samsung and Apple, to make their high-end phones more affordable. Besides the squeeze on margins at the high-end, analysts also see more of the market shifting to other segments, especially low- and mid-range smartphones targeted at the “mass market.” Read more

T-Mobile launches $40 Simple Starter plan, includes unlimited talk and text and 500 MB of data


T-Mobile’s next move is to tackle individual consumers with their latest Simple Starter plan. The plan is good for one line, runs $40 a month and gets you unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, and 500 MB of data. Similar plans on other carriers run about $60 or $70 per month, but T-Mobile’s plan doesn’t include any type of device subsidy, so you’ll either have to sign up for their Jump program or bring your own phone. With the Jump plan, you’re likely going to be right back to where the other carriers are in terms of pricing.

Still, if you’re looking to try out T-Mobile, this is a pretty low-risk plan to jump into. There’s still no contract involved, and it’s incredibly cheap. Hit the break for the press release below. Read more

New Samsung Galaxy S 5 commercial touts meaningful innovation


Samsung already ran a Galaxy S 5 teaser spot during the Academy Awards, but with the global launch just two days away, they just released their second commercial.

Those of you looking for Apple bashing will be disappointed though. This one is just a simple spot showing closeups of the phone along with some key specs including a heart rate monitor and a state-of-the-art camera.

Is this the beginning of meaningful innovation? Samsung seems to think so. I guess the consumers will decide starting this Friday. For now, hit the break for the quick 30 second spot.

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Specs revealed for upcoming Xiaomi Mi3S


Xiaomi’s Mi3 is a hit, so it’s no surprise they are working on a successor. Dubbed the Mi3S, this one looks like a complete beast, and if the rumored pricing is correct, it is going to be one hot ticket.

The Mi3S will sport a 5-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera, and LTE. There is also going to be “more metal.”

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Samsung Gear 2 teardown reveals Exynos processor


We already had a chance to see a teardown of the Galaxy S 5, so now we turn our attention to the Gear 2. Famous for complete teardowns, iFixit did just that. Samsung never mentioned what processor was powering the Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo, but thanks to this teardown, we now know it’s a dual-core 1GHz Exynos 3250.

iFixit also gave a repairability score of 8 out of 10, which isn’t too bad. They found that the watch band is “super easy to remove,” and the screws, clips, and spring contacts make the device easy to open. The battery can easily be removed and replaced. However, on the downside, the display assembly is a little difficult to deal with, not to mention costly. If you want to know more about the guts of the Gear 2, then hit the first source link below.

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Sony uses liquid heat-pipe cooling technology in Xperia Z2 and could be the reason for delays


According to a new report by DigiTimes, Sony is the second manufacturer to use the liquid heat-pipe cooling technology in a smartphone, mainly the recently announced Xperia Z2.

The first company to adopt this technology was the Japanese vendor, NEC, which used heat-pipes in its 4.7-inch Media X06E announced back in 2013. Since then, Samsung and Lenovo were in contact with Taiwan-based thermal module makers to adopt thin heat pipes technology to be used for their products, though both opted not to use them for the time being. Read more