Latest Amazon set top box rumor puts release in April

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This past January rumors surfaced, as they tend to do on a fairly regular cycle, indicating Amazon was finally ready to launch a streaming media device during 2014. Things got quiet until recently when we’ve witnessed a significant uptick in rumors about the device. This includes indications that a variety of services would be available, not just Amazon’s Prime Instant video, and the potential for games to stream aided by a console-esque controller. Sources speaking to the WSJ are saying the device could be released as soon as April.

Paranoid Android ROM gets new Peek feature, similar to Moto X Active Notifications

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Paranoid Android is introducing a new feature into the ROM called Peek, which is an add-on for Android’s notification system that brings smartwatch-like convenience to a smartphone. Peek listens for notifications and phone movement, and if the phone is moved within 10 seconds of receiving a notification, the phone’s screen will light up to show you what you missed. Tapping the notification icon will jump straight into the corresponding application. If you’ve played around with the Active Notifications on the Moto X, the two appear to work pretty similarly.

If you’re currently a user of PA, you’ll see the new features rolled into your ROM fairly soon. If you haven’t tried Paranoid Android, this might be a good time to test it out.

You can check out the video of Peek in action below.

Updated Skype application promises to save more battery life

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Many Skype users prefer to stay logged out of the service on their phones and tablets while not video chatting because of a fear of drained battery. If you remember, Google admitted that the Nexus 5 battery is currently experiencing faster battery drain due to the camera communicating with apps such as Skype.

Skype just updated the Android app to version 4.7, which will hopefully alleviate the situation. Just one other change includes message notifications in group chats being turned off by default.

Battery life is precious these days, so anything Skype can do to improve the situation is good news.

Sonos details new music controller app to be released later this year, Android beta available now

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Sonos has announced they’ll be releasing a new controller app for their wireless music streaming devices later this year. The app will feature a fresh interface redesign, and will feature an easy way to browse music over multiple music streaming services. While listening to something on Pandora, you can pull up their discography on Spotify, for instance. If you’re the type of person that handles their music streaming and collection across multiple services, this is going to streamline your music experience for the better.

Sonos is planning on releasing the app later this year, hopefully in the late spring. However, they’re taking advantage of Android’s openness and flexibility, and they’ve released a beta version of the app for Android phones and tablets. You can log into your account on the Sonos website to get your hands on the beta app.

source: Sonos

Android Wear UI explained and detailed

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Google announced their Android Wear platform earlier today, and thanks to the Android Developer site, we’re getting a look at how the interface on Wear devices will look. Google has split up the interface into two distinctive pieces; the context stream and the cue card.

The context stream piece of the interface functions very similarly to Google Now on Android phones and tablets. A vertical list is populated with “cards” that display information to users, with different cards functioning like notifications would on a phone. Each card can be swiped left to see more information about a particular app, revealing more cards or interact-able buttons.

Motorola Care app updated to become Motorola Help

Moto Help

Motorola’s support application, Motorola Care, has been updated to become Motorola Help, and is only compatible of Motorola’s newest series of devices, including the Moto X, Moto G, Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra and Droid Mini.

With the app, you’ll be able to view FAQs, tutorials and tips regarding your phone. If you’re an Android-newbie, this app is a must-have.

Hit the break for some screen shots and a link to the app in the Play Store.

Learn more about the Moto 360 smartwatch during tomorrow’s Google+ Hangout

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Want to learn more about Motorola’s Moto 360 smartwatch? Set aside tomorrow at 2:00pm EST / 11:00am PST for a Google+ Hangout from Motorola. It will feature Jim Wicks, lead designer of Moto 360.

Jim will talk about the design and features that make this watch, featuring Android Wear, the best smartwatch ever. Just hit the source link below to see it live tomorrow.

In case you missed it, we also have the video introducing the watch after the break.

Moto X coming to India tomorrow

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Motorola’s VP of Product, Punit Soni, has announced on his Google+ page that the Moto X will be launched in India tomorrow for 23999 Indian Rupees (just under $400 USD).

Not much more to say here other than it’ll be interesting to see how Motorola will be affected by its recent ownership change from Google to Lenovo. Expect the company to increase its availability to new and emerging markets as time goes on, as Lenovo’s international presence is relatively large compared to the Motorola of yesteryear.

Source: +Punit Soni

Samsung Tizen SDK now available for all, more apps incoming

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The Tizen Software Developer Kit (SDK) is now available for developers to get their hands on. This allows developers to design applications specifically for the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

In addition to making the Tizen SDK available, Samsung provided a list of apps currently available. They include: Atooma, Banjo, Dacadoo, EasilyDo, Feedly, Focus Trainer, Glympse, iHeartRadio, iwunta (Cloudwear), Life360, Runtastic, Sleep Genius, Spritz, Strava, Vivino, CNN, Conde Nast, eBay, Expedia, Flick Dat, MapMyFitness (Under Armour), MyMusicCloud, and News Republic (Mobiles Republic).

Hit the break for the official press release.

New Swiftkey Beta includes Evernote and Google+ personalization

Swiftkey beta

Swiftkey has issued a new beta update, and it’s including a few new personalization features as well as typical bug fixes and optimizations.

Swiftkey has always been able to learn predictions and typing patterns from some social media sites and your personal texts and emails, but the keyboard will now be able to check your Google+ posts and Evernote notes and archives in order to create better predictions based on how you type. It’s not a new feature, but it’s a nice refinement of one of Swiftkey’s best features.

On top of the new personalization options, there are also tweaks and optimizations for the emoji system implemented in the last beta update. If you’re using the current beta, hit the link below to download the new version before your old version expires on the 20th.

source: Swiftkey

LG’s awkward slap-bracelet stylus leaks

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My little sister used to have tons of little slap bracelets around the house which she used on her hair to create different hairstyles. It seems as though LG thought that the same technology could be used to create a convenient way to make sure you never lose your stylus. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s pretty awkward and even bizarre.

I prefer the sleekness of a stylus that can be inserted into the top of a device, but hey, maybe they’re on to something.

We’re not sure whether this is something LG intends to really sell on the market or just give out as “party favors” at trade shows, but we’ll know soon enough. Hit the break for another photo.

Samsung’s Activity Tracker (formerly known as S Band) gets introduced in Germany with a modest price

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The Activity Tracker, which was previously known as the S Band, has been officially introduced in Germany. The Activity Tracker was fully exposed just last week and now Samsung has finally decided to reveal the wearable. In Germany, it is priced at €79.90. That translates to roughly $105 in the United States. If priced in the U.S. like that, it would be a serious competitor to Nike’s FuelBand, Jawbone’s UP, and the entire Fitbit portfolio. The one setback is that Samsung generally limits compatibility to their own devices, although that may eventually change.

Samsung to announce “high-class device” tomorrow, likely just some fancy colors

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Samsung will be announcing a high-class device tomorrow, according to their @SamsungRu Twitter account. The tweet features the image above and a caption that previews a high-class device, something Samsung has never explored.

If you are confused, you are certainly not alone. The image does include a few different colors above the announcement date; therefore, I believe that this is just going to be a device meant for the crowd that like their ‘bling’ very personal. Is it going to be a metal Galaxy S 5? That seems like a stretch considering the attached image.

What do you think this high-class device will entail?

Source: @SamsungRu
Via: Phone Arena

Motorola announces the Moto 360, an Android Wear smartwatch coming this summer

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Motorola has announced the Moto 360, a smartwatch that runs Google’s new Android Wear platform. In its introductory video, Motorola calls the Moto 360 “a truly modern timepiece.” The Moto 360 features a premium build centered around a circular watch face. Like all other Android Wear smartwatches, Google Now is the focus and can be activated by saying “OK Google.” Once activated, the features are just like the ones found on a smartphone or tablet. Sports scores, transportation times, reminders, and even sending a text message can be handled through the device.

The Moto 360, according to Motorola, will be available this Summer in a variety of designs. You can sign up for alerts from Motorola here. Motorola is also holding a Google Hangout tomorrow at 2pm EST, March 19, with the Moto 360’s lead designer, Jim Wicks.

Hit the break for a trailer explaining the Moto 360’s design.

Google may be partnering with LG for the LG G Watch

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Google has announced a new platform for wearable devices called Android Wear and already word is out that LG may be working on a Google device using this new platform. Early indications are that the device is being called the G Watch and besides the Android Wear platform, Google Now will be featured on the device as well as the ability to initiate voice commands using “OK Google” similar to Google Glass devices or the Motorola Moto X. If accurate, this would be the fourth device produced by the duo of LG and Google, joining two Nexus smartphones and a Google Play Edition tablet.