Amazon launches inaugural Fire Phone commercial, focuses on free Prime subscription

by Justin Herrick on
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The best way to launch a new phone is to show its features. That way, consumers can see what makes it a differentiator. Amazon, though, completely disagrees. In the first commercial for the Fire Phone, Amazon instead focuses on the handset’s free one-year subscription of the Amazon Prime service. The rest of the Fire Phone is left to just be there.

Amazon’s Fire Phone launches exclusively with AT&T on July 25. Hit the break to watch the video. » Read the rest

[APK Download] Google Maps now has richer biking navigation and voice input

by Justin Herrick on
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A Google Maps update is rolling out now (to version 8.2). Firstly, it brings a much better experience to bikers that use Maps. When designing a route for biking, Maps will now show much information such as altitude. This will be very helpful for bikers that are serious bikers. the other part of this update is in the form of new voice input while navigating. Just hit the microphone on the display and voice input is ready to go with whatever you throw at it.

The update is unsurprisingly moving at a slow pace, but we have the APK file ready for you.Hit the break for download links.

» Read the rest

Google, Samsung have growing tension over wearables

by Justin Herrick on
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First they argued and made up over a software scuffle, but now there is tension regarding wearables. Samsung recently made the decision that Tizen would be its smartwatch platform, but Larry Page of Google is not very happy about that. According to The Information, Samsung’s vice chairman Jay Y. Lee met with Page a few weeks ago and Page expressed exactly how he felt. » Read the rest

NVIDIA Shield tablet press render leaks, shows front stereo speakers

by Justin Herrick on
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A legitimate gaming tablet could be on the way later this year. The image above is allegedly an upcoming tablet from NVIDIA. It is currently being called the Shield Tablet. What we are looking at today is a tablet that has a built-in gaming hub. This gaming hub list sections covering a store, news, Android games, and PC games. The most interesting part of all of this is that games like Half-Life 2 and Portal are present in a subsection of the store when looking for compatible games with a controller. This essentially confirms what we heard previously that NVIDIA’s Shield successor could be a pairing of a tablet with a controller. » Read the rest

Game of Thrones Ascent now available on Google Play

by Jared Peters on
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If you’re a fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones, you’ll want to check out Game of Thrones Ascent, a new mobile game that ties into the world of the show. The game, which has been previously available on the web and iOS, already has 4.5 million players, so it’s fairly popular already.

The app puts you in an immersive world full of thousands of quests and dozens of adventures, where you can create your own identity to interact with other players and characters from the Game of Thrones universe. The storylines and quests also update as the show goes on, so it creates a nice second-screen experience if you keep up with the shower weekly. » Read the rest

LG’s G3 Beat will go on sale July 18th in South Korea

by Jared Peters on
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LG has finally announced some details about when and where you’ll be able to get your hands on the G3 Beat. The budget device will be released in South Korea on July 18th with a global rollout to many European countries over the next few weeks.Pricing will be announced in individual markets when it becomes available.

As a reminder, the G3 Beat sports a 5-inch, 720p display, a Snapdragon 400 CPU, 8 GB of internal storage and an 8 megapixel rear shooter. It has many of the great design features of the bigger G3, including the Floating Arc design of the device and laser auto-focus for the camera, LG’s Smart Keyboard and QuickMemo+, and the UX from the G3.

As far as budget devices go, this one definitely looks like a solid contender, especially if you like some of the things LG does on their high-end devices.

source: LG Newsroom

Guardians of the Galaxy: TUW blasts into Google Play

by Jeff Causey on
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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie is getting ready to hit movie theaters which means it is time for the cross-promotional game to hit the market. Marvel Games has met that expectation with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy: TUW to Google Play for $4.99. In a gaming world increasingly taken over by the freemium model, that price might seem a little bit steep, but consider there are no in-app purchases to be made and the developers have even gone so far as to ensure the game is playable with no Internet connection. » Read the rest

Details brought to light about Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ultraviolet sensor

by Jeff Causey on
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When Samsung released the Samsung Galaxy S 5, one of the pieces of hardware they included in the device to try to differentiate it from the market was heart rate sensor. This was part of a larger effort by Samsung to capitalize on health and fitness features as selling points for mobile devices. Continuing down this path, Samsung’s next step is to include an ultrviolet (UV) sensor in the forthcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 4. » Read the rest

Microsoft killing off future Nokia Android-based smartphones

by Jeff Causey on
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As Microsoft finalizes its acquisition of Nokia by fully merging Nokia into the larger Microsoft organization resulting in layoffs of 18,000 employees, they indicate they will also be putting an end to Nokia’s efforts to produce Android-based smartphones. This move comes as Microsoft has been expending some effort to ensure their software offerings are available across a wider range of platforms. When it comes to hardware though, especially smartphones, the company has decided to make Windows Phone the only platform that fits in their strategy.

Nokia had two Android-based smartphones in its portfolio, the Nokia X released earlier this year and the recently announced successor, the Nokia X2. Microsoft indicates they will continue to support those devices, but all future phones will be built for the Windows Phone operating system. This decision is part of an effort by Microsoft to target the budget and mid-tier portions of the market with their Lumia line of devices. According to a letter released by Microsoft,

“We will be particularly focused on making the market for Windows Phone. In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia. In addition to the portfolio already planned, we plan to deliver additional lower-cost Lumia devices by shifting select future Nokia X designs and products to Windows Phone devices. We expect to make this shift immediately while continuing to sell and support existing Nokia X products.”

Microsoft is implementing a new phone business unit, based on the former Smart Devices and Mobile Phones business units, that will be responsible for both the Lumia line of smartphones and devices as well as the transition of Nokia X over to the Lumia line.

source: Microsoft

Google will release a custom watch face API for Android Wear soon, current watch faces may not work with it

by Robert Nazarian on
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When Google released the Android Wear SDK at Google I/O a few weeks ago, we were told that custom watch faces weren’t supported. I was very disappointed, but very excited to actually see custom watch faces in the Play Store a week later. How was this possible? Well I am no developer, but there is some sort of workaround that is working pretty well.

Google’s Wayne Piekarski recently posted about this and mentioned that a custom watch API is in the works.  He also notes…

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