Samsung’s Galaxy S5 could include head-tracking gesture controls

Samsung Galaxy S5

Smart Stay and Smart Pause are just two of Samsung’s interesting and unique features that are included on many of their devices, but the functionality of these tools have sometime been questioned. Although the concepts are great, they sometimes do not work as well as advertised…

Either way, the addition of these features have proven to be successful for Samsung, especially in the marketing department, and the company is showing no signs of slowing these additions down. According to a recent patent application filed by Samsung, the Galaxy S5 will reportedly include head-tracking gesture controls. The device will be able to carry out functions determined by a wink or nod of the head. SamMobile offered an example: the phone could be able to go to the last webpage in a browser if the phone detects a head movement to the left, or the browser could go to the next page after a move of the head to the right side.

It all seems a bit silly, and I’d have to guess that people would look a bit ridiculous jerking their heads around and winking at their phones to control their devices. The idea is cool, but is it practical? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: SamMobile

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 powered by Verizon’s LTE service hits the FCC

Samsung 2014 Note Pro

Samsung made a pretty big deal of its upcoming Galaxy TabPROs and NotePRO tablets at CES this week, but that’s no reason to ignore the LTE-powered Galaxy Note 10.1 which should be released in just a few months.

The tablet passed through the halls of the FCC this week and all signs are pointing to a release on Verizon in the US.

The LTE edition of Samsung’s hit tablet has LTE bands 4 and 13 (which are used by Verizon). The Wi-Fi version is currently being sold by Samsung for $599.99— expect the LTE variant to come with a pretty hefty price tag.

Source: FCC

The future is bright for Glympse

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I remember in my early days of Android, the first location sharing app I downloaded was Glympse. It’s still the only one I use on a regular basis. Even at its infancy, it had a great user interface and worked well. Through many updates, Glympse has continued to be the premier location sharing app. It’s simple and it just plain works. I had a chance to sit down with Glympse co-founder and CEO, Bryan Trussel, to talk about where Glympse is heading.

Wi-Fi-only Sony Xperia Z Ultra appears on AnTuTu and FCC, coming soon?

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A Wi-Fi-only model of Sony’s first phablet, the Xperia Z Ultra, is on its way, according to recent appearances in the AnTuTu benchmark, as well as FCC certification databases. Perhaps Sony is ready to join the small tablets market with the 6.4-inch Z Ultra, without it’s baseband modem, and with it’s thin 6.5 mm frame?

The device is also waterproof, and can be written on with a regular pencil. Pricing and availability are obviously uncertain at this point, but we’re hoping it’ll be cheaper than the LTE version. More info should be coming soon, and we’ll keep you updated.

Source: FCC
Via: Phone Arena

Samsung issues response to recent claims of KNOX vulnerability

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Last month security researchers from Ben-Gurion University Cyber Security Labs claimed to have discovered a vulnerability in Samsung’s KNOX security platform. Samsung has issued a statement regarding the claims, indicating the issue identify by the Ben-Gurion researchers was really a classic Man in the Middle (MitM) attack and not a bug or flaw in KNOX or Android. Samsung indicates they reached out and discussed the issue with the security researchers  and were able to verify that the exploit that was identified exists as it “uses legitimate Android network functions in an unintended way to intercept unencrypted network connections from/to applications on the mobile device.”

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo pictured for the first time

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Earlier today we showed you full specs of the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, and now we have a picture to put to a name. In the picture you see above, posted by SamMobile on Twitter, the device on the right is the Galaxy Note 3, while the device on the left is the new Galaxy Note 3 Neo.

As a reminder, the Note 3 Neo will reportedly feature a 5.55-inch 720p Super AMOLED display, an 8-megapixel camera, a 3,100 mAh battery, 2GB of RAM and a new 6-core processor when it debuts in the near future.

Source: @SamMobile

Pulse Pro Google TV-powered set-top box announced by Hisense

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Google TV hasn’t been the company’s best venture, but that doesn’t stop other companies from expanding on the concept. At CES 2014, Hisense showed off their new set-top box, the Pulse Pro, which runs what Hisense calls Android TV v4. While it’s technically not Google TV, it runs Google TV apps and has the same PrimeTime guide.

However, Pulse Pro has some big differences from Google TV, including a very image-focused home screen design that allows for quicker access to hubs like Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon Video. Also, Pulse Pro comes with a better remote that has built-in buttons for Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon in addition to a microphone and motion sensor. Pricing and availability info is still up in the air, so we’ll have to see just how well it works.

Source: 9to5 Google

Android 4.4.2 test firmware for Galaxy S 4 leaked

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Motorola devices began getting Android 4.4.2 a few days ago, but Samsung users were still waiting. Lucky for S4 users, SamMobile has gotten their hands on an exclusive Android 4.4.2 test firmware – I9505XXUFNA1 – for the Galaxy S 4. The firmware is expected to officially launch in February or March, but thanks to SamMobile, you can test it out now.

4.4.2 has minor UI changes, with the most noticeable being that all of the status bar icons are now white, instead of the old Ginerbread green. There’s also a little bump in performance and benchmark scores. A few other fixes include better landscape keyboard performance, and a camera shortcut on the lockscreen. Click through the source link to get instructions on how to try it out yourself.

Source: SamMobile

Hands on with the Intel-powered Fuhu DreamTab at CES 2014

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Fuhu is definitely the leader when it comes to kids tablets. From toddlers to tweens, there is a Nabi tablet for everyone. If that isn’t enough, now Fuhu is readying the launch of the DreamTab which is a collaboration with DreamWorks. I had a chance to play with it at CES 2014, and I was quite impressed to say the least.

Lets talk specs. The DreamTab might be for kids, but it’s no “kids toy” if you know what I mean. You will have your choice of either 8-inches, 12-inches, 19-inches, or a whopping 24-inches. All will be IPS and at 1080p resolution. Under the hood, it’s powered by a 64-bit quad-core Intel Atom Z3740 processor (Bay Trail), 2GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of internal storage, microSD slot for expanded storage, 5MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, front-facing stereo speakers, NFC, Wi-Fi, and Android 4.4 KitKat. Plus, it’s Google certified, so you will have access to all the apps available in the Google Play Store, at least the ones you allow your kids to use.

Full specs of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo leaked

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The so called “lite” version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 looks to be actually called the Galaxy Note 3 Neo, according to a couple of internal product positioning documents acquired by GSMArena.

The specs of the device include an 8MP camera, 720p Super AMOLED display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Going by those specs, the Galaxy Note 3 Neo looks more like a refreshed Galaxy Note 2 rather than less powerful Galaxy Note 3. What’s a little more interesting is that the device features a 1.7GHz dual core + 1.3 GHz quad core processor.

Snapchat apologizes for leak, offers users a way to protect themselves

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The huge breach of information that Snapchat suffered through a couple weeks ago was pretty embarrassing for them. What makes things worse is that Snapchat actually admitted to knowing about the flaw in their security months before the breach happened. Well Snapchat has finally apologized for the leak, and they’ve offered users a way to protect themselves.

Users can now opt out of the “find friend” feature, which disconnects their phone number from their username, allowing their information to be kept much more safe. In a blog post detailing the new update, Snapchat said that the option “is available in Settings > Mobile #” and that the update “also requires new Snapchatters to verify their phone number before using the Find Friends service.”

Source: Snapchat

Gmail now letting users send email to Google+ connections

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Today, Google continued its efforts to integrate many of its products— Gmail users will now be able to send email to Google+ connections.

If you want to turn the feature off, you’ll be able to in just a few steps. You’ll also be able to set whether you want to let anyone (or nobody) from Google+ email you at all.

It’s also important to note that while people from Google+ will be able to email you, they won’t actually be able to see your email address through Gmail— just your name. Privacy is still most important here, and it’s good to see that Google recognizes that. 

Source: Google Blog

Google+ may be getting Chromecast support

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In the latest Google+ apk, there are apparently some image files for Google’s Chromecast icon. Generally you only see these when you’re able to cast something to your Chromecast, so having them suddenly appear in Google+ could mean a few things.

Obviously, this likely means casting will be coming to Google+ content. Whether that’s just photos, videos, Hangouts video calls, etc. remains to be seen, but there are several possibilities there. Although considering Google is pushing for integration between your photo gallery and Google+, there’s also the possibility that this could lead to casting local content, which is something many users have been asking for. It could also be a mistake or some feature that Google may eventually cut, but that’s no fun to speculate about.

Hopefully we’ll see some kind of announcement from Google about this soon.Keep your fingers crossed!

source: Google+

via: Phandroid

Google Play Services sees update to version 4.1 with several new features

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Google has updated their core Play Services to version 4.1 which includes a handful of nifty new features. They’ve added in turn-based multiplayer for Google Play games with support for up to 8 players and a new transition splash screen for when games ask to connect to Google Play. Developers will also now have access to a Google Drive API which they can use to allow apps to read and write files saved to Google Drive so apps and programs can remain synchronized across devices. That’s something that will definitely take the headache out of switching devices in the future.

There are also some minor tweaks, including updates to Google’s Mobile Ads SDK and improved Google+ integration. Nothing major in this update, but there are enough cool new tricks to stay interesting. Like all of Google’s new updates, this Play Services update will likely roll out over the next few weeks to your devices.

source: Android Developers Blog

Huawei takes a stab at the Android video game console market with Tron mini-console

Huawei Tron console

Android video game consoles are a popular trend lately as we’ve seen with the OUYA console and the Mad Catz MOJO console. And of course, anything that’s worth doing is worth overdoing, so Huawei is going to throw their hat in the ring with their latest mini console titled Tron. It’ll run a slightly tweaked version of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and Huawei’s own digital store for content. That probably means no Play Store, unfortunately.

The actual hardware isn’t bad, with a Tegra 4 CPU, 2 GB of RAM and standard WiFi radios. The Tron will be available in 16 and 32 GB storage variants, as well as black and white color schemes. The console itself is cylindrical and looks pretty basic with no LEDs or anything. The controller sticks out the most looking like an Xbox 360 controller with a touchpad crammed between the buttons. That touchpad will likely come in handy when trying to play touch-screen only games, though, so you can’t fault Huawei for trying.