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. Read more
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. Read more
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
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
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.
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. Read more
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
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.
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.