Google IO 2017 Coverage

Sprint to close 55 stores and lay off 330 employees

Sprint

At the start of the year Sprint warned that the company was going to have to make some big changes in order to cut costs. Well today we learned exactly how they’re going to do that. Today the company told CNet that they’re going to close 55 stores, up to 150 service centers, and lay off up to 330 employees.

The stores that are going to be closed down are the “worst performing” ones, meaning they weren’t really helping the company anyway, and actually could have been costing the company more than they were making. Those that will be losing their jobs will be primarily tech consultants, which may or may not affect the companies customer service standards.

Source: TechnoBuffalo

Link Bubble offers chat heads for links

link_bubble_screenshot_3 link_bubble_screenshot_2It’s fair to say that the in-app web linking experience in Android isn’t that great. Luckily for us there’s people to fix that! The new Link Bubble app essentially offers users Facebook-style chat heads, but for links, opening a web browser over whatever you’re currently doing.

Link Bubble offers a number of great features, including the ability to share the link by dragging it to one of the two customizable tabs. The left one defaults to pocket, or Facebook if Pocket isn’t installed. The right side defaults to the Android share menu. Hit the break for a video, screenshots, and the Play Store download link!

Second AMOLED tablet from Samsung spotted on benchmark site with 10.5-inch display

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Samsung has indicated in the past that it was ramping up production of larger AMOLED displays to be used in tablet devices. We are starting to see the results of that appearing in places like the GFXBench benchmark site. Earlier this week an 8.4-inch Samsung tablet equipped with an AMOLED screen running 2560 x 1600 resolution was spotted. Now, a second device with an AMOLED display running at the same 2560 x 1600 resolution has been spotted, but with a larger 10.5-inch screen.

Firefox Beta for Android gets updated to support Firefox accounts, data sync

firefox sync

Mozilla’s “Firefox Accounts,” introduced earlier this year, was created to help sync all data used between the Firefox browsers on your computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. This information includes passwords, browsing history, bookmarks, settings, open tabs, etc.

Now, support for Firefox Accounts has come to its Android beta app. You’ll be able to turn on the feature by tapping on the message that will appear when you open up a new tab while using the updated app for the first time.

Hit the break below for the full changelog as well as a link to the app in the Play Store.

Samsung releases teaser video for new DESIGN.SAMSUNG.COM site

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Samsung is frequently the target of criticism for design choices related to their smartphones and tablets with many seeing manufacturers like Apple and HTC producing much nicer devices, especially in terms of material selections. Samsung has claimed in the past that they have very good reasons for the choices they make, mainly related to things like durability and cost savings. Now it appears they want to focus more on design choices they make for all of their products with a new web site, design.samsung.com, slated to be available on March 27th.

Amazon Appstore giving away 14 hit apps for free as part of birthday celebrations

amazon_birthday_promo

A couple weeks ago Amazon announced that they would be giving away 2 weeks of gifts through the US app store to celebrate the third birthday of the app store. Now the company is offering 14 premium Android apps that normally sell for $50.

The apps being offered include Polaris Office, normally $13, Sketchbook pro, normally $5 and Monopoly, also normally $5. Hit the break for the full list of apps being offered for free!

Sprint taking pre-orders on Galaxy S 5 starting today, releases pricing and shipping information

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Now that the Galaxy S 5 is officially outed and set for launch on April 11, retailers and carriers are preparing to get units moving as soon as they’re available.

Following AT&T, US Cellular and T-Mobile, Sprint has announced that it will begin taking pre-orders on the device, and has released its pricing and shipping information as well.

Pre-orders will begin today, and customers will have to pay $199.99 (after a $50 mail-in rebate) and sign a new two-year contract. You’ll also be able to get the device through Sprint’s Easy Pay plan, in which you get the device for nothing upfront, while you’re charged 24 monthly installments of $27.09, coming out to a total of $650.16 after two years.

Sprint will also be making the new Galaxy Gear line available, and pricing is the same as AT&T’s. The Gear 2 will be offered for $299.99, and the Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit will be sold for $199.99 each.

Source: Sprint

AT&T offering chance to win “amazing new HTC device”

at&t_htc_one_m8_teaser

A promotional page on Twitter is making the rounds and bringing news of an “amazing new HTC device” to be released soon. The “share the secret” page really isn’t leaving much to speculation, with a mock up image of a device that looks strangely similar to the all new HTC One, also known as the HTC M8. The page also gives a price for the device, with an approximate retail price being $639.99.

Furthermore, AT&T is giving away 5 handsets between today and March 25, or one per day until the official launch of the device. People can also earn additional entries into the competition by sharing links with their friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Share: AT&T

Best Buy making sample units of Galaxy S 5 and Galaxy Gear 2 available to shoppers starting today

Galaxy-S5-Black

Want to test out the Galaxy S 5 and the new Galaxy Gear line before release date?

Starting today, Best Buy will be making sample units of the devices available to the public in its stores, weeks before their respective launch dates.

This would mark the first time a retailer has ever showcased a phone before its launch. The deal is part of Samsung’s year-old partnership with Best Buy, which brought nearly 1,400 Samsung “experience shops” within select Best Buy locations.

Best Buy’s goal here is preorders, and we’re expecting that number to be pretty high in anticipation for the launch of Samsung’s newest line of Galaxy devices.

Source: Mashable

Moto 360 to include OLED screen, wireless charging and sapphire glass

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The Moto 360 is one of the most interesting smartwatches to date, and while it certainly looks great not too much is known about the specifications of the device.

We know for sure that the device will run on Android Wear, the new OS made specifically for wearable devices. Other rumors are suggesting that the device will include an OLED display, which makes sense due to the fact that Motorola stated that they would use technology from the Moto X. An OLED screen would also be the obvious choice to save battery life.

Camera Samples of the upcoming Oppo Find 7 leaks

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Oppo has generated a lot of attention with its new flagship capable of taking 50 MP pictures. In fact, the smartphone doesn’t have a 50 MP camera, the Find 7 is fitted with a 13 MP camera sensor but because of the super zoom feature, the company has said that it is capable of taking 50 MP pictures by capturing up to 10 pictures and stitching them together in order to produce a 50 MP image.

A new set of camera samples of Oppo’s upcoming flagship, the Find 7, have been leaked boasting the 50 MP super zoom feature. The images look quite promising with a decent color and contrast both in outdoor pictures as well as indoor, but there’s no image of a low light environment.

As for the specs, the Oppo Find 7 rocks a a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 2.5 GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, 13 MP rear camera with dual-LED flash, 5MP front facing camera and runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Source: iAndroid, ePrice

 

 

YouTube for Google TV reappears in Play Store, features improved stability

 

YouTube update Google TV

The Play Store from Google TV had eliminated the YouTube app from its offerings last month, which seemed like a complete head-scratcher at the time.

As it turns out, Google wanted to spend some time working on fixing bugs in the app— the process was finally completed today.

Along with the return of the YouTube app comes improved stability and customizable closed captions.

Source: Android Police

Pebble sold 400,000 devices last year, ready for the Android Wear onslaught

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While Google garnered a lot of attention earlier this week with the release of Android Wear for wearable devices, especially smart watches, one company is a bit of an “old hand” in the smart watch category. Pebble is coming off a successful 2013 that saw them sell over 400,000 smart watches and they expect revenues to double in 2014. Despite this success, Pebble’s CEO Eric Migicovsky knows Google’s entry into the market is a potential game changer and will force his company to be “laser-focused on creating the very best user experiences we can.”

Layar develops Glassware for added augmented reality experience

Layar

Layar, an augmented reality application, has brought its services to Google Glass, allowing users to simply look at things in the real world and obtain detailed information about it through Google Glass.

A simple “scan this” command will instruct the app to find additional information about whatever the user is looking at.

Not sure what we’re talking about? Check out Layar’s video after the break.

ZTE Nubia X6 spotted on Tenaa with a 6.44″ display

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The ZTE Nubia X6 has been teased a couple times by ZTE, but we haven’t really been able to find out much about the specs of the device until now. The device was recently leaked on Chinese site Tenaa, and it turns out that the device is actually a 6.44″ phablet!

The screen has a 1080p resolution and will be a rival to the Sony Xperia Z Ultra. Because of the big screen, the device itself has larger dimensions, at 175.9 x 89 x 7.9mm. It also weighs a total of 220g.