Rendered Image Leak of Meizu MX3 Confirms Previous Design Spec Rumors

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China’s mobile smartphone manufacturer, Meizu, is at it again.  They have improved on their original MX2, with their latest and greatest handset, dubbed cleverly enough as the MX3. The device was previously rumored to contain a 5.1-inch full HD display, Exynos 5410 Octa processor, and a narrower bezel.

Although the leaked rendered image above does suggest that the MX3’s screen will be at least 5.1, with a narrow bezel, there is still nothing firm from our sources to confirm the Exynos 5410 processor, but since the rest of the rumors appear to be holding true, this may not be too far of a stretch from reality.

Facebook to unveil “new home on Android” April 4th

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Facebook is planning something pretty big for a large unveiling on April 4th, according to their latest press invitation. What big thing, you may ask? Their “new home on Android.” What exactly does that mean? We don’t know, but we can make some pretty good guesses.

Facebook has recently been testing the waters with updates through their app outside of Google Play, so it makes sense that they may be launching something, like a phone that’s been in the rumor mill for ages. We’ve heard all kinds of rumors leak about the “Facebook phone,” and with Amazon’s success with their Kindle lineup, it wouldn’t be too hard to imagine Facebook taking another stab at the phone market, despite their first attempt not doing so well.

While all the signs point towards a Facebook phone announcement on April 4th, it’s important to remember they are still rumors. Facebook could just announce more changes to their Android application, or anything else. When the 4th rolls around, though, we’ll be sure to let you know.

source: The Verge

Google’s Takes ‘OPN Pledge’ to Protect Open Source and Patents

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Following in the footsteps of Open Source pioneers IBM and Red Hat, Google has taken a giant leap forward in preserving the purity of Open Source and Patents in the world of technology.  In a recent blog post on Google’s “Open Source Blog”, Senior Patent Counsel, Duane Valz, makes a less-than-obvious attack on patent and money hungry technology companies (like the one named after that one fruit that Eve took a bite out of that started this whole mess).  He states the importance of protecting this purity to ensure continued innovation in the world of computer software, and continued advancement in cloud computing, the mobile web, and the internet in general.

Today, Google announced its “Open Patent Non-Assertion (OPN) Pledge“.  In it they pledge “NOT to sue any user, distributor or developer of open-source software on specified patents…unless first attacked.”  Gotta love that last part!  Google, in their infinite wisdom, has included an Apple escape clause (Oops!  Just came right out and said it that time).

At this point Google has only identified 10 patents relating to MapReduce in their initial pledge list, but vow to expand on that list, adding “past, present or future” open-source software that might rely on pledge patents.  Good for you Google!

Leaks & Rumors about Motorola’s X and Upcoming Nexus Smartphones

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Ladies and gentlemen, get ready for some interesting news from the rumor mill. We have been seeing a hint here and another one there indicating what Google & Motorola has planned for its upcoming X smartphone. And although there have been rumors and speculation floating around for a while now, we have in fact, began to see more and more leaks about Motorola’s upcoming X phone. As if you all haven’t had enough yet, we now have more rumors to share with you courtesy of our friends from Android and Me. These leaks and rumors seem to come from a “confirmed source” of proven reliability…so hang on to your seats as we break down the latest and greatest!

4.2.2 Verizon Galaxy Nexus and 4.2.1 Sprint Galaxy Nexus Factory Images Posted

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For those of you that own a Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and are running a custom ROM then I have good news for you. Google updated its Developers site with the 4.2.2 factory image. So if you botch your phone or have to return it to Big Red you can bring it back to a stock state. Those of you on Sprint and happen to own that version of the Galaxy Nexus will be happy to know that the 4.2.1 image was also uploaded. So head on over to the source link below and find your respective image. Happy flashing!

source: Google Developers

Tasker’s New Holo Redesign Graduates to the Play Store, Brings It to Android 4.0+

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Back in January we told you about an automation app that looked to redesign itself with the Holo look in mind. That app, Tasker, has graduated from its beta phase and is now available with the new theme in tow. The kicker however, is that it’s only available for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or higher. Those of you running anything below that will see the same interface as before, but you’ll at least get various bug fixes. Here’s what’s new:

v4.0
* UI updated for holo look-and-feel with selectable light and dark themes
* 200 built-in icons each in holo light and dark
* internal cleanup of deprecated APIs
* several new states, events and actions
* many incremental improvements and bugfixes
v1.6
* various incremental improvements and bugfixes
More: http://tasker.dinglisch.net/changes.html

If you’re looking for a great automation app that automates almost everything, and one that looks great in the process, then you can’t do wrong with Tasker. Hit the break below to get your QR code and download link. We also included a gallery of the app’s nice, new look. Enjoy!

Texas Instruments Develops New Chips That Cut Battery Recharge Time In Half

Texas Instruments

Texas Instruments has developed seven new chips in total that cut battery recharging time in half. Part of a new BQ2419x line of chipsets, they utilize a “battery path impedance compensation system” and be can be used in more than just smartphones or tablets. Portable medical equipment, mobile hotspots, and battery packs are just some of the devices that could utilize these new chips. They’re 92 percent efficient at 2A output or 90 percent efficient at 4A of output and measuring just 4mm x 4mm, manufacturers can purchase in bulk for just $2.50 per chip. Back in February, Qualcomm announced Quick Charge 2.0 which is reported to help charge enabled devices up to 75% faster than its previous technology.

Source: TechWeekEurope

Samsung Stores find their way into Best Buy, just in time for Samsung Galaxy S 4 launch

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Samsung, which is making a strong case for having the top phone for 2013 with the Samsung Galaxy S 4 even though the year is still young, is preparing to ramp up the sales channel just a bit more with the help of Best Buy. According to reports, several Best Buy locations throughout the country have been instructed to make some modifications to their sales floor so they can fit in a new Samsung “store” within a store. Coincidentally or not, this is a similar concept to what Apple and Best Buy already do for the Apple sales channel.

Nearly half of all commuters admit to texting and driving

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We may love text messaging on our smartphones, but it appears that more of us are texting and driving than previously thought before. According to a study done by AT&T, nearly half of polled commuters admitted to texting while driving, while 43% of those polled called it a habit. Oh and don’t think this dangerous “habit” is limited to just teenagers too— in fact, adults are even worse offenders than teens. AT&T claims that 49% of adult commuters are texting and driving, compared to 43% found with teens. Additionally, despite the number of ads we’ve seen out there and new features found in smartphones, it appears texting while driving is growing in popularity as six in 10 commuters say they never texted while driving three years ago.

Fortunately AT&T (which has long been an advocate of safe driving practices) is encouraging individuals to take action against unsafe driving habits for April. By calling on employers to help end texting while driving by taking action during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April (and beyond), AT&T has begun a full-fledged assault on the significant issue. It’s also asking businesses to join the more than 165 organizations already engaged in its Texting & Driving-It Can Wait movement.

Hopefully we will see those numbers come down a bit in the future.

source: AT&T

Toshiba Launching Thinnest Ever 13 Megapixel Camera Sensor

Toshiba

Toshiba has managed to create the world’s thinnest 13 megapixel camera sensor and will start shipping samples to manufacturers in May. Measuring just 4.7 mm thick, we could see it in Android devices starting this holiday shopping season. As technology advances, so does the size of smartphones and tablets. Having a super thin camera sensor will help to better fit inside the next generation of devices. Toshiba was able to get the camera sensor so small thanks to a dedicated signal processing unit and four plastic lenses. They also used a used a flip chip structure in place of a wire bonded structure. In non-technical terms, it’s incredibly small. Toshiba plans on manufacturing one million of these per month and should cost around $74 USD.

Source: Unwired View

Featured Android App Review: Jokes HD [Entertainment]

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Oh if I had a nickel for every developer who writes to me asking to check out their new joke app. I usually don’t bother, but a new one from SMSROBOT LTD just hit the scene. Their most recent app, Countdown Widget, was a hit so I thought I would check it out. It’s called Jokes HD, and it has a very clean and smooth interface.

As I mentioned, there are a number of joke apps out there, but Jokes HD is sure to have the best content since all jokes are approved by the Content Management team. Now that doesn’t mean that you are going to fall on the floor laughing at every joke because everybody is different. What it does mean is that you won’t find a lot of the crappy jokes that you find in other apps. Jokes HD even lets you favorite any jokes as well as share them via Facebook. The favorites feature comes in handy when you’re heading to a party, and you can’t remember that good one you read the other day. Lastly, you can vote and comment on any of the jokes. This means that you can quickly see what the most popular jokes are at any given time. For commenting, you will need to login to your Facebook account, which also lets you submit jokes.

Image of Samsung Galaxy S 4 wireless charging accessory

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While potential buyers practice their patience techniques while waiting to get their hands on a new Samsung Galaxy S 4, one method they may want to use is to search around for accessories. One of those accessories could be a wireless charging plate for their new device. Earlier today an image surfaced showing a wireless charging plate and replacement back cover for the Galaxy S 4. Other than the images, no real details are available concerning the wireless charging kit. The replacement back cover appears to be quite thin and may not add any thickness to the smartphone, but it is very difficult to tell from the angle provided in the image. The charging pad itself is only slightly larger than the device. No pricing information is available nor is it known whether the kit will be available when the Galaxy S 4 first starts hitting consumers hands.

source: Unwired View

AT&T announces pricing, pre-order schedule for Samsung Galaxy S 4

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AT&T announced today that they will begin taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 on April 16th. The device will be available for $249.99 with a two-year contract. AT&T implies in their announcement that they are the first carrier to accept pre-orders for the new device. At least two carriers in the U.K., Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse, have been taking pre-registrations for several weeks now. Those companies have found interest to be “off the charts” so AT&T can probably expect the pre-order page to see some heavy traffic starting on April 16th. Now that AT&T has kicked things off, expect to see other major carriers follow suit.

source: AT&T

Samsung continues to strenghten their ecosystem with launch of the ‘Content & Services’ app store

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We all know that Samsung is the king of Android for now and the reason is simple. They have created their own ecosystem from their own branded software features. Samsung just opened up their brand new app store simply called “Content & Services.” The name isn’t all that exciting, but it’s just one more step in the “Samsung becoming Apple” game.

With Samsung, it’s not just about phones and tablets because they offer televisions that integrate as well. This app store is one place where Samsung customers will find apps and content that is compatible with all Samsung devices. Users will also be able to see their own content via the AllShare section and can locate and/or lock their lost phone via the Find My Mobile section. There’s even a ChatOn section. Just hit the source link to see what it’s all about.

source: Samsung Content & Services