Google Now reminders to possibly include person-proximity


Google Now may be getting even smarter if this rumored feature becomes a reality. Currently, Google Now’s reminders can be based on time and location. But according to Android Police, reminders will be expanded to the people in a specific location. What this would do is let a user know when they are near or with another user, presumably a friend or acquaintance.

The above image is a mockup generated by Android Police. It shows what this feature may actually look like. The assumption is Google+ would be the backbone for the feature through its Location Sharing service.

So would you be excited to be reminded when you are nearby someone you know of? Or did Google Latitude never appeal to you?

Source: Android Police

Samsung plans on expanding Gear compatibility to outside devices at some point


Gear 2_Gear 2_Neo_together

Want to buy a Samsung wearable but don’t own one of their smartphones? In the future, Samsung does actually plan on expanding Gear compatibility. In an interview with Android Planet, Luke Mansfield, leader of Samsung’s product innovation team in Europe, said that “I don’t know what the roadmap is for that, but I’m confident that that would be the case.” Samsung is clearly not turning away from the idea, which is a good sign. The reason for this is that the switch to Tizen-powered devices allows for more smartphones to be supported.

For those unaware, non-Samsung devices cannot be used with their wearables. Because of this, non-Samsung device owners have to turn to other wearables which can occasionally mean a less feature-packed experience. So what is the timetable for this expansion? Certainly not this year, that is for sure. If it is on Samsung’s “roadmap,” this could mean it is two or more years away.

Source: Android Planet
Via: SamMobile

OnePlus One camera won’t compete with DSLRs, but will take great pictures


In case you have noticed, OnePlus is slowly telling us about their OnePlus One. It’s kind of cool because it stops all the crazy leaks that go on with other flagships, ahem, the HTC One 2014.

Today’s topic is the camera, and it promises to be a very good one. They made it clear that they aren’t trying to compete with DSLRs, but they wanted to come up with a compact camera that takes “beautiful pictures in any situation.” They have chosen Sony’s Exmor IMX214, which is 13MP and sports an aperture of f/2.0. They continue on to explain that low apertures can produce photos that are distorted on the edges. To combat this, they have added a 6th lens element.

Read more

Cross-platform support for Google Play Games is now official


This morning, word got out that Google Play Games would support multiplayer for both Android and iOS. So now Google has decided to move forward by making it official. As we noted in the previous post, this massive update for Play Games adds multiplayer iOS support, multiplayer invites, deeper statistics, and gift giving. Much of the update includes behind the scenes pieces for developers. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco tomorrow, Google is scheduled to give an in-depth introduction of the new features.

Source: Android Developers Blog

Google Nexus 8 may come with an 8.9-inch screen


New indications from Asian news source DigiTimes suggest Google is working on a 2014 Nexus device, the rumored Nexus 8, that will come with an 8.9-inch screen. The last two versions of the Nexus tablet from Google, in 2012 and 2013, have both been 7-inch devices. They have proven to be very popular, albeit sales of the 2013 version have been a bit disappointing, and helped drive the tablet market to the 7-inch class size. Meanwhile, larger tablets have lagged a bit, accounting for only 30% of the tablet market. Apparently Google thinks this move will help entice manufacturers to move to larger devices, even at the lower end of the range, as opposed to extremely large tablets. This move could also help differentiate tablets from phones as the line between them, at least based on size, continues to blur as phones get larger.

Earlier this year Samsung released several tablets in the large tablet category, including the recently released 12.2-inch Note Pro and Tab Pro devices. However, other manufacturers who had been looking at the extremely large tablet market have started to back off. Supposedly Apple was considering a 12.85-inch tablet, but that has now been scrapped. Meanwhile, Asus has delayed a 13.3-inch tablet. All these signs point to interest in extremely large tablets not being as large as expected.

Do you think 8.9-inches is a good choice for Google for their next Nexus tablet or should they have gone for some other size?

source: DigiTimes

South Korea decides not to label Samsung Galaxy S 5 as a medical device


When the first buyers of the Samsung Galaxy S 5 get their hands on the new device, one gadget they may want to check out will be the heart rate sensor included in the device. Rather than relying on tools like the camera, flash and apps capable of interpreting the data, Samsung went ahead and included a dedicated sensor for users who want to monitor their heart rate, especially when exercising. This small nod toward a portion of their market has the potential to put Samsung in the position of dealing with a slew of regulations related to medical equipment. Read more

2K display devices may be limited in 2014


A few days ago we reported on some analyst predictions for market penetration by 8-core processor devices during 2014. More research shows that another component key to the next iteration of “flagship” devices may not see much adoption until 2015. According to reports, production of 2K displays will be constrained while producers continue to ramp up production, so widespread adoption may not occur until 2015. While many of the major vendors made noise about 2K displays during MWC 2014, it seems likely they will continue to promote full HD resolutions running at 1920×1080 for most of 2014. Read more

Vodafone offering gold Samsung Galaxy S 5 in the U.K.


Gold special editions of smartphones have become a bit of a luxury item for tech-loving consumers in recent years, and Vodafone will add to hype with a gold Samsung Galaxy S 5 in the U.K.

The device will be an exclusive in the region, starting on April 11. If you want your hands on this phone, you’ll have to switch to Vodafone.

Pre-orders will begin March 28. The gold color will make it a total of four color options for consumers: Copper Gold, Charcoal Black, Electric Blue and Shimmering White.

Source: Vodafone

ZTE teases full-metal body and extremely high-resolution camera for its Nubia X6

ZTE Nubia X6

ZTE is building up hype for its latest flagship device, the Nubia X6, by releasing some vague press renders and camera shots from the device. The press render, as seen above, doesn’t show off the entire device, but from what we can see it looks like the device will sport a metal body. Metal is a fan-favorite choice for premium smartphones (as we’ve seen with the HTC One) so it’s nice to see ZTE putting build quality at the top of the list of features for the X6.

Aside from that small glimpse of the physical phone, there were also some photos leaked that are supposedly from a Nubia X6. We already knew the camera was going to be impressive, but the photos show an extremely megapixel count in their details. Similar to what we’ve seen with Oppo’s Find 7, the X6 photos show the resolution of a 74.6 megapixel camera. Now, the phone may not actually have a 70+ megapixel shooter, but it may have some kind of new camera optics that can take extremely high resolution photos like Oppo’s latest. Read more

Pocket Casts now comes with Chromecast support

Pocket Casts

Users of Pocket Casts who have been wishing that the app would add Chromecast support will be happy to know that their wish as come true. In an update to v4.5, shiftyjelly has finally added support for the Google dongle. As the developer puts it:

“__Finally__!!! Pocket Casts 4.5! Chromecast support! Up Next Playlist which you can re-arrange items in! New Interface that’s sexy, and picks up podcast colours! Soooo Many Enhancements! More Exclamation Marks! Capitals in Odd Places!

One does not simply update an app like Pocket Casts. One has to take the One Codebase to some silly mountain and do so in epic 3-part triloginess. Heck one might even make more movies about a dragon too. But hey, we have hairy feet so we’re as Hobbit as they come.”
As we can see, Chromecast support isn’t the only feature to be added. Pocket Casts comes with a new coat of paint and some visual enhancements on top of a new UI. You can now also re-arrange items in the “Up Next Playlist.”
We have the QR code and download link for you after the break if you’re looking to download the app.