Google buys Green Throttle Games in quest to develop set top box

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According to recent reports, Google has acquired Green Throttle Games and aims to use the parts and labor of the company in their quest to develop a set top box. Google has confirmed the reports, but no specifics about the deal have been released.

Green Throttle Games was founded in 2012 with the goal of creating a seamless gaming experience on Android devices. The company soon released an “Atlas” game controller that connects to Android devices via Bluetooth.

Reports of a Google set top box have been making the rounds for a while now, so these reports do make sense. If Google does in fact make gaming a selling point of their set top box, they would definitely have a chance of gaining ground on Apple TV.

Source: 9to5Google

Preview for Glass scans movie posters and shows you the trailers

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A new Google Glass app called Preview for Glass has been announced, which essentially allows users be shown a movie trailer simply by looking at the poster.

The app users image recognition, and uses the command “Ok Glass, preview the movie”. The software will instantly recognize the poster and show you the trailer. The app should work with most movies currently in theaters, however it is a new app so it might now work with as many movies as the user might like. Hit the break for a video!

Pandora still the top streaming service, Spotify drops to fourth

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A couple years ago leaders in technology, including the late Steve Jobs, thought that music streaming would never really take off. Despite that, streaming is now many people’s preferred method of listening to music. Much of this is because of the improvement in mobile data speeds, making music streaming much more possible than it was before.

New statistics only recently released show that Pandora is still at the forefront of music streaming, which really isn’t surprising considering they are one of the oldest and most well known services still available. One surprise in the statistics show that iTunes Radio has taken third place, ahead of Spotify.

Source: Statista
Via: PocketNow

New Samsung patents point the way to flexible display devices

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New patents from Samsung were recently published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revealing a little bit about some of the ways the company sees flexible displays being deployed. One such device appears to resemble the slap bracelets that were popular back in the 90’s. The display when rolled out is flat, but can be wrapped around a person’s wrist forming a bracelet or, depending on what is displayed, a watch. In their patent application, Samsung describes how such a device could perform a variety of functions, like playing music when touched or moved in a certain way or tracking health information using biosensors. The possibilities will probably be limited more by the sensors and power source that can be packed into such a device as opposed to the display since the whole device could become the display.

Samsung, Microsoft join the Wireless Power Consortium to adopt Qi wireless charging

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Both Samsung and Microsoft today have announced that they are joining the Wireless Power Consortium. In doing so, the companies will adopt the Qi wireless charging standard. Samsung already belongs to, and in fact co-founded, the Alliance for Wireless Charging group; however, the A4WP agreed to work with the Power Matters Alliance (PMA) last month in order to make wireless charging a less fragmented system.

For Samsung, this is interesting as it shows they are willing to utilize another wireless charging standard. For Microsoft, however, it is a no-brainer since Nokia’s handsets utilize the WPC’s Qi wireless charging system. The WPC, A4WP, and PMA all have different standards, but this deal can move the three closer together in creating an overall cohesive experience for wireless charging.

Hit the break for the full press release.

Humble Mobile Bundle 4 adds three more games to the mix, brings the total to nine

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Didn’t jump on Humble Mobile Bundle 4’s deal last week? Well now is your chance to get an even better deal and give some money to charity. Last time around there were four games that came with any donation and two if the donation exceeded the average. Now, three additional games have been thrown in to stir the pot for above average donators. Gunslugs, Color Sheep, and OLO are the newest entrants. At the time this post was published, the average donation was $3.71 and it seems to be creeping up over time.

Here is the full list of games:

  • Catan
  • Vector
  • Riptide GP2
  • Zombie Gunship
  • BADLAND Premium *above average donation
  • Breach & Clear *above average donation
  • OLO *above average donation
  • Color Sheep *above average donation
  • Gunslugs *above average donation

Hit the source link to donate.

Source: Humble Bundle

Lawsuit filed against Google over in-app purchases by minors

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A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google by a New York mother who alleges Google is unfairly profiting from in-app purchases by permitting minors to make them without parents’ knowledge. The action is similar to an issue that Apple just recently resolved over a similar business model. According to one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff, Google has failed to incorporate reasonable controls that results in minors racking up excessive charges for “worthless in-game currency.”

Google’s first physical retail store to open in downtown Manhattan

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It’s no secret that Google has been flirting with the idea of opening it’s very own retail store, much like what Apple offers. If you’ve walked in your local Best Buy store, you’ll see a small Google stand that sells Google’s products that are available in the Play Store, thus the idea has always been there for Google. Now there are reports that Google may finally take the plunge into opening an actual store as they are finalizing a lease on a venue  in downtown Manhattan, which just happens to be a mere block away from an Apple store. Residing on 131 Greene St. the venue offers 4,100 square feet of space. We have more pictures below after the break.

Dong Nguyen, creator of Flappy Bird, is considering bringing back his wildly popular game

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Thought Flappy Bird was long gone? Think again. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dong Nguyen said that the game may be making a return in the near future. When asked, Nguyen said “I’m considering it.” But due to the stress and addictiveness of the game, he clarified that it would have a warning urging users to “Please take a break.”

HTC’s All New One specs and sales guide leaks

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When it rains, it certainly pours. This can certainly be said with HTC’s not so kept secret, the All New HTC One. Today a sales guide leaked of the device giving short descriptions on several of its features and also confirmed most of the specs. The new One will weigh in at 160g with the dimensions being 146.36 x 70.6 x 9.35, that’s a tad thicker than its 2013 predecessor. As previously rumored, the screen size will indeed be a 5″ 1080p LCD paired with the Snapdragon 801 processor. While there’s not much else regarding the camera, we do know that the front-facing lens will be upgraded to 5MP’s. As to the battery, it will come in at 2600mAh. For more info, check out the sales guide below after the break!

Google Docs and Sheets get official add-ons in Chrome

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Google is ramping up their productivity suite by bringing add-on extensions to Google Docs and Sheets. This means users will now be able to browse different extensions for Docs and Sheets that can do things like add a built-in bibliography to a paper, or create labels within a document, all through several third-party add-ons. These add-ons are synced through your Google account, so they’re carried across all of your documents automatically.

Currently, there’s just a handful of add-ons available, but Google expects that to increase pretty quickly. Among the first few available are Avery, an extension for making and printing labels, EasyBib, an easy way to create a bibliography for your paper, and Merge, which allows users to send customized emails from Docs. They’re pretty useful and you can start playing with them right away.

source: Google Drive Blog

Instagram receives a new update, brings a refreshed user interface and faster performance

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Instagram, the world’s largest and most popular social networking, photo and video sharing service, released a new version (5.1) of its app that brings many new changes.

Among these changes is a revamped user interface bringing a more flatter look to the app. In addition, the developers have reduced the size of the app by half in order to increase the overall speed. In addition, navigating through the app is much easier now as the buttons have been re-arranged to be within easy reach of the user.

HTC ‘Power To Give’ project helps cure Aids, Alzheimer’s Disease and Cancer through your smartphone

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A few weeks ago, HTC announced the ‘Power To Give’ project which is aimed at utilizing the unused processing power of your smartphone to process data and solve scientific problems.

This means that when your phone is idle, you can put the unused processing power into good use by donating some of it to help support research aimed at finding a cure for AIDS, Alzheimer’s Disease, and cancer. All you have to do is to download the ‘HTC Power To Give’ application from the Play Store and join the cause. The app will only work when your phone is being charged and has a battery level of 85%. During the night, “your phone will join an enormous secure computing grid” which aids research projects around the world.

The company has also posted an infographic detailing how the project works along with a video. We have both as well as download links right after the break.

Advertisement for LG G Pro 2 features Magic Focus feature

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Smartphone cameras are getting more and more features over time, and one of the most recently added and popular features is auto-focusing. Near and far focus features are found on the Samsung Galaxy S 5, and the LG G Pro 2 has its own “Magic Focus” feature.

The device has a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS display, a 13 MP camera, 16 or 32GB of storage with a microSD card slot,  3GB of RAM,  a quad core 2.3 GHz Snapdragon 800 SoC, Android 4.4 KitKat and a 3,200 mAh battery.

The company has released a video highlighting the Magic Focus feature, which can be found after the break.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Android game will be released in April

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Good news for all Spider-Man fans. Today, Gameloft released a trailer of its upcoming game, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

While the movie will be available in theaters in May, Gameloft posted a 40-second trailer of the game on YouTube showing spider-man web-slinging through buildings and fighting off crimes and enemies. The company announced that the game will be coming to Android in April and like its predecessor, it is packed full of action and is an open-world adventure game. 

The company is yet to announce the full details of the game. Meanwhile, check out the trailer right after the break.