Huawei plans to be third-best smartphone manufacturer in the world, throws jabs at Apple and Samsung in the process

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Considering Huawei is on a little bit of a tear with its latest newest smartphone release, it should come as no surprise that it will be much more aggressive with its positioning as one of the world’s top brands, while creating a little bit of controversy in the process. While showcasing its new Ascend P6 smartphone to the general public last week, CEO Richard Yu made it clear that the company as a whole intends to make devices better than the world’s top brands, while making them cheaper and thus, more attractive for consumers in the process. Oh and Yu also highlights that Sammy’s Galaxy S 4 is not only painfully average, but Huawei is on the path to making its devices much more user-friendly for its consumers:

Accessories for the Moto X already on sale

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The Moto X isn’t expected until October, but you can already buy a Skinomi TechSkin Skin Protector for it for $19.99. They are offering silver carbon fiber, brushed steel, brushed aluminum, dark wood, light wood, or carbon fiber. They even offer a screen protector for $11.99. Last week the specs for the Moto X were revealed, but it wasn’t earth-shattering. It will come with only a dual-core CPU and a 720p display, but it will likely be a very good quality phone for an amazing price.

sources: skin protectorscreen protector

Thanks Aiden!!

Samsung could utilize Carbon Fiber in future devices

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The biggest complaint with Samsung has been their overuse of plastic in their smartphones and tablets. We have heard that Samsung could start implementing metal in their 2014 models, but don’t rule out Carbon Fiber. Turns out Samsung formed a strategic partnership with the SGL Group, which is one of the leading manufacturers of carbon-based products and materials. Samsung Petrochemical and SGL Group will each hold a 50% stake in the joint venture, which will be called Samsung SGL Carbon Composite Materials. The primary objective is to develop new industrial and electronic applications with carbon composite materials for Samsung and the Korean market.

One of the reasons why Samsung continues to utilize plastics is the fact that it’s light and durable. Carbon Fiber offers that as well so this seems like a natural fit for Samsung. Hit the break for the full press release.

Sony quietly working on refreshed Sony Xperia Z smartphone with Snapdragon 800 processor

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Considering all the other cool kids on the block

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Considering Sony is expected to utilize the same chipset in other upcoming flagships like its quietly-hyped Xperia ZU smartphone, we’re going to go ahead and take this leaked information as true. Hopefully it won’t be too long of a wait before the refreshed device hits the Android world.

source: Xperia Blog

Manage all your cloud storage services with CloudCube

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If you’re like me, you probably utilize more than one cloud storage service. I mostly use Dropbox and Google Drive. I even have a Box account, but I rarely use it. If you frequently use more than one service, you might want to check out CloudCube. It was created by XDA forum member aash-86, and it will allow you to manage Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive, and Yandex Disk all from one app. You will have all the same features you would expect to have from the individual apps such as syncing and uploading/downloading.

Samsung Galaxy Note III to feature a 5.7-inch display

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It has been widely rumored that the Samsung Galaxy Note III will feature a 5.9-inch display, but the latest word is that it will only have a 5.7-incher. I guess this really isn’t surprising since the original Note had a 5.3-inch display and the Note II had a 5.5-incher. If you’re doing the math, that’s an upgrade of 0.2-inches. Add that to the current Note II and you get 5.7-inches. I guess we will have to wait until the Galaxy Note 4 for 5.9-inches.

source: @evleaks

Kool-Aid Man photobombs pictures in new Android app

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Taking pictures with your friends is fun, but it gets kind of dull sometimes. You know what would really spice up your photo galleries? How about photobombing your pics with the Kool-Aid Man? If you’ve ever wanted to stick the giant red pitcher mascot into your photos, you have a really weird sense of humor, but you’ll be able to now thanks to Kraft’s latest Kool-Aid app.

The app is pretty simple. You select or take a picture, then superimpose your favorite glass of Kool-Aid anywhere onto the picture. You can adjust the size and position so it always look as natural as possible, then share the photo through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s some pretty sneaky advertising, but hey, it’s fun. Hit the link below to download the app.

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Play Store Download Link

More details leak about Sony’s upcoming smartwatch

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Remember that teasing smartwatch announcement Sony made the other day? We’ve got a few more details about the new device that should keep you interested.

According to Cnet, the smartwatch will come with a few enhanced features over the current $100 model, including a bigger screen and a slightly water resistant design. Sony is pushing their water resistant designs on a majority of their flagship devices, so this shouldn’t be too surprising to anyone. The smartwatch will also run Android and use a capacitive touchscreen, and will have a three icon layout under the screen for navigation. The biggest new feature, though, is the inclusion of NFC. An NFC enabled smartwatch would be able to pair with a smartphone very easily, so that’s a handy feature worth looking forward to.

The device announcement should be at Mobile Asia Expo, so we should know all the specifics and pricing in just a few days. We’ll be sure to keep you updated.

source: Cnet

TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for June 17 – June 23, 2013

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We had another busy week at TalkAndroid so here’s a recap of all the top stories. Video for Instagram was the buzz this week, but I still like HTC Zoe and Video Highlights. Sony might be ready to launch a smartwatch again, but will it be just another flop? Could Verizon be prepping another DROID phone? Probably not, but that isn’t stopping them from promoting the brand to move out older merchandise. Samsung reintroduced a zillion Galaxy S 4 variants and unveiled the Galaxy NX camera. NVIDIA seems to be a little nervous about how successful the Shield will be so they dropped the price and what on earth is Google Mine? It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week.

Accessories

Logitech releases Hamony Ultimate Hub to turn your phone into a universal remote

Apps – New

New MPme Radio app promises to find the perfect radio station for you

SmugMug releases native Android app to Google Play Store

‘Rockmelt’ news reader released to Google Play

‘Droid Combat – Mission Alpha’ officially released to Play Store, not likely linked to new device launch

Disney releases Where’s My Mickey? for smartphones and tablets

With the movie releasing this weekend, Monsters University game hits the Play Store

Gameloft’s Gangstar Vegas released for Android

Kool-Aid Man photobombs pictures in new Android app

Google’s Waze acquisition being investigated by FTC

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After announcing last week Google’s acquisition of Israel-based Waze, a “social mapping” service, word is now coming out that FTC regulators have decided to step in and conduct a review. Apparently some in the FTC believe Waze’s claim that they were a competitive threat to Google’s mapping services and thus the acquisition would run afoul of current law. Meanwhile, Google indicates the deal, which closed June 11th, did not require Federal review and approval because Waze’s revenues in the U.S. were less than $70 million.

While the review is underway, Google will likely have to delay efforts to integrate the service with their own mapping tools. If the FTC rules the acquisition should not have occurred, Google would be forced to divest themselves of the Waze unit even at a loss. Some potential buyers could include Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, all of whom have expressed an interest in the past.

Both Google and the FTC have declined to comment.

source: New York Post

Logitech releases Hamony Ultimate Hub to turn your phone into a universal remote

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Logitech just released a small puck-shaped receiver that communicates with your phone, allowing you to turn your Android or iPhone into a universal remote. It’s already included as part of the Logitech Harmony Ultimate and Logitech Harmony Smart Control products, and now it’s available as a standalone item. After you purchase the receiver for $100, users must download the free application, which can consolidate up to eight different remotes. The system is compatible with over 225,000 home theater devices and it turns Wi-Fi signals from your smartphone into IR and Bluetooth commands. Check out the full presser after the break. 

First Google Glass-recorded surgery performed by Dr. Rafael Grossmann of Eastern Maine Medical Center

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Dr. Rafael Grossmann of the Eastern Maine Medical Center recently performed a gastrostomy (placement of a feeding tube) with Google Glass in tow, streaming live to a private Google+ Hangout. Plenty of surgeries have been recorded and uploaded to YouTube, but nothing like this has been done before via Google Glass. Although gastrostomies are relatively low-risk surgeries, this is a huge step forward for education via technology in the medical field.

Dr. Grossmann said that “by performing and documenting this event, I wanted to show that this device and its platform, are certainly intuitive tools that have a great potential in Healthcare, and specifically for surgery, could allow better intra-operative consultations, surgical mentoring and potentiate remote medical education, in a very simple way.”

He went onto explain that “I was able to show not just the patient’s abdomen, but also the endoscopic view, in a very clever, simple and inexpensive way. I think that there should be ways to directly stream the endoscopic view thru Google Glass (My friend @Julianmb, also a Google Explorer, and his team of experts from @Droiders are working on that!) but this was a “Poor’s Man’s” set up.”

Source: PC Magazine

Missed Samsung’s Premiere 2013 event? Watch the full recording here!

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Good news if you didn’t catch Samsung’s Premiere 2013 event— you can view the entire thing here at your leisure. Samsung released some pretty cool devices at the event, ranging from Galaxy cameras to ATIV tablets. They really did a good job focusing on specific niches, releasing products for many different types of customers. Samsung also released a bunch of new colors for the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Check out the video below for the full event recording. 

Vine for Android updates to version 1.1 bringing some much needed improvements to the popular video-sharing service

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The increasingly popular video-oriented companion to Twitter, Vine, has updated their new Android app to version 1.1 bringing some very important improvements to the app, which currently has an average rating of 3 stars. Today’s update brings huge improvements to performance including quicker capture speed, higher quality and improved audio/video synchronization. Users now have the ability to clear their local cache in the app’s settings, search for users and hashtags and share videos to Facebook. Finally, the developers have included some bug fixes and tweaks to the UI. 

Sony teases new SmartWatch with an announcement expected at Mobile Asia Expo

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Sony are no strangers to technology innovation, especially in the portable space. The same company that brought us the WALKMAN also brought us the first “smart” watch in 2007, two points they made very clear in recent tweets with hashtags #itstime and #MAE13 (short for Mobile Asia Expo). These tweets and a couple more in the same vein seem to indicate that Sony have a new SmartWatch up their sleeve (pun absolutely intended).

Aside from the Mobile Asia Expo, Sony has some upcoming media events in Shanghai and Europe in the coming weeks, where they are expected to announce their hotly anticipated 6.4-inch phablet, presumably alongside an updated SmartWatch. The timing is perfect as multiple companies including Google and LG have stepped into the smartwatch arena, and as Sony knows, there is always room for innovation.

Source: Xperia Blog