Yesterday Google started a phased rollout for a new version of the YouTube app on Android taking the version number up to 5.3. Immediately noted in the update were some slight changes to the user interface. However, digging into the apk for the update revealed several new features that appear to be on the horizon for YouTube including the framework for the YouTube subscription service, an offline video mode, some background music listening options, and “uninterrupted playback.” Read more
Although not as successful as they had hoped, the HTC One was highly regarded by the tech community, including myself. HTC had a clear winner in terms of design so they figured they would build upon that by “enlarging” the phone into a phablet since the demand continues to grow for phones that are large and in charge. The HTC One Max looks just like the One, only much bigger. HTC wasn’t able to compete with the likes of the Galaxy S 4 in the 5-inch category so will they be able to compete with the Galaxy Note 3 in the phablet category? HTC is hoping a few extras like a fingerprint scanner and a microSD slot will entice you, but is it enough and does the greatness of the HTC One translate to a much larger version? Hit the break to find out.
Forget about Amazon’s Nexus 7 deal for today because Staples is offering a $50 coupon on tablets that are priced at $149.99 and above. And yes, the Nexus 7 is included. You can use the coupon in stores and online. If you decide on picking up a Nexus 7 with 16GB, you’ll only have to pay $179.99. A good deal if you ask me, but it works for today only. Hit the source link to grab the coupon.
Right on the heels of the white DROID Mini leak, @evleaks has tweeted an image of a white DROID Ultra. Currently both devices, sold exclusively by Verizon, are only available in black or red; however, white could join the fun just in time for the holiday season. We’ll keep a lookout for both the DROID Mini and Ultra are set to be released. Read more
Gameloft has released a new video to show off the advantages of MediaTek’s new MT6592 processor, specifically for their Modern Combat 5 game. The video compares MediaTek’s octa-core processor with a quad-core one. Soft particles and depth of field are demonstrated so when the foreground is focused on, the background blurs. Lighting is enhanced much more with rays from the sun being able to reflect off of the players eyes. In the image above, you can see the ground can reflect what is above and also shadows can form. And something that any gamer will welcome is the addition of a lot more texture.
For the full video, hit the break to see all of what MediaTek’s processor has to offer. Read more
Video Highlights and Zoe are probably my favorite proprietary software features of this year, but I will admit Video Highlights lacked in some areas. HTC made some upgrades with Android 4.2, but they really knocked it out of the park with Sense 5.5 / Android 4.3. For starters, they changed the look of the Gallery, making it easier to navigate with swipes. For Video Highlights, they revamped the interface making things so much easier, changed up the themes (or effects), and added the ability to use your own songs. You can even pick exactly what part of the song you want. About the only thing left is for HTC to give us the ability to make our videos longer, but hey, they need something for Sense 6 don’t they?
Also in Sense 5.5 is the ability to make GIFs from Zoes. This is a needed feature since Zoes and Google’s Auto Awesome feature don’t work together anymore. With the GIF Creator, you can not only select what part of the clip you want, but you can also add effects to it like speeding it up or slowing it down.
Check out my video after the break detailing all the changes to the Gallery, Video Highlights, and the GIF Creator in Sense 5.5.
Ah yes, I love this time of the year. It’s deal central and if you’re in the market for a Samsung Galaxy S 4, Best Buy has the deal for you. The best part of it is that it’s already live so you can beat the Black Friday rush. You can grab either the AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon Galaxy S 4 for Free on contract. This includes new lines as well as upgrades, plus they are offering all colors.
This happens to be one of Best Buy’s 6:00pm Thanksgiving Day doorbuster deals, but they decided to start today. The sale will run though November 30, but don’t hesitate because you don’t know when they will run out.
Dead Zebra’s Series 4 Android figurines are looking pretty good. They already announced the first eight, and we have two more for you. First up is Core Dump (above), which is a Golden Delicious apple that’s half eaten. It will come in the 1/16 size. Next up is Gold (below), which comes in at 2/16 and is chrome with a gold finish. Stunning indeed.
As a reminder, the Series 4 set goes on sale this Black Friday, November 29 at 11:am EST time with a restock at 11:00pm.
The economical Desire line keeps chugging along as HTC just announced four new handsets for Taiwan, The Desire 300, Desire 501, Desire 601, and Desire 700. The Desire 700 seems to be an affordable version of the One and it has dual-SIM capability (HSPA and GSM/EDGE). It sports a 5-inch qHD (960 x 540) display, a quad-core-Snapdragon 400, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, microSD slot for expanded storage, 8MP rear camera, 2.1MP front-facing camera, 2,100mAh battery, and BoomSound. It will go for NTD 13,900 ($470).
HTC generally upgrades Sense with each major phone release, and the One Max is no exception. The Max gets upgraded to Sense 5.5 on top of Android 4.3 bringing some really nice enhancements. Most of the features and settings are the same, but HTC upgraded BlinkFeed and Quick Settings. BlinkFeed can now be turned off, but it might be worth keeping around with the latest enhancements. HTC also added a new “Do Not Disturb” mode for those times where you don’t want any calls from anyone that is not on an exception list. The One Max gets a fingerprint scanner so we will take a look at how that works, and last but not least, there is a new app called Scribble.
With the exception of the fingerprint scanner, most of the features should be part of the Sense 5.5 update for older phones such as the HTC One, One Mini, and so on. Hit the break for our complete video walkthrough of these new features.
Note: We covered the new Gallery, Video Highlights, and GIF Creator in a separate post.