Google IO 2016 Coverage

Chrome Apps coming to mobile devices using new toolchain based on Apache Cordova

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Last September, we saw the birth of Chrome Apps that work offline on the desktop. At that point, we knew it was a matter of time that Chrome Apps would come to Android and iOS devices. Then last month, it was predicted that it could happen this month. Well Google just announced an early developer preview of a toolchain based on Apache Cordova, which is an open-source mobile development framework that can be used for building native mobile apps using HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

Using this toolchain, Chrome Apps will be wrapped with a native application shell that allows them to be distributed in either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. Google provides a developer work flow for packaging your Chrome App. Chrome Apps can be run on a device or emulator using the command-line or an IDE. You can also use the Chrome Apps Developer Tool to run your app on an Android device. Many of the core Chrome APIs were also made available for mobile versions of Chrome Apps.

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ZTE Boost Max phablet launches on Boost Mobile

ZTE Boost Max

ZTE showed off their Iconic Phablet at CES this year, highlighting its multi-window capabilities, large screen, and lower price point. Fast forward three weeks, and we’re already seeing the device hit US shores, although with a different name. Boost Mobile is the first to pick up the phablet, calling it the Boost Max.

The Boost Max features a 5.7 inch 720p screen, dual-core Snapdragon CPU with 1 GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel rear camera, and a 3200 mAh battery. For $300, it’s a pretty decent device, especially for Boost Mobile customers. Unfortunately, the Boost Max is launching with Android 4.1 as opposed to Android 4.3, which was shown off on the handset at CES. Go figure.

If you’re interested, you can purchase the device, no contract, for $300 below.

source: Boost Mobile

According to the IDC: More than a billion smartphones shipped in 2013

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The IDC announced this morning that over a billion smartphones were shipped in 2013. Selling 1,004.2 million smartphones worldwide, vendors were up from 725.3 million in 2012. That’s a 38.4% jump. The fourth quarter alone saw 284.4 million smartphones shipped.

According to the market research firm, the top trends were big screens and low costs. IDC data shows that low priced phones are what’s driving volume. Chinese and Indian markets are moving rapidly towards phones that cost less than $150 and that most of the shipments were in that range. Leaders in market share were as expected.

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Sprint joins other big carriers with launch of its own cloud storage service

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Sprint users will have another option for storing their data in the cloud as the cell carrier is launching its own cloud storage service, starting today. Unlike its Verizon and AT&T counterparts, Sprint gives a free option with the ability to pay for unlimited storage. If you opt for the free model you’ll get 5GB. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $4.99 a month for the unlimited storage option. AT&T only offers a 5GB plan whereas Verizon offers up to 125GB. It’s available for both Android and iOS.

So if you’re on the Now Network look for the cloud storage app in the Play Store. Even with other options for cloud storage out there, you’ll be hard pressed to find one with unlimited storage for $5 a month.

source: The Verge

Samsung SM-900H certified in Indonesia, could be another Galaxy S5 variant

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We have so far seen three different Samsung SM-900 variations: the SM-900A, SM-900F, and the SM-900S. Well now a fourth version of the device (SM-900H) has popped up in Indonesia, where it has been certified by Postel, one of Indonesia’s telecommunications authorities.

Postel also revealed that they received 3 handsets, one from South Korea, Vietnam, and China. That’s unfortunately as far as the details about the handset go.

Many are assuming that the SM-900 is the model number for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5, however there are a number of other devices that it could be. We will find out for sure when the Galaxy S5 is released sometime either in February or March.

Source: Postel
Via: PhoneArena

Samsung AMOLED QHD smartphone confirmed, 4K devices to follow

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With the Mobile World Conference coming up, many smartphone manufacturers are preparing to release their next generation of high-end devices. One company that will certainly be in the public eye is Samsung, which will likely bring some great new devices to the table.

Samsung confirmed yesterday that they’re working on an AMOLED QHD smartphone. Not only that but it looks like Samsung will be making an AMOLED UHD (4K, 3480 x 2160) smartphone in the future! This would mean a pixel density of around 820 pixels per inch on a 5-inch display.

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Amazon rumored to launch Android powered gaming and media console this year

amazon-com-logo_989It seems like every few months a rumor like this pops up. Current rumors have Amazon pegged as releasing a media and gaming device sized at about the same dimensions as a PSOne. The pre-production box is said to be gray in color and will run Android. Assuming this device is real, we can also expect to see that flavor of Android to be the forked version Amazon has on its Kindles.

The device will be a set top box designed for playing games, streaming movies, and television. It could very well have a tie in with Amazon’s Prime service. Pricing for the device has it pegged below $300. How far below that price point is anyone’s guess. Given that the Roku boxes, Apple TV and Chromecast are priced well below that mark, Amazon could be dead in the water if the box is priced higher than that. Of course this is all speculation.

source: VG 24/7
via: Engadget

AT&T Family Plan on Demand delayed by Beats Music [Updated]

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The new music streaming service by music producers Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine delayed the start of an AT&T family plan by 5 days, apparently because of overwhelming demand for the service.

The AT&T family plan, which is set to be $15 per month, will now begin on January 31, despite the fact that it was scheduled to start yesterday. This delay will also slow down a massive marketing scheme by Beats Music that is aiming to challenge Spotify, which is currently the worlds biggest music streaming service with 6-million paying customers.

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New Google Glass Titanium Collection offers 4 feather-light titanium frames for prescription lenses

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Ever since Google Glass was introduced, explorers have been begging for prescription lenses. Well those prayers have been answered today as Google just announced the Titanium Collection. It includes 4 feather-light titanium frames for prescription lenses.

The best part is they are actually fashionable. Each one is appropriately named: Curve, Bold, Split, and Thin. If you have vision insurance, it’s also very likely your lenses will be covered. Now if you don’t need prescription lenses, you can still grab a pair for a new look.

Hit the break for a video showing you all the new frames.

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HTC One now receiving Android 4.4.2 KitKat in Europe

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As promised, HTC is rolling out the Android 4.4.2 update to the One smartphone. The version is 4.19.401.8 and it comes in at 308.24 megabytes. Among the usual bug fixes, users will get security enhancements, Cloud Print Service, and new Bluetooth profiles. We should also note that Flash Player has been removed from the HTC stock Browser.

U.S. users should hopefully see this update next month if the carrier approval process goes smoothly.

source: @LlabTooFer (1) and (2)