Updated Skype application promises to save more battery life

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Many Skype users prefer to stay logged out of the service on their phones and tablets while not video chatting because of a fear of drained battery. If you remember, Google admitted that the Nexus 5 battery is currently experiencing faster battery drain due to the camera communicating with apps such as Skype.

Skype just updated the Android app to version 4.7, which will hopefully alleviate the situation. Just one other change includes message notifications in group chats being turned off by default.

Battery life is precious these days, so anything Skype can do to improve the situation is good news.

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HTC looking to enter smartwatch game in 2014

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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HTC clearly isn’t dominating the smartphone market, so it looks as though it’ll be trying its hand in the smartwatch game. According to a recent Bloomberg report, HTC’s chairman, Cher Wang, said the company has been researching the possibility of entering smartwatch industry for years, and is optimistic that a product will be released this year. Wang also cited the fact that the company has to solve many of the battery and LCD-light problems that many manufacturers are currently having with their own smartwatch models. We’ll just have to wait and see what HTC has up its sleeves, and if this offering is any better than what it’s putting out in the smartphone market.

Source: Bloomberg 

Samsung may have another bloated battery issue

by Jeff Causey on
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In recent years, we have seen Samsung continue along a path of producing larger and larger devices, whether it is the normal smartphone market where they have established a 5-inch screen as the standard for a top tier device or the large smartphone market whether their Galaxy Note line pushes to blur the lines between smartphones and tablet devices. However, one area where Samsung may not be too happy to know they are growing bigger is in the batteries of the devices they sell, especially when that growth occurs after the device is in the hands of the consumer. Last month Samsung had to acknowledge a problem with batteries swelling in their Galaxy S 4 devices, costing them some coin after they started offering free replacements. Today news of another swollen battery issue has surfaced, but this time it involves an older device.

South Korean TV station KBS1 has aired a report detailing problems some owners of the original Galaxy Note device, released in 2011, are having with their batteries. The batteries are growing larger and take on some rather odd dimensions causing them to no longer fit in the device. Thus far the impacted devices appear to be those from Samsung’s home market, South Korea. Owners of the devices have thus far had no luck in getting replacements out of Samsung like owners of the Galaxy S 4 were able to do when their batteries started to super size themselves. That may be because Samsung seems to think the swelling is just a normal part of a battery’s life and is just an indication the battery has reached the end of its life. However, this does not seem to be a problem for other manufacturers.

Are you worried your smartphone’s battery may suffer from bloat?

source: Unwired View

How to enable battery percentage in the status bar on Android 4.4 KitKat

by Robert Nazarian on
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Google has finally implemented a battery percentage indicator in the status bar with Android 4.4 KitKat, but you won’t find an option to enable it any of the settings menus. However, it’s really not all that hard to enable it, and you don’t need to be rooted. There are two methods, one involves an ADB command and the other involves installing a simple app. Now I know you can just download one of probably 10,000 battery widgets in the Play Store, but you might be looking to clean up your homescreens. Head on past the break to find out how to enable it.

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Nexus 5 battery life will be better than expected thanks to Qualcomm

by Justin Herrick on
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Yesterday we learned that the Nexus 5 will have a non-removeable battery sized at 2300 mAh, but prospective owners should not have to worry about running out of juice quickly. Inside will be Qualcomm’s new QFE1100 envelope tracker that the company claims to be able to reduce heat and power consumption from the radio components. A huge concern with many phones is the pace at which LTE data kills a phone’s battery; however, Qualcomm’s new envelope tracker aims to solve that. Also, the Nexus 5 has the 802.11ac WiFi standard. This means that if you have a compatible router, your phone will reach the signal easier with much larger transfer speeds. All very good signs if you’re picking up a Nexus 5.

Source: Gigaom

Xtorm launches solar power pack accessory for Galaxy S4

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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As we wait for battery technology to improve, many turn to battery accessories to give their devices that extra ‘push’ that they need to get them through the day.

Xtorm has a new solution that most will probably find extremely useful. The company has launched a solar battery pack accessory for the Galaxy S4, which promises to add an extra 3000mAh of battery capacity to your handset.

The design is a bit bulky, but you don’t have to keep it attached at all times. When your phone needs a boost, simply plug it in and let it do its thing— of course keeping it plugged in will ensure that you’ll have a near-full battery at most times, but for aesthetic reasons, it’s understandable that you’d want it to be disconnected at some times.

The Xtorm GS4 Solar Power Pack will hit store in Europe for about €50, or just under $70 USD.

Source: PocketNow

Next Sony Xperia could be able to wirelessly charge in one hour

by Aditya Thawardas on
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Sony-Xperia-T-Front-End-Logo-DAPSmartphones are incredible devices that have made our lives infinitely better, but they still have their problems. Like how long some phones take to charge. Sony might be solving that problem in a big way. According to Nikkei, Sony has developed a way to wirelessly charge their new Xperia that uses 10-15 watts of electricity, or twice the rate of current chargers. That would mean that their smartphone would be able to be fully charged in around one hour.

Yes, charging that fast would normally cause your phone to blow up into flames, but Rohm has developed control chips to be incorporated into Qi-compatible chargers and smartphones that keep heat generation down, and continue to let the ultra-fast charging occur.

This technology is expected to make its way to our Sony gadgets by late 2014.

Source: Nikkei
Via: Pocket-Lint

Samsung offering free battery replacements to Galaxy S 4 users with “swollen” batteries

by Aditya Thawardas on
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Samsung_Galaxy_S_4_Back_Opened_battery_TALast week, reports came out that some Samsung Galaxy S 4 users were suffering problems with “swollen batteries,” where S4 batteries were swelling up and losing its ability to hold a charge. Trusted Reviews recently released a statement by Samsung that told the public that the company is aware of the problem, and is offering free replacement batteries to those affected.

To receive a free replacement battery, all you need to do is head to your closest Samsung Electronics service center.

Source: SamMobile

HTC One Max will have a power flip case to extend battery even longer

by Justin Herrick on
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Worried that the HTC One Max won’t have enough battery life to satisfy you? If you are indeed concerned, there’s good news. A power flip case will launch beside the device with a 1200mAh battery. That would bump the total size of the One Max’s battery to 4500mAh. The case not only juices up your device, it also acts as a stand if you’re interested in watching a movie or video chatting. Connecting the case to the handset are the three pogo pins that everyone was questioning for so long. And yes, the fingerprint scanner is still exposed to be touched.

Nexus 5 release date and pricing leaks in Japan

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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We’ve been getting more and more information on the Nexus 5, and don’t expect the news to slow down anytime soon. After we reported on the fact that multiple battery options will be available, we are now receiving information regarding the device’s release date and pricing from Japan.

Note that since this information is from Japan, this does not necessarily mean that the same will be true in the United States. Here’s what we have:

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