A long awaited feature that Google users have desired is the ability to back up and save data externally. Google finally announced support for exporting and backing up your Gmail and Google Calendar data without needing to use third-party software. All you need to do is head to Google’s data download page, which you can visit via the source link, sign into your account, and click “Create an archive.”
You can choose to download everything in your account, or just pick and choose the elements you want to back up. Gmail messages come in .MBOX format, while calendars download in as an .ICAL. In typical Google fashion, this feature will be rolled out over the next month.
Source: Official Gmail Blog
In an obvious defensive move, AT&T has just announced new Mobile Share Value plans to entice those that don’t want a contract. In a nutshell, if you buy your phone outright from AT&T, join the Next program, or buy it somewhere else, you will get a $15 discount off the fee for each smartphone in the Share Plans. They are also standardizing the fee to a flat fee of $40 for each smartphone for subsidized customers as opposed to the range of $30 to $50 depending on the data size. So this means that if you buy a phone off contract, your will pay $25 for the phone, plus whatever data package you sign up for.
Data plans are also changing a bit. The 1GB and 2GB options are going up by $5 to $45 and $55 respectively, while the 6GB plan drops from $90 to $80. Last but not least, they are adding an 18-month plan to the Next program, so you can opt for either 12-months or 18-months for upgrading your device.
The Nexus 5 is a great phone, but one of the issues with it is the camera. It actually takes decent pictures, but it’s so damn slow, it’s useless unless you are taking a picture of scenery. Well, obviously Google is fully aware of the situation and the upcoming Android 4.4.1 update should fix this. Dave Burke, Google’s Director of Engineering for Android, told The Verge that the balance between low light and image quality went too far towards image quality, thus slowing things down a little too much. With 4.4.1, they increased up the framerate and and how quickly the camera can read it’s surroundings, making things a lot quicker.
The Verge already had some hands on time with the new software and they noticed a dramatic improvement. They said it’s a “massive upgrade” and pictures were now “crisp and in focus”, but also added that they weren’t as sharp as the iPhone 5S.
The update should be rolling in the next few days so stay tuned. For now, hit the break and see some before and after shots.
Pantech just announced a slightly smaller version of the 5.9-inch VEGA NOTE. The Secret VEGA UP sports a 5.6-inch Full HD display. quad-core Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 13MP rear camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, 3,150mAh battery, LTE-A, and Android 4.2.2. Most of the specs are the same as the VEGA NOTE except for a little less RAM (2GB vs 3GB), less storage (16GB vs 32GB), and no stylus support.
The Secret VEGA UP also includes a fingerprint scanner, just like the VEGA NOTE, and includes Secret 2.0 mode, which makes the display visible to only those looking directly at it. Pantech is definitely an innovative company that I would like to see more of here in the U.S.
Well here’s an interesting item for the gadget freak. This rear view mirror is running Android and has a 5-inch display along with a camera for video recording. It looks pretty slick, but there are a couple of issues. First, it only connects via Wi-Fi, so that would mean that it would have to tether to your phone while on the go. Next, and probably not a big deal, is that it’s running Android 4.0 along with a custom UI called CubiDroid. I say not a big deal, and if the Play Store is included, it won’t be. The problem is that It’s not clear if it’s included. They do mention an app store with over 700,000 apps, so I can only assume it is, but you know how that goes. It’s also mentioned that it comes with navigation software, but it doesn’t mention Google Maps.
The 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display has a resolution of 800 x 480, and it has a 1,2 GHz single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD slot for up to an additional 64GB of storage, FM transmitter, a camera that records video at 720p, and a 650mAh battery.The battery probably won’t last too long, but they do include a car charger. Last but not, least there is an optional Bluetooth headset ($15). The rear view mirror is priced at $226 at Pentagadget or $250 on eBay. More pics after the break.
We already know that Google will release a version of Google Glass for people who need prescription lenses. We can only assume it will be ready when the retail version of Glass launches, but if you want a quick idea of what it will look like, check out the image above and below. We know it’s the real deal since it was posted by a Googler. However, the post has since been pulled, so it’s obvious that Google didn’t want anyone to see them yet.
As you can clearly see, it’s a pretty clean look. From what I can tell, the frames were designed to go with glass, but it would be cool if they could modify it in that you could just attach the white part to any pair of glasses. That way you could choose your own design. Now all we need is a left eye version and we will be all set. Hit the break for another image.
Curved glass screens? That’s so 2013. The real next big thing, according to Samsung, is going to be devices with transparent screens. Samsung has filed a patent for controls on the backside of a device that has a transparent front display, and that’s really just a mind-blowing sci-fi pipe dream at this point. These displays will allow users to interact with them on both the front and back, and supposedly you’ll be able to see what’s behind the display thanks to their slightly transparent nature.
Some of the interactions listed in the patent involve opening a folder by tapping the back of the screen, expanded truncated text, simultaneously moving objects like icons and widgets on a device, controlling video playback, and unlocking the device, all without ever touching the front of the device. Obviously this isn’t something we’re going to see implemented in a device anytime, but it’s a nice glimpse into Samsung’s vision of the future. (or maybe just something to sue other companies with, but let’s hope not)
If you’re interested, you can hit the source to see some visual diagrams for how much of this will work according to Samsung.
source: Patent Bolt
Sony has released a new update for their Smartwatch 2 that includes a handful of new features and fixes a few quirks of the device. You’ll find several new watch faces, an increased font size, automatic light sensing and a built-in stopwatch app. On top of that, Sony has built in a fast-scroll option for notifications and an option to mark all notifications as read. That seems like something simple enough that it should have been included from the beginning, but take what you can get.
You can launch the update through the Smartwatch’s Play Store app below.
Play Store Download Link
With the LG G Flex starting to get a release date overseas, the company is now projecting big things for smartphones with curved/flexible displays. LG believes that these smartphones will have 40% of the market by 2018. Their reasoning for believing so is in the appeal of curved displays because they form to your hands, providing a natural feel. And according to SlashGear, components for the handset are “a collaboration between cutting-edge production technologies from LG Display, LG Innotek, and LG Chem.” LG clearly believes in the future of smartphones with curved displays. Dr. Ramchan Woo says that “‘it took, like, three years [to develop G Flex], but now it would be much shorter.'” Read more