Google Glass wows fire chief

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Although many people are concerned about the impact of Google Glass devices on society, at least one local firefighter thinks Google’s new technology is something positive. Gray Fire Chief Max Wood entered Google’s #ifihadGlass contest and ended up scoring a pair, which he has already started using for training purposes. Wood’s contest entry described how he thinks Glass could be used to improve firefighter safety by providing pre-planning maps to firefighters for low visibility situations. In addition, the devices could be used to establish a real-time video feed for incident commanders with their firefighters that are making entry.

Chief Wood realizes some more work needs to be done to create the apps to make all this happen. Extensive testing also needs to be completed to ensure the devices can hold up to the harsh environments they would be subjected to. Until then though, Chief Wood plans to use a pair to record videos and pictures of working fire scenes that can later be incorporated into training videos. He will be able to spend some time with the actual device thanks to Google which selected Wood as a winner of a pair in the #ifihadGlass contest. According to Chief Wood, he received the device on Friday and by Sunday was already filming a working fire scene.

Kudos to Chief Wood on his idea. We hope it bears the fruit he envisions and helps keep firefighters safer.

source: WMAZ
via: 9to5Google

Samsung releases PEN.UP in the Play Store, allows Note II and Note 3 owners to share S Pen artwork

Samsung_Pen.Up_Large_Icon

If you own a Galaxy Note II or about to buy a Galaxy Note 3, you might want to check out PEN.UP. This app is essentially a social network for S Pen creations. Categories range from animals to characters to food and more. Now you can not only share your works of art, you can check out what other Note owners are creating.

PEN.UP comes pre-installed on the Note 3, but if you have a Note II, you can download it now from the Play Store. Hit the break for screenshots and links.

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Android tablet sales surpass Apple’s iPad for the first time ever in Q2 of 2013

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Android tablets have finally joined their phone counterpart up top. According to ABI Research, tablets running Android outsold Apple’s iPad in Q2 of 2013. Revenue for the entire tablet market hit $12.7 billion in that quarter. Since the same quarter of 2012, there was a 23% surge year-over-year.

While there isn’t much information on the Android manufacturers, it is easy to understand why Apple has been overthrown (for now). The research firm explains that smaller tablets around the 7 or 8-inch mark have been selling the most. Across the board, many companies have been aiming at this size. Amazon’s Kindle Fire line ranges from 7 to 8.9-inches while Samsung has been pumping out tablets endlessly. Also, Google refreshed their Nexus 7 with the latest specs. Even NVIDIA is in pursuit of some market share. Clearly consumers have taken to the smaller form-factor and lower prices.

Source: ABI Research

Upcoming RCA Internet Music System includes a removable 7-inch Android tablet

RCA_Internet_Music_System

RCA is readying what they are calling an Internet Music System (RCS13101E), which is basically a mini stereo system that has a removable 7-inch Android tablet. The stereo system includes a couple of speakers for sound and you can connect it to your TV via HDMI. The tablet docks into the system and serves as the display for navigating apps and such, but you can remove it and stream audio via Bluetooth. You can also stream video from apps such as Play Movies and YouTube, but it’s not clear if you will be able to do it when the tablet isn’t docked. I would imagine it would only work if Chromecast is built in or if RCA has some sort of proprietary software. Unfortunately the video demo below only shows video streaming when the tablet is docked.

As far as the specs go, we only know that it has a dual-core processor and is running Jelly Bean. It’s also certified with Google since the Play Store is on board. The rumored price is $178, but we have no idea when it will officially be announced. We will keep you posted. Hit the break for the video that was posted on the RCA Tablets YouTube channel.


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Android 4.3 test firmware leaked for Samsung Galaxy S 4

android_4_3_galaxySamsung is known to take some time to prepare their latest version of Android before releasing a very stable version to the public. While the HTC One Developer Edition already has Android 4.3, the Samsung Galaxy S4 is expected to receive the software sometime later this month or next month. SamMobile’s insider has you covered. They have received Android 4.3 test software for the Galaxy S4, which seems pretty stable at this point.

SamMobile actually says that the test software runs faster and is more lag free than 4.2.2. Samsung Knox and Wallet are present in this software, as well as a new Reading Mode and an improved keyboard. If you’re interested and want to try out the test software, head to the source link for instructions on how to download, at your own risk.

Source: SamMobile

Samsung caught juicing benchmarks again, this time with the Galaxy Note 3

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Back in July, it was uncovered that Samsung was artificially inflating their benchmark scores on the Galaxy S 4, and it looks like they are up to the same old trick again, this time with the Galaxy Note 3. Arstechnica found that the Note 3 “blows the doors” off LG’s 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800. That would be fine if Samsung was using a different processor, but they aren’t. They are using the same exact Snapdragon 800 clocked at the same speed. There has to be something going on right?

It appears Samsung has a special high-power CPU mode on the Galaxy Note 3 that kicks in when it runs popular benchmarking apps. This is very similar to what was going on with the Galaxy S 4, but that involved the GPU and it was only on the international version. This time, it’s the U.S. version. In this special high-power mode, all cores are active and none of the cores are allowed to shut off like when other apps are running. It’s triggered by package names from the most popular benchmarking apps, so if Geekbench is loaded, the mode will kick in.


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Leak suggests refreshed partnership between T-Mobile and Target

T-Mobile Target

@Evleaks recently tweeted (you guessed it) another leak!

This time, we have images suggesting that Target will be offering a T-Mobile tie-up later this year, featuring “brightspot.”

This includes a $50 deal with unlimited talk/text, and 1GB of 4G data. The picture also shows a SIM kit, which can activate any unlocked compatible GSM phone, activate compatible Apple iPhone 4 and 4S, and includes both standard and microSIM.

This picture shows the Galaxy S III with the deal, but other devices are expected to come with brightspot, including the LG Optimus F3, LG Optimus F6, and the Lumia 521.

An official announcement has yet to come, but the news may come very soon considering the leaked information.


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Verizon leads pack in smartphone sales, T-Mobile marks a change

Big 4 Carriers

As expected, the nation’s largest carrier has lead all U.S. carriers in smartphone sales in a three-month period ending in August, according to a recent Kantar Worldpanel ComTech USA survey.

More specifically, 37.1 percent of all smartphone sales went to Verizon, marking a 6.9 percent growth year over year. AT&T held their place in second with 21.7 percent of all smartphone sales— Sprint, in third, with 14.6 percent.

While T-Mobile’s sales weren’t as high, with 13.2 percent of sales, they finally showed some growth, at 1.1 percent from last year. They had been recently following a trend of year-on-year declines, so this is certainly good news for the carrier.

The growth is most likely due to T-Mobile’s new ‘Smart Choice’ plans, which was followed shortly after by similar plans from their competitors.

While not much has changed in terms of smartphone sales, this certainly marks something different in the playing field. It will be interesting to see if T-Mobile can continue on its path of growth.

Source: FierceWireless

 

Qualcomm plans to help develop standard for hybrid wireless charging as it joins Power Matters Alliance

PowerMat

Wireless charging has been getting more and more attention as of late, and yesterday we showed you that remote wireless charging was even possible. Today, we have news that Qualcomm has joined the Power Matters Alliance and has plans to develop the standard for hybrid wireless charging.

This news comes only a month after Qualcomm joined the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC). Qualcomm will reportedly take on a “senior leadership role” at the Power Matters Alliance, and will work on ways for PMA devices (PowerMat) to receive wireless power using both low-frequency induction and high-frequency resonance.

If they are successful, more devices will be compatible with a wider range of wireless charging docks/stations/mats.

It’s all good news for consumers, who will have many more options on the market very soon.

Source: Engadget

MetroPCS adds LG Optimus F6 to portfolio

METROPCS LG OPTIMUS F6

MetroPCS has announced the addition of the LG Optimus F6 smartphone to their portfolio of devices available for buyers on their prepaid no-annual-contract service. The LG Optimus F6 will be able to access the T-Mobile 4G LTE network via a MetroPCS unlimited data, talk and text plan starting at just $40 per month. MetroPCS is offering the Optimus F6 for $199 through retail stores and online at their web site. The Optimus F6 has a 4.5-inch display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processer, a 5MP 1080p capable rear-facing camera, and comes with Android 4.1 installed. Hit the break to read the full press release for more details if you are interested in grabbing an Optimus F6 from MetroPCS.
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