Google Reader Put On Death Row, Shutting Down July 1

Google Reader

Google Reader has long been a favorite RSS reader and in a surprising announcement, will shut down July 1. Google announced more spring cleaning to take place this year, shutting down several more features and services. The tech giant mentions declining usage and not enough focus being put into Reader as reasons for shutting it down. While this news is a bit upsetting to those of us who’ve relied off of Google Reader for years, there are plenty of alternatives out there. For example, web-based and mobile app Feedly syncs with Reader, and has already announced a seamless transition so you won’t lose any of your subscriptions.

Source: Official Google Reader Blog

Patriot announces AERO mobile hard drive for streaming video to tablets and smartphones even with no internet connection

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Patriot announced the AERO mobile hard drive that will enable users to carry, share, and stream their full media collection to tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Utilizing the Patriot Connect App, you will be able to access the AERO hard drive even if you don’t have access to the internet. In order to do this, you would need to connect to it via WiFi. You will be able to stream video to up to 5 devices at the same time and it supports 3rd party media players. The AERO also has an internet pass through so multiple devices can share one IP connection.

Specs include:

  • 500GB and 1TB capacities
  • Wi-fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • WEP / WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK security
  • Stream to up to 5 connected devices simultaneously
  • Internet pass-through while connected
  • USB 3.0 port (USB 2.0 backwards compatible)
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to 6 hours of continuous streaming
  • Push button battery level indicator
  • 2-Year Limited Warranty

You should be able to get your hands on the AERO in early April. The 500GB version will go for $159 and the 1TB version for $199.  Full press release after the break.


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Google Play Store starts banning ad-blocking apps

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Developers of ad-blocking apps have reported that Google has started the process of yanking their apps from the Play Store. Apps like AdBlock, AdAway, AdFree and more are popular with users who want to eliminate ads from appearing in apps. The inclusion of ads is a way for developers to offer “free” versions of apps and still generate some revenue. Of course, Google itself uses a business model based on ad revenue from sources like AdSense. The notification being sent to developers of these apps reads:
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LG pokes fun at upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone by strategically placing Optimus G “4″ ads in Times Square

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Samsung may be grabbing all the thunder in today’s headlines, but LG is certainly not going to sit pretty and stay quiet. As seen in the above pic, while Samsung is encouraging folks to “be ready 4 the next Galaxy” in a billboard ad right in the heart of Times Square, LG cleverly bought some ad space directly above Samsung’s ad highlighting “the Optimus G is here 4 you now”— specifically poking fun at Sammy’s “4″ messaging. Talk about a cheap shot at Samsung for the entire world to see… sheesh.

It’s probably a safe bet to say that Sammy probably isn’t extending an invitation to LG to watch the Galaxy S IV announcement along with the general public tonight at 7:00pm EST.

source: Engadget

Source: Samsung Galaxy S IV expected to feature SwiftKey software preloaded

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It’s looking like the newest addition to the Galaxy S family is going to feature some software that aims to make our typing experience just a little easier. According to an unnamed source of the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is expected to have SwiftKey keyboard software preloaded onto the smartphone— giving users even more functionality when typing on the device’s screen. Don’t think that Samsung is just tossing the typing prediction software on for nothing either— according to Rob Enderle who is a principal analyst at Enderle Group, Samsung believes “in the Android space where you have a lot of competition, a little thing like [predictive typing] can make a huge difference”. Can’t say we disagree too much with Enderle, though it probably doesn’t hurt that the Galaxy S IV is expected to have some insane features compared to the competition for the time being as well.

Thank goodness we’re literally hours away from the Unpacked event so we can finally see what we’ve all been waiting for. Don’t forget that we’ll be there giving you all the coverage you can handle.

source: Wall Street Journal

Samsung Galaxy S IV (GT-i9502) gets more hands on videos including Floating Touch and SmartPause

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We are only about 10 hours from the official unveiling of the Galaxy S IV, so it’s “Last Call” for the leakers. The latest is the GT-9502 dual SIM variant, which has been making a lot of headlines this week. Four hands on videos surfaced showing off Floating Touch, the Browser experience, SmartPause, and the new lock screen. Floating Touch is similar to the Galaxy Note II’s AirView, but instead of an S Pen, it works with your finger. SmartPause will pause a video if the phone senses you aren’t looking at the screen. Hit the break for all four videos


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Samsung Galaxy S IV (GT-i9502) appears again, but this time in higher resolution

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The dual-SIM Galaxy S IV (i9502) has been posing a lot lately, so why not some more? This time it’s in higher resolution along with confirmed specs. As you can see in the picture above, it looks a lot like the Galaxy S III, but with a bigger 4.99-inch 1080p display. Of course the Samsung home button is there again for another year. The pic does list some specs and they include an Exynos 5410 1.8GHz 8-core processor, a PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD slot, and 2600mAh battery. It will be 7.7mm thick and weigh in a 138 grams.

This might not be the final design as Samsung is known to have a lot of test units in the wild. I for one am hoping that it’s not. Hit the break to see some more pics including the new Floating Touch feature that’s similar to the Galaxy Note II’s AirView, but this time it’s with your finger, not the S Pen.


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Latest ‘Value Pack’ for Optimus G Pro Adds Eye-tracking Software and More

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LG is allegedly planning to release a new “Value Pack” (VP) for their Optimus G Pro handset. The new VP brings with it a slew of updates, to include Smart Video and a Dual Camera feature. Smart Video, is eye-tracking software that will:

  • Pause video playback when the phone recognizes that the user is no longer focused on the screen.
  • Resumes video playback the moment it recognizes the user is paying attention again.

Dual camera is an extension of the Dual Recording feature LG recently debuted, and will:

  • Allow the user to take simultaneous pictures from the front and rear cameras.


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Andy Rubin says it’s the right time to start a new chapter within Google

andy-rubin-android

Though he is stepping down from his position as head of Google’s Android Mobile Operating System, Andy Rubin, has something to say about his future with the company.  Andy stated in a letter to Android Partners that he is “an entrepreneur at heart and now is the right time for me to start a new chapter within Google.”

Earlier today Larry Page used the term “moonshots” in his post announcing Andy’s departure from the Android team, which could only mean he is heading to Google X Lab (GXL). Lets hope Andy is hinting that “new chapter” is indeed GXL.

Hit the break for the entire letter.


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Oh what a surprise: Apple’s Phil Shiller thinks Android phones are inferior to the iPhone

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So what do you do when your the Apple marketing chief and it’s the eve of the Samsung Galaxy S IV announcement? You do a little trash talking, but in this case Phil Shiller didn’t really go after Samsung, but instead went after Android as a whole. Where do we begin? He started off by saying that products that run the Android software are inferior to Apple’s iPhone. He went down the fragmentation path as he said that a lot of Android users are running old operating systems. In his defense, that is absolutely correct. Only about 15% of Android users are actually running Jelly Bean. In Android’s defense, I will say that most consumers aren’t all that concerned with that.


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