ASUS roadmap points to smartphone devices for U.S. market


ASUS gave a presentation in France earlier today to discuss their roadmap for tablet and smartphone devices, including intentions to get into the U.S. market with their smartphone devices. Two slides from the presentation show the breakdown of devices in each class. Common to both smartphones and tablet devices is the MeMO line, with the MeMOFone HD 5 apparently headed to the U.S. market. Other smartphone devices include the PadFone Infinity, PadFone mini, FonePad HD 7 and FonePad Note FHD 6. The last item in that list appears to imply ASUS will be producing a stylus equipped device to compete in that market. Read more

Samsung Galaxy Note III to ship with Android 4.3


It’s all but officially confirmed that Samsung will be unveiling their brand new phablet, the Galaxy Note III in Berlin next month at IFA 2013. We have a good idea of the phone’s hardware specs, but we haven’t been able to figure out what version of Android the device will ship with. The LG G2 (which was announced on Wednesday) will be shipping with Android 4.2.2 and will upgrade eventually to 4.3— disappointing, but not a huge deal.

Good news today on the Samsung front though, as SamMobile tweeted out that the Note III will indeed come with 4.3 right out of the box. This gives the phone a head start over most other phones, and could also possibly mean that Samsung will be ahead of the curve for the impending release of Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie later this year.

The Galaxy Note III is shaping up to be an absolute beast so far— so that just leaves one question: Will you be grabbing at the LG G2 this year, or will you end up going with Samsung’s new flagship phablet, the Note III? Hit us up in the comments.

Source: @SamMobile

Chromecasting any app that uses video or audio could be coming to CyanogenMod soon


This is why I love Android. The simple fact that developers can take their stake in a product and customize tools to fit their own (and other users’) needs is a beautiful thing, and is perfectly displayed in what Koush from CyanogenMod has been doing for quite a while now (here, here, here, here, etc.).

Today, Koush announced that he has successfully built Chromecast into the CyonagenMod framework, now allowing any app with audio or video to cast directly to your TV. Yep, that’s right. You don’t have to wait for your favorite application to come out with Chromecast support anymore. So if you were holding off getting Chromecast until that glorious day finally came, it is no longer an acceptable excuse— unless of course you don’t want to load up CyanogenMod onto your phone, which is obviously a huge barrier for many of us that don’t want to deal with the rooting process.

Koush is pretty much breaking records right now considering the amount of stuff he’s developed for Chomecast so far, including streaming local videos/pictures to Chromecast, Dropbox support, RSS video support, and now showing Cast support built into the CM framework. Crazy stuff.

Check out the video after the break of Koush demonstrating it all for you, himself. Let’s hope this becomes available very soon!!

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Moto X to hit Play Store with normal software enhancements, will not be Google Edition (stock)


We already knew that the Moto X was going to head to the Google Play Store eventually, but we didn’t have official confirmation on whether it will be Google Play Edition (full stock) or whether it will include all of the software enhancements as it is sold on any other carrier. It seems as though the latter is true, as Leo Laporte said yesterday on This Week in Google that Guy Kawasaki (Motorola) said that it will come as sold as it is anywhere else.

This means that none of the Moto enhancements will be stripped out which is great news, because a Moto X without the enhancements is essentially a mid-range phone that has a good feel in the hand, and probably wouldn’t sell very well on the Play Store. Even if they were to decide to make the phone Google Play Edition, it wouldn’t really make much sense because the Moto X is so close to stock anyway, with just a few extra “add-ons” including Active Display notifications UI, Moto Assist, and Moto Connect.



Smartwatches gaining speed in industry, inWatch One now available with Android 4.0


There was once a time when smart-watches were merely a concept out of Dick Tracy and Bond films, but these days, they’re more than just real— they’re practical, and becoming more and more popular, as manufacturers continue to jump in with their own versions.

An “inWatch” wristwatch has just been released which features GSM connectivity and even runs a custom build of Android 4.0, which is a huge step up from it’s little brother, “i’mWatch.” The device also ships with a 1.54-inch 240 x 240 capacitive display, a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, a 2 megapixel camera and a 500mAh battery. Sounds like the specs of a low end phone from just a few years ago! (Obviously withholding the screen size and battery.)

Alternative connectivity options include WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS radios. The custom Android build is known as “inDroid,” and is created to fit the device’s smaller screen, which works with some of China’s most popular applications including WeChat, Sina Weibo, QQ, and Baidu music.

If you’re interested in this handy little device then head over to the company’s website— price is RMB 1,788 (around $293 USD).

Source: Engadget  


Best floating apps for serious multitasking on Android [August 2013]


One of Android’s best features that make it an incredibly powerful mobile OS is the ability to multitask with apps. However, since most of these apps don’t run side-by-side, it technically isn’t “true” multitasking. If you’re looking for a way to get the most out of your multitasking on your Android phone or tablet, look no further than these floating apps; the apps float on top of everything else on your screen, giving you easy access to tools, browsers, and other types of controls so you don’t have to constantly switch between apps to get things done. Hit the break to get started.

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Google adds updated advertisements to Google Maps application

Google Maps Icon 16:9 lowres PNG

Google’s put a ton of work into their latest iteration of Google maps, and the newest change you can expect to see from it is coming in the form of updated advertisements. Google is an ad company after all, and location data is extremely valuable, so it makes sense to see them push for some location-aware ads in their applications.

Starting today, ads will reflect businesses that may be near your current location while browsing Google maps. Whether that’s for restaurants, gardening stores, or movie theaters, the ads will pop up at the bottom of the screen when a user performs a relevant search. The ads are pretty unintrusive, and when tapped or swiped upwards, they’ll expand to give you the full details of whatever it may be advertising. That tap-or-swipe will count as a click as far as Google’s payment system is concerned, so this looks like it’s going to be a win-win for everyone involved. The changes should start happening relatively quickly on Android and iOS applications.

Any Google Maps users noticing the changes yet?

source: AdWords

Samsung Wallet launches in the Play Store

samsung_wallet_app_video_captureWhile Google Wallet just decided to drop gift card and loyalty points support, a Samsung app that still supports it is now available in the Play Store. Samsung Wallet, which launched in February via Samsung Apps, is now available through the Play Store. The free app is only compatible for U.S. customers using the Galaxy S3, S4, Note and Note II.

Wallet is essentially a digital wallet that stores your coupons, tickets, gift cards, and more, that syncs with all of your Samsung devices.  You get time and location-based reminders for tickets, grocery coupons, and all of that fun stuff, but NFC payment is not integrated as of yet.

You can download the app through the Play Store via the link after the break. Read more

IDC reports show strong Q2 growth for Android smartphones at Apple’s expense

IDC smartphone q2

We’ve already seen Strategy Analytics’ report on Android smartphone growth in Q2 2013, and now that the IDC’s report is in, it’s pretty conclusive. The IDC shows that total smartphone growth grew about 51.3% year-over-year, with all smartphone vendors shipping 236.4 million units in Q2. Android devices are on top, with nearly 80% of the market share, an increase of about 10% from Q2 last year. Apple’s market share took the biggest hit, dropping from 16% down to 13%, partly because they haven’t released a new device in about a year. Windows Phone actually made some slight improvements, but BlackBerry is still in a steady decline.

Linux, Symbian, and “other” devices are also slowly decreasing, but we may see that change with Firefox OS and Tizen entering the market in the next few months.

source: Business Wire

Loyalty points and gift cards will no longer be supported by Google Wallet beginning August 21

google-wallet-05-26-2011Google Wallet is undergoing a surprising fundamental change. Loyalty program linking, one of the features Google has hyped ever since the launch of Wallet, is going to be phased out. Basically, any Wallet-stored gift card or loyalty card will not work past August 21. If you still have the physical card, you’re fine, but if not, Google recommends spending your balance before that deadline.

Google says they are still working with retailers on other options for gift and loyalty card redemption. In the meantime, you can still handle credit and debit card transactions through the service.

Source: Engadget