Google testing out new interface for Android’s calendar app

Google calendar new UI

Google has been internally testing out a new design for the calendar app in Android, and some screenshots of the new interface have leaked out for us to take a look at. The app is picking up a much cleaner look, abandoning the grids and lines that we’re used to in favor a slightly more colorful, flat, minimalist design. There’s a daily agenda feature and a heavy dose of social integration thanks to Google’s massive push with Google+.

The daily agenda feature rounds up all of your events for the day, including contact birthdays and information from G+, and pools them into one place for you to look at. Many other third-party calendars and OEM skin calendars have been doing this for a while now, so that would be a very nice addition to the stock Google calendar. There’s also a new separate birthdays menu that will show you upcoming birthdays from your contacts. It looks like a nice way be able to keep up with your friends’ birthdays without having it clutter up the rest of your calendar. Read more

Winds of change in smartphone market to put squeeze on manufacturers

New Samsung Galaxy S5 smarphone, Gear 2 smartwatch and Gear Fit fitness band are displayed at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

After news came out earlier this week that Samsung, despite its size and commanding position in the smartphone market, was still expecting a decline in operating profit for the second quarter in a row, many people started wondering what the future may hold for smartphone manufacturers. Analysts indicate the market is already suffering from softening margins and the pressure will be on market leaders, like Samsung and Apple, to make their high-end phones more affordable. Besides the squeeze on margins at the high-end, analysts also see more of the market shifting to other segments, especially low- and mid-range smartphones targeted at the “mass market.” Read more

T-Mobile launches $40 Simple Starter plan, includes unlimited talk and text and 500 MB of data

T-Mobile_Logo_01_TA

T-Mobile’s next move is to tackle individual consumers with their latest Simple Starter plan. The plan is good for one line, runs $40 a month and gets you unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, and 500 MB of data. Similar plans on other carriers run about $60 or $70 per month, but T-Mobile’s plan doesn’t include any type of device subsidy, so you’ll either have to sign up for their Jump program or bring your own phone. With the Jump plan, you’re likely going to be right back to where the other carriers are in terms of pricing.

Still, if you’re looking to try out T-Mobile, this is a pretty low-risk plan to jump into. There’s still no contract involved, and it’s incredibly cheap. Hit the break for the press release below. Read more

New Samsung Galaxy S 5 commercial touts meaningful innovation

Samsung_Galaxy_S_5_Commerical_Meaninful_Innovation_Begins

Samsung already ran a Galaxy S 5 teaser spot during the Academy Awards, but with the global launch just two days away, they just released their second commercial.

Those of you looking for Apple bashing will be disappointed though. This one is just a simple spot showing closeups of the phone along with some key specs including a heart rate monitor and a state-of-the-art camera.

Is this the beginning of meaningful innovation? Samsung seems to think so. I guess the consumers will decide starting this Friday. For now, hit the break for the quick 30 second spot.

Read more

Specs revealed for upcoming Xiaomi Mi3S

Xiaomi-Mi3S-Snapdragon-801-soon

Xiaomi’s Mi3 is a hit, so it’s no surprise they are working on a successor. Dubbed the Mi3S, this one looks like a complete beast, and if the rumored pricing is correct, it is going to be one hot ticket.

The Mi3S will sport a 5-inch 1080p display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 13MP rear camera, 8MP front-facing camera, and LTE. There is also going to be “more metal.”

Read more

Samsung Gear 2 teardown reveals Exynos processor

Samsung_Gear_2_Teardown_Exynos_Processor_Reveal_01

We already had a chance to see a teardown of the Galaxy S 5, so now we turn our attention to the Gear 2. Famous for complete teardowns, iFixit did just that. Samsung never mentioned what processor was powering the Gear 2 or Gear 2 Neo, but thanks to this teardown, we now know it’s a dual-core 1GHz Exynos 3250.

iFixit also gave a repairability score of 8 out of 10, which isn’t too bad. They found that the watch band is “super easy to remove,” and the screws, clips, and spring contacts make the device easy to open. The battery can easily be removed and replaced. However, on the downside, the display assembly is a little difficult to deal with, not to mention costly. If you want to know more about the guts of the Gear 2, then hit the first source link below.

Read more

Sony uses liquid heat-pipe cooling technology in Xperia Z2 and could be the reason for delays

Sony_Xperia_Z2_White_Official_02

According to a new report by DigiTimes, Sony is the second manufacturer to use the liquid heat-pipe cooling technology in a smartphone, mainly the recently announced Xperia Z2.

The first company to adopt this technology was the Japanese vendor, NEC, which used heat-pipes in its 4.7-inch Media X06E announced back in 2013. Since then, Samsung and Lenovo were in contact with Taiwan-based thermal module makers to adopt thin heat pipes technology to be used for their products, though both opted not to use them for the time being. Read more

Google targets Windows XP users with Chromebook promotion

chromebook_11_colors

With the end of Windows XP support by Microsoft, Google is trying to take advantage of this opportunity by focusing more on hardware, especially the Chromebook, and to make it popular among enterprises.

The company announced today that upon buying Chromebooks for Business, it will offer a $100 discount off each managed device purchased. In addition, Google has partnered with Citrix and VMware to offer two more promotions as well. A $200 discount will be provided on Chromebooks for Business for those who buy it with VMware Desktop as a Service. Citrix is also offering a 25% discount off its Citrix XenApp Platinum Edition, which includes AppDNA software to help speed up migration from Windows XP to the newest versions.

Source: Google Blog

 

Comcast rumored to be considering their own mobile service provider business

Comcast

According to recent rumors, Comcast might branch out from simply being an Internet service provider, and move into the mobile wireless market. According to The Information, Comcast has been considering creating a nationwide mobile network that relies heavily on WiFi.

Rather than purchasing blocks of the wireless spectrum, Comcast would instead use its WiFi hotspots to provide service for a large number of devices. This makes sense considering its WiFi network is growing larger and larger, with over a million public access points. Despite the large area covered by Comcast, there will be spots without Comcast WiFi, which is where other carriers, such as Verizon, would step in.

Read more

US Air Force looking into using Google Glass on the battlefield

google-glass-xl

The US Air Force’s BATMAN (Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided (K)nowledge) research team has recently been testing Google Glass for use in the Air Force, and so far, they like what they’ve been able to do with test units. So far, they’ve tested using Glass in many different scenarios, and thanks to its low power, low footprint design, it’s been fairly helpful. It’s also a nice bonus that Glass sits above the eye and doesn’t obstruct vision, which would be a key element in giving these devices to ground troops. Read more