There’s a new app on the Play Store that offers yet another personal assistant, adding to the list of many programs promising to be the killers of both Google Now and Siri. Although no 3rd party app has done it yet (and probably won’t anytime soon), the developer behind ‘Agent’ says that there are certainly some practical, redeeming features in his new app that most personal assistants do not yet offer.
For instance, Agent will put your phone into a power saving mode when you have low battery, it will silence your phone during meetings, remember where you’ve parked, auto-respond when you’re driving, and allow only urgent calls when you’re sleeping.
Over the weekend, a loophole was found on Verizon’s website that allowed customers to upgrade to a new phone and keep their coveted unlimited data plans. If you were among the people to take advantage of Big Red’s folly, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Verizon reached out to Droid-Life, who first reported the news, and said that they would not revert any transactions and would honor those who picked up a new device while keeping their unlimited data plan. Here is the full statement that Verizon provided:
Someday in the future, our devices will constantly charge without us needing to worry about running out of power. Wireless charging pads are nothing new, but what about true wireless charging as in remotely? Thanks to Ossia Inc. that might be a reality soon. Recently at TechCrunch Disrupt, they showcased what they are calling Cota technology. It can deliver targeted energy to multiple devices up to 30 feet away with no wires or pads. People will be able to use Cota to not only charge smartphones, but also remote controls, cameras, video game controllers, and more. During their demonstration at Disrupt, they charged a smartphone from a distance of 10 feet away (see demo below)
“We have been developing the Cota technology in stealth for the last six years,” said Ossia CEO, Hatem Zeine. “By revealing for the very first time real wireless power that is remote, efficient and safe, Ossia expects to change everything you think you know about wireless power. Cota will unleash the imagination of product designers and entrepreneurs globally to innovate and create new products that only exist in a completely wireless state – one that is always on and always ready.”
Google updated its ‘Drive’ products today with a few new touch-ups as part of a minor re-design of the popular web platform. In Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Apps Script, the product icon will now be featured in the top left corner of the screen, which serves as a quick link back to your files in Drive. The header is also much more compact and simplistic, making things much easier on the eyes and hopefully making the process of creating good content more efficient. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think about the new look!
Source: Google Drive Blog
Owners of the HTC One in Canada should begin to receive the Android 4.3 update starting today. Early last week the company’s flagship device started to receive the update in Taiwan and today it turns out that Rogers, TELUS, Bell, and Virgin Mobile are all pushing the update to the handset. Below is the changelog.
Software update: 3.22.631.1 (573.96 MB)
This update constains important enhancements and bug fixes, including:
– Android 4.3 update
- Sense 5 enhancements
United States HTC One owners unfortunately have to wait as the September deadline was missed; however, HTC USA’s Jason Mackenzie assured owners that all of the carriers are being “very supportive.” While that means a lot for most of the carriers in the U.S., Verizon will likely require an even longer wait.
Source: Mobile Syrup
Apple has already adopted it, and Motorola is now all in, so why not Google? It appears Google is going to adopt the nano SIM size for the Nexus 5. A Ukrainian carrier called life :) states on their disclaimer page, “Planning to buy iPhone 5S, iPhone 5c, Nexus 5 or smartphone with Android 4.4? Choose nano-sim from life :)” Now I have no idea why they would say “or smartphone with Android 4.4” because that implies that Android 4.4 would require a device with a nano-SIM slot. I don’t have to tell you how ridiculous that would be.
Sure, the potential of BBM on Android was a pretty big deal, but BBM certainly isn’t the only popular instant messaging service available. Samsung has just announced that their in-house instant messaging solution, ChatOn, has just hit 100 million registered users, adding 50 million of those in the last four months. Comparatively speaking, BBM has 75 million users. Samsung does measure total registered users as opposed to BBM’s daily active users, but since users aren’t forced to use ChatOn on any of Samsung’s product, it’s still impressive that 100 million people at least gave the app a test drive.
Of course, it’s not a clean comparison, as ChatOn is available on many feature phones as well as Android and iOS, while BBM is stuck
in the dark ages on BlackBerry devices. BlackBerry’s numbers may grow once the availability of its app grows, but I’m not sure they’re still popular enough to be able to match 50 million new users in four months. Even if they do have an influx of new users, Samsung’s solution is gaining steam and doesn’t appear to be letting up. It probably won’t even surpass WhatsApp’s 300 million users, but it’s a good place to be regardless.
Lenovo has never really had success in the American smartphone market, but in China they’ve seen exponential growth and can compete with major players like Sony and HTC. While I’m sure Lenovo is happy with their market share in Asian markets, their next step is to try to make a dent in the international market, which they’re hoping to do with two newly unveiled smartphones; the Vibe X and Vibe Z.
The Vibe X is a 5-inch phone with a full HD screen and an October 20th release date. It’s aggressively priced at $470, which should give it some momentum when it’s released to the rest of Europe during the holidays. The Vibe Z is a slightly modified Lenovo K900, which we’ve seen show up in leaks every once in awhile. It’s packing a full HD 5.5-inch screen and 2 GB of RAM, but instead of using Intel’s processors, the Vibe Z is sporting a Snapdragon 800. No release date or pricing is available, but it’ll likely be out around the same time as the Vibe X and cost a bit more.
We already know that Samsung will unveil a limited edition Galaxy Note 3 with a flexible (curved) display next month, but according to the Korea Herald, LG is going to offer something similar next month as well. As previously reported, Samsung and LG are going to start mass production in November, but it appears Samsung has the upper hand. Over the next year, Samsung’s flexible panel capacity will hit 1.5 million per month, but LG’s capacity will hit only 35,000 per month.
Also interesting to note is the display sizes that both companies will produce. Samsung is going to offer a 5.5-inch display, which means this limited edition Note 3 will have a smaller display. LG, on the other hand, is going to offer a 4.5-inch display.
The lower cost version of the Moto X, dubbed the Motorola DVX, could be available next month. We already know that it will have replaceable back panels, which means owners will be able to easily change the color of their DVX. Now we have more images of the device thanks to a revision of the FCC filing.
As you can see, the DVX is going to look a lot like the Moto X, but it will most likely be a little smaller. The Moto X has a 4.7-inch display, and I suspect this device has a 4.3-inch display matching the DROID Mini. The only cosmetic differences is the rear speaker is on the left side of the DVX, as opposed to the right side on the Moto X. There is also a Motorola logo at the top left front. As far as internals, we really don’t know anything other than it appears the DVX is a 3G-only device with compatibilities for GSM 850/1900 bands.