New study says 2.1 million Chromebooks were shipped last year, 89% in the U.S.


The folks at ABI Research have conducted a study involving Chromebooks running Google’s Chrome OS. To date, there have been about 2.1 million Chromebooks that shipped all of last year. An incredible 89% of that number was in the United States alone. The research company does forecast an astounding 11 million Chromebooks to be shipped in 2019. That is an increase of about 28%. The average selling price is $338 despite Chromebooks being priced very competitively.

In 2014, ABI Research senior practice director Jeff Orr says anything can happen due to “the EOL of Windows XP, the adoption of Chromebooks, and a stronger focus on web and cloud services.” Orr adds that the response from consumers to these changes will dictate the course of the market. With Microsoft still retooling Windows, 2014 could be a huge year for Google to give Chrome OS a massive push.

What do you think the future holds for Chromebooks?

Source: ABI Research
Via: ZDNet

Samsung’s ChatOn gets updated with larger file transfers, message deletion, and location sharing


Samsung’s messaging app, ChatOn, is getting a pretty large update today with a few new features. One of the most prominent features is the addition of the ability to delete a message after it has been sent, even if the recipient has already read it. This is a nice privacy feature, but it can also be useful if you accidentally text a wrong number, too.

That’s not the only feature new to ChatOn, though. The service will now allow file transfers up to 1 GB in size (up to 5 times a day), enhanced location sharing with contacts thanks to Glympse integration, group chats that can hold up to 1000 participants, and some translation improvements.

Keep an eye out for the update on your Samsung devices.

Source: SamMobile

OnePlus One will cost no more than 350 euros in Europe


People in Europe eagerly awaiting the upcoming OnePlus One have some pricing information to think about. The One, which will have rather premium specifications, will cost no more than 350 euros. When converted to U.S. dollars, that is roughly $480; however, currency conversations are never accurate as pricing differs by each market. The great news for European consumers is that the device may not even cost 350 euros, it could in fact be much less.

Source: +OnePlus (Google+)

Share Vines and chat away with the new Vine messaging feature


These days, people will do anything to get into the messaging arena. Vine is ready to step forward and throw on some gloves to start fighting. Soon, the social network famous for its six second video clips will be adding a messaging component to combine its core feature with regular messaging. The exact name for the feature will be ‘Vine message’ or ‘VM’ for short.

Rather than requiring people to have a Vine account, Vine messages can be sent to non-Vine users as a video message to anyone in your contacts. For now, though, group messaging is not possible. If you choose to send a Vine to multiple people at once, the amount of recipients is the amount of conversations that will be started. Also, changing the color of your profile is a new feature included with the latest update.

Hit the break for download links.

FireChat is a bold new take on messaging as it does not require any internet connection


It is just as bold as it seems. FireChat is a brand new messaging application available today in the Play Store and it takes a very different approach to connect users. Don’t have an WiFi connection? Fine. Don’t have a data connection? That’s fine, too. FireChat relies upon what developer Open Garden calls “mesh networking technology.” This technology uses nearby devices to communicate with one another. For optimal communication, the developer suggests withing 30 feet, but I have seen reports of a 100 foot boundary being capable.

What FireChat does is bring people in a particular area together. So at a sports bar, for example, everyone can be chatting away in a loud room. The developer is composed of a team of just 10 people and the app is already available on iOS. The release of FireChat in the Play Store is just another step toward bringing everyone together in one place.

Hit the break for download links.

Facebook Messenger gets free calling over WiFi and more in latest update


Facebook Messenger is receiving a hefty update today that brings few, but wanted features. Instead of having all of your contacts in the same place, groups can now be composed for your favorite people and pictures will remain there. Also, if someone is not in a conversation you are having, forwarding a message or photo is just a tap away. Shortcuts to a conversation are now able to be pinned to the home screen.

Facebook Messenger finally has free calling over WiFi. You can call using your data plan; however, you are using precious data. This puts the application more in-line with others like Skype. The update is live for everyone and does not seem to be taking place with a staged rollout.

Hit the break for the full changelog and download links.

[Deal] HTC offering $50 off the cost of HTC One (M8) Unlocked and Developer Edition for today only

HTC One M8 colors

When the $699 price was announced for the HTC One (M8) Developer Edition, most people were shocked. If you were thinking of picking one up, but holding off for a sale, today is your lucky day.

HTC is offering both the Developer Edition and the Unlocked version for $50 off for today ONLY. That makes the Developer Edition $649. My understanding is that the unlocked version went for $649, so this $50 discount should bring it down to $599, but I am seeing it as $649 on the site.

The Developer Edition has an easy to unlock bootloader, while the unlocked version is free from carrier restrictions. Both are compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile.

source: @HTCUSA  / HTC

Verizon now offering 1GB of extra data for tablet customers on More Everything


After yesterday’s move to match AT&T’s 10GB family plan, Verizon has one more trick up its sleeve. Customers who activate a tablet on the “More Everything” plan will get an additional 1GB of data. The 1GB of data is shareable across all your devices and the monthly fee of $10 per tablet will remain the same. This doesn’t appear to be a short term offer since no end date is listed.

“We’re always looking at the market and our customers and creating compelling offers we think they will appreciate,” Verizon spokeswoman Debi Lewis told FierceWireless. “In this case, more and more people are using tablets (of all shapes and sizes) and adding 1 GB of shareable data to the plan helps them get even more value and enjoyment from that device (and others…).”

source: Fierce Wireless

Big changes in store for Google’s native and web apps due to wearables


Yesterday we heard about a few things that Google is cooking up for the Gmail app, and today we are hearing that those changes are part an overhaul of many Google apps, both native and web, to get ready for wearables.

9to5 Google is reporting that the Gmail additions we saw yesterday will also hit the web app and iOS. The overall plan is to provide a full page of information with menus and other distractions getting pushed out of the way. Some of the stuff that gets removed could be replaced with voice actions.

Samsung Galaxy S 5 makes payment using fingerprint a reality


The Samsung Galaxy S 5 will be hitting consumers’ hands next week and when they do, buyers can go through a setup process to register their fingerprints using a fingerprint reader built into the device. In an example of competition pushing things along, where Apple was content to use fingerprints to unlock an iPhone 5 or pay for iTunes purchases, Samsung is making the use of fingerprints more widespread.

With the help of PayPal, Samsung includes a new protocol on the Galaxy S 5 from the FIDO Alliance. This new protocol was designed so that fingerprint records stay on the device instead of being uploaded to central servers where they could be accessed.  Instead, the new protocol combines the fingerprint data with information from a device’s cryptographic chip to create a new key. When a user wants to make a payment via a web site or service that accepts PayPal, instead of logging in, the user can just swipe their fingerprint.

Is Google ready to become a mobile phone carrier?

Google Wifi

New reports out today suggest Google is starting to make moves to become a mobile phone service carrier in locations where it has deployed Google Fiber service. Supposedly Google has been in contact with Verizon to discuss the possibility of becoming a mobile virtual network operator riding on the back of Verizon’s network. Some sources have pointed out that Verizon and Google are not exactly on the same page when it comes to issues like net neutrality, so a partnership of this magnitude may be questionable. It should be noted though that Google actively develops for the iOS platform, so the company clearly will not let some philosophical disagreements stand in the way of good business.

Would you be interested in using Google as your carrier for wireless service?

source: The Information
via: Engadget

Leaked image claims to be the Samsung Galaxy S 5 Zoom


One of the variants of the Samsung Galaxy S 5 that is making its way to market sometime this year is the “Zoom” version. Like the Galaxy S 4 Zoom, the Galaxy S 5 Zoom is targeted at buyers who are interested in a better camera and don’t mind having a big lens taking up much of the back of the device to get it. We’ve already seen some specs leak indicating the camera will be a 20MP unit. Now an image has leaked allegedly showing the back of the device. Like other recent Samsung devices, this unit appears to come with the same faux leather back.

KISSIFY your photos with the new KISS Photobomb app featuring the legendary rock band KISS


Fans of the legendary rock band KISS, are going to want to head over to the Google Play Store (or Apple App Store) to download the new KISS Photobomb app. This app not only allows you to insert KISS band members in your photos, but you can also KISSIFY your friends (and yourself) by applying KISS face paint as well. Throw on a KISS Frame and you are ready to share it to the world via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You can even send KISS emoticons when you send a text message through the app. When you’re done taking and editing photos, you can access the KISSONLINE site for up to date news and events.

Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley added, “We are excited to expand the KISS experience to our mobile fans.  KISS PHOTO BOMB will rock the charts with fans around the world!” 

Hit the break for more screenshots and download links.

Spotify launching a brand new look and new features with update


Users of Spotify will notice a new coat of paint for the music streaming and management service. Besides that new coat of paint, Spotify added more ways to manage music. They include:

  • Content is king. Our new design makes accessing your favourite music smoother than ever before. The new dark theme and refined interface lets the content come forward and ‘pop’, just like in a cinema when you dim the lights.
  • It’s Your Music collection. Save albums and browse their beautiful cover art, gather your favourite artists and create playlists for every mood and moment. Found a song or album that you like? Just hit save to add it to your collection. It’s that simple.
  • We know you’ll love it. We’ve listened to all your great feedback to ensure that everything looks and feelsjust right. You told us you preferred a darker interface – so here it is.

Spotify’s browse feature is also getting an upgrade. The upgrade will help deliver more more localized and relevant content. The update will roll out starting today and you should see it really soon. We have a video for you after the break. Enjoy!

[Rumor] Google toying with the idea of an Android Silver program


While there has been chatter that Google is planning on axing the Nexus program a new rumor discovered by the folks at Android Police suggest that Google may be toying with the idea of a premium line of phones and services. Slides discovered from a presentation one last year suggest that Google will be working on an Android Silver program designed with carriers in mind.

In order to qualify for the program, a hand set must “run the latest version of Android with no or very limited customizations.” Think either the Nexus 5 or Moto X. However unlike the Nexus 5, none of these handsets will be Google made/designed. There would be displays in carrier stores with the silver devices available on their respective networks.  Unlike the Nexus program, Google will have complete control of how the experience is designed and staff of those stores must be trained/certified in selling Android Silver devices.