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You Can Now Legally SIM Unlock your Phone Again,Thanks to Obama

Cell-Phone-Unlocking-AH-1

Some of you may remember about a year ago,there was a big stink over the fact that we could no longer SIM unlock our smartphones legally. Even though many people were still doing it. Well there was a petition signed by a ton of people,so the House of Representatives and the Senate took a look and decided that it should be legal for us to unlock our phones. And today,President Barack Obama signed it into law. So rejoice,you can now unlock your phone legally,again. Now just to be clear we are talking about SIM unlocking,not unlocking the bootloader. By this we mean that you can buy an AT&T smartphone,get it unlocked and use it on T-Mobile or another carrier in another country. Which is a big deal when people are traveling.

Just last week,Obama made it clear that he would sign this into law. It was just a matter of when. And now it’s signed into law. The bill,known as the “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act,”directs the Library of Congress to allow consumers and third-parties to legally unlock phones that were received through a carrier,typically through a subsidy. Carriers have always been able to lock down their phones,and the big thing with that,is that carriers were afraid that users may sign a two-year contract then skip out before paying off the device –because you are paying it off over the next two years. But carriers will usually unlock your device for you as long as your in good standing and don’t owe them money.

For the most part this only applies to those that are on AT&T or T-Mobile. Simply because Sprint and Verizon are still CDMA and they can’t be used on other carriers. Although most of their phones are now “world phones”meaning they do support GSM networks. But for the most part that part of the phone is unlocked out of the box. So there’s that. So now we can unlock our phones legally. Who’s going to unlock it now? Let us know in the comments below.

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OnePlus dropping ColorOS in China for own ROM

OnePlus_One_87559

We learned recently that the OnePlus One’s international version would be dropping the much-loved CyanogenMod for its own home-grown ROM,and it seems that the Chinese model won’t be left out of the move to an in-house OS. China’s model has been running Oppo’s ColorOS since the device was released,but CEO Pete Lau has decided to switch to a ROM developed by OnePlus’own software team that recently moved to Taiwan.

While this recent bit of news has caused some unrest among OnePlus’fan base,Lau has specified that stock Android does not work well with the Chinese market and the counrty’s immense firewall,which renders much of the vast and customisable operating system virtually useless. Given the OnePlus One’s success among Android die-hards,It wouldn’t seem to be a crazy prediction that OnePlus will try to keep aspects of ColorOS on its Chinese model and CM11s on its international model.

What do you think about the switch? Are you still chomping at the bit for the One,or has the fire died down a bit now? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

Source:GSM Arena

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Xiaomi Asks Fans to Guess Where They are Headed Next

xiaomi worldwide

Xiaomi has some big plans in the works,and it’s no wonder given their recent trend of successes in homeland China.  If you’re out of the loop on exactly who Xiaomi is,don’t worry,because right now they only sell to mainland China and thus have a fairly limited worldwide fanbase.  Xiaomi makes some inexpensive but highly specced Android phones that run their own custom version of Google’s OS,called MIUI.  MIUI takes a lot of visual cues from iOS for sure,but packs in more features than most ROMs out there could even bother with.  Xiaomi’s phones are usually pretty darned cheap and fall right in line with Nexus pricing and specs,as the recently released Mi4 shows.  The Mi4 was Xiaomi’s first LTE-enabled phone too,and seeing as how many markets around the world have already moved to LTE or are moving to the tech,it makes sense for Xiaomi to now expand to a more worldwide market.

Xiaomi posed the question of “Where in the world are we going to next?”to its fanbase,complete with a map featuring Xiaomi’s little mascot all over the globe.  Given the reports released yesterday of worldwide Android marketshare and the fact that Xiaomi has quickly moved up to the spot of fifth largest manufacturer among all the other Android manufacturers,it makes sense that Xiaomi is now planning on moving to other markets worldwide to expand its base.  Right now Italy,Turkey and Indonesia are the top trending places being guessed at for Xiaomi’s upcoming presence,but that’s not to say that they could be in more than one place at a time.  Xiaomi currently specializes in selling online as a way to purchase straight from the manufacturer,and it helps keep cost of the phones down since there’s no retail chain that needs to mark the price up to make money.  Being such it wouldn’t be surprising to see all of the countries listed in the map above to start getting region-specific devices in the near future.

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ZTE Grand X coming to Cricket Wireless on August 8

ZTE’s Grand X,which has a 5-inch display,a 1.2GHz dual-core processor,a 5MP rear camera,a 1MP front shooter and a 2,300mAh battery,will be coming to Cricket Wireless on August 8.

The phone will cost only $100 after a $50 mail in rebate,so this is clearly tailored to those looking for a decent low-end,cheap smartphone.

Here’s some information from Cricket Wireless regarding the device.

With its big,bright 5″ display,the ZTE Grand X will appeal to students looking for a well featured,large profile smartphone with access to Cricket’s new 4G nationwide network that covers over 98% of the population. This deal with unlimited plans starting at $35 per month after $5 Auto Pay credit gives consumers more options at great prices.

Below is the full press release from Cricket Wireless:

ALPHARETTA,Ga., Aug. 1,2014 /PRNewswire/ – Cricket Wireless announces the launch of a new 4G smartphone from ZTE,the Grand X,adding another option to the hottest back-to-school promotion from a no- annual contract wireless service. Starting August 8,the ZTE Grand X will be available for $99.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate Cricket Visa® Promotion Card*) in stores and online.

“With its big,bright 5″display,the ZTE Grand X will appeal to students looking for a well featured,large profile smartphone with access to Cricket’s new 4G nationwide network that covers over 98% of the population,”said Andy Smoak,head of product for Cricket Wireless.  “This deal with unlimited plans starting at $35 per month after $5 Auto Pay credit** gives consumers more options at great prices.”

Additionally,The ZTE Grand X sports a long-lasting 2300 mAh battery with Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 1.0 technology so consumers can spend less time charging and more time being productive,playing games and listening to music.  The innovative battery technology charges up to 40% faster than conventional technology.  Other features include:

  • Corning® Gorilla® Glass  for added screen protection
  • Dual cameras,5 MP (rear facing) with flash and HD video /1MP (front facing) for selfies and video chat
  • An immersive music listening experience with SRS® TruMedia surround sound
  • A Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 1.2 GHz dual-core processor for faster productivity and gaming
  • Android 4.3 OS with the tools to help keep your mobile life organized

The hot new smartphone deals continue to show up at Cricket and Cricket’s national loyalty program,Cricket Rewards***,gives loyal customers a new smartphone every year. To thank customers on  Smart and Pro service plans for their loyalty,after 12 months of on-time payments Cricket provides customers with a $50 credit every year toward any new phone purchase. These and other offers are available at more than 3,000 Cricket Wireless retail stores across the U.S. and online. To check out the new Cricket,the Back-to-School promotion,or find a store near you,visit www.cricketwireless.com and connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/cricketnation and Twitter at twitter.com/Cricketnation.

About the new Cricket Wireless 

Cricket is bringing consumers more value with a simple,friendly,and reliable nationwide wireless experience with no annual contract.  The power of Cricket is our nationwide 4G LTE network that covers more than 290 million people;easy and affordable unlimited plans with taxes and fees included;annual loyalty rewards;and a great selection of phones customers love. Cricket,Something to Smile About.  Cricket is a subsidiary of AT&T Inc. Coverage not available everywhere.

*Mail-In Rebate Offer ends Sept. 11,2014. While supplies last. New activation on qualifying smartphone plan required. Sales tax not included. Not available in CT,RI,or Miami-Dade County. No rainchecks. Promotion Card,issued by MetaBank®,member FDIC,or CenterState Bank of Florida,NA pursuant to license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.,is not redeemable for cash and may not be used for cash withdrawal at any cash-dispensing locations or automated gasoline pumps. Card is non-transferable and non-refundable. Funds are available at US locations where Visa debit cards are accepted for 150 days after the Card issuance,through the “VALUD THRU”shown on the Card. Service must be active and customer must make second service payment within 45 days of activation to receive card. Offer may not be available with other rebates,offers or promotions. Restrictions and other charges may apply. For cardholder agreement and complete terms and conditions,please visit www.cricketwireless.com/promocard.

**Auto Pay: $5 savings provided as an account credit at the end of each billing cycle while enrolled in Auto Pay.  Auto Pay credit requires Auto Pay enrollment with a new Basic,Smart or Pro plan. Terms,conditions and restriction apply.

***Cricket Rewards:Loyalty Program: Cricket Customers on Smart and Pro plans earn one (1) Reward Credit for each full,on-time payment. Reward Credits are only redeemable for a phone upgrade once customer has earned a Device Credit(s). Customers earn a$50 Device Credit for every twelve (12) Reward Credits earned. Reward Credits expire,if unused,sixty (60) months after Device Credit becomes redeemable. Reward Credits earned at the account level. Device Credits are capped at $150 without redemption and are not-transferrable and have no cash value. Restrictions Apply. 

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140801/132503

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140604/94414

 

SOURCE Cricket Wireless

 

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Sony Xperia T3 available in the UK Exclusively at Carphone Warehouse

Sony Xperia T3 Front and Back PressThe sleek Sony Xperia T3,just announced in July,has finally found its way into the U.K. exclusively at Carphone Warehouse – both in-store and online.  Monthly plans will cost you starting at £22.50 (about $38) per month and is available in the standard Sony Black,White or Purple color.  While the Xperia T3 looks like its more expensive brethren,the Xperia Z2,the T3 slides in a plastic backing,which helps it,weigh in at only 148 grams.  The rest on the dimensions are 150.7 x 77 x 7mm – a nice ultra-thin design.  Tim Hernquist,from Sony Mobile Communications had said previously,“The Xperia T3 is a striking yet affordable device built for those who have an eye for distinctive designs and appreciate standing out from the crowd.  Refined with Sony’s powerful digital imaging expertise and a stunning HD display,the Xperia T3 has everything you need in a smartphone and is loaded with Xperia camera apps that allows customers to get more out of their photos and videos.”

While the Xperia T3 has the same look as the high-end Sony line and comes with a stainless steel frame,it is hardly a flagship device.  It comes with a 5.3-inch HD TRILUMINOS IPS LCD display,meaning it has a resolution of only 1280 X 720,although it is still a stunning display.  Running the show is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.4GHZ and working with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage,although there is a microSD card slot to add an additional 32GB of storage.  The Xperia T3 is powered by a 2,500mAh battery and is running Android 4.4.2 KitKat out-of-the-box.  It has the newest Bluetooth 4.0 LE,Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n,dual-band,Wi-Fi Direct,DLNA,NFC,a FM Stereo Radio and a microUSB port.

I saved the camera until last because Sony really prides itself on its camera quality – with the Xperia T3 they are giving you an 8MP main camera that sports autofocus,an image stabilizer and an LED flash as well as a 1.1MP front-facing camera for video chatting and for taking selfies.  To help you with your photo shooting they add Sony’s Exmor RS,HDR,Touch Focus and SteadyShot along with built-in camera apps such as,AR Effect,Timeshift Burst,Creative Effects,Face and Smile Detection,Panorama and Portrait Retouch.

Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you are interested in the new Sony Xperia T3…as always,we would love to hear from you.

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FCC Chairman Claims Verizon’s “Network Optimization” Policy is “Disturbing”

AH LG 3 2014 -41 Verizon Logo

So last week,Verizon came out and stated that they are going to begin throttling unlimited data customers that go over 4.7GB for up to two billing cycles. This begins October 1st. But the FCC has taken action against Verizon in this. Because they are only targeting unlimited data users,and not those tiered data users that are using 5+ GB of data per month. Verizon states that this part of their “network optimization”policy,which has been in effect for a few years,but only really applied to their 3G network. However now that’s changing to affect their 4G LTE network. Which is why it’s getting a lot of attention now.

The FCC Chairman,Tom Wheeler,sent a letter earlier this week over to Verizon’s CEO Dan Mead. Which wasn’t a very nice letter,in fact it was pretty nasty.

“‘Reasonable network management’concerns the technical management of your network;it is not a loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams,”Wheeler wrote in his letter to Mead dated Wednesday. “It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its ‘network management’on distinctions among its customers’data plans,rather than on network architecture or technology.”

Wheeler also noted in his letter,that the FCC defins a network management practice to be reasonable if and only if “it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose,taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service.”Now we don’t have any proof that Verizon is doing this to increase revenue streams,but one has to wonder if this is really why they are throttling unlimited data users,especially when it’s only unlimited data users that are outside of their contract. 

Verizon fired back at Wheeler and the FCC:

“We will officially respond to the Chairman’s letter once we have received and reviewed it,”Verizon said in a statement on Thursday. “However,what we announced last week was a highly targeted and very limited network optimization effort,only targeting cell sites experiencing high demand. The purpose is to ensure there is capacity for everyone in those limited circumstances,and that high users don’t limit capacity for others.”

Verizon stated during their earnings earlier this week,that about 50% of their users are on the More Everything plans,which leaves a pretty big chunk of people on Unlimited plans still. And it looks like they are looking to push all of them onto tiered plans for two reasons. Limit their bandwidth to make the network better,and two,to make more money.

We’re still waiting word from Verizon on this issue and as soon as we learn something from them,we will be sure to let you know.

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Rumor:Google Toying with the Idea of Google Workshop for Customizable Cases

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Here we go with another rumor. This time it includes Google and accessories. Who would have thought? According to Android Police,it appears that Google is exploring the idea of “Google Workshop”. What Google Workshop supposedly is,is a way for consumers to make their own cases,customize it how they want,and even live wallpapers. Currently the Workshop only caters for the Nexus 5. But as Android Police points out,that may not be what it launches with,and we’ll probably see it expand to more devices. We’ll probably see it for all the Nexus devices and maybe the Google Play Edition devices as well. Google has already actually built the interface for both cases and live wallpapers,and it appears to be part of the Google Play Store,unsurprisingly.

MapMe is also part of this rumor. Basically what it will do is show you suggestions based on your current city,or your hometown. And you can have a map of it on the back of your case or even as a wallpaper,and in different colors. So I could get a blue map of Michigan,if I wanted. Although Maize and Blue would be better. You can also add text,or tweets from the area. Which I’m not sure about adding tweets from a specific place,since it wouldn’t change over time. But it does sound unique.

Then there’s the Moments tool,which “brings your phone to life with moments you love.”This allows users to upload pictures to have on your case for your Nexus 5 –in this case. So if you just had a new baby,you could get a picture of your baby on the back of your case. Or maybe use a picture you’ve taken while on vacation or being a tourist somewhere. Once you’ve uploaded the photo you can manipulate it how you like,also add filters to the picture for your case. Which is neat for those into filters. 

This is definitely something that’s out in left field. As we would probably never expect something like this from Google,and it’ll be interesting to see if this hits with the new Nexus and Andorid L in the fall.



nexusae0_wm_moments_thumb nexusae0_wm_maps_thumb nexusae0_image_thumb32

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Amazon expands Appstore to 41 new countries and territories around the globe

Amazon_Appstore_Large_Icon

Amazon has announced that they are expanding their Appstore to reach 41 new international locations,bringing the total number of markets to 236. Amazon has targeted locations in Africa,the Middle East,and Southeast Asia with this latest expansion. Some of the new countries include Singapore,Saudi Arabia,Bangladesh,and Turkey.

Amazon indicates apps will still be limited by local restrictions,so developers need to be familiar with any localized content guidelines or rules. If developers already have apps available through the Appstore,they will be automatically pushed out to these new countries if 1.the developer originally checked “all countries and regions where Amazon sells apps”when submitting their app and 2.the app complies with local restrictions.

source:Amazon

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NFL Mobile app updated ahead of this weekend’s first preseason game

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The beginning of NFL action begins this weekend in Canton,OH at the Hall of Fame Game,and NFL has prepared by releasing an updated version of their NFL Mobile app to the Play Store. The app features a full UI redesign,and leaves all of the functionality that was present on previous years’versions of the app -  access to the latest news and videos,scores and schedules,management of your fantasy football team,and if you’re on Verizon with the NFL Mobile package ($5 per month) live access to select Thursday Night Football games,as well as access to the NFL Network.

The app is free,and you can download it via the Play Store link past the break. The entire changelog is also past the jump.

What’s new:

- Access scores,live video,fantasy teams,and news from the redesigned Home
- Live streams of local Sunday CBS and FOX games added for Verizon Premium and MORE Everything subscribers
- Select a team to follow in addition to your favorite team to get team scores,highlights,and news
- Live stream of “Fantasy Live” now available to all NFL Mobile users

 

Play Store Download Linkqr code

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Google Now Launcher appears to support a few new devices

Google-Now-launcher

Since its release,the Google Now Launcher has only officially worked with Nexus and Google Play Edition devices. It’s not difficult to sideload the app to work on many other devices,but if you wanted it through the Play Store,you had to own one of Google’s “compatible”devices. With the latest update to the launcher,though,it seems like Google is opening up the application to many more devices.

While the Play Store listing doesn’t say it supports any new models,it has reportedly been showing up for several new devices,including devices like the HTC One M8,LG’s G3,the Verizon variant of the Galaxy S 5,and several others. It’s hard to tell if this is a glitch on Google’s end since it seems pretty intermittent,but there’s a solid chance the launcher will finally be available to wide selection of devices instead of just a handful.

While we wait for any new information,hit the link below to see if you can download the app on your device. It’s not working on my AT&T Galaxy S 5,but maybe some of you will have better luck.

source:Android Central

qr code

Play Store Download Link

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HP,Gilt working on Michael Bastian designed smartwatch

hp_michael_bastion_smartwatch

As we watch more and more companies jump on the smartwatch bandwagon,a group that may be worth keeping an eye on are designers and watchmakers. Most of the smartwatches that we have seen coming from technology companies have been long on function and short on form despite everyone seeing them as a pseudo-fashion accessory. That will start to change though as seen in a new move by HP to produce a luxury smartwatch. In partnership with retailer Gilt,HP managed to lure designer Michael Bastian to a team that is working on a smartwatch that resembles a classic analog watch in terms of style.

According to Bastian,he was inspired by luxury automobiles,notably interior features. The devices he has designed include a circular,44mm stainless steel case and four bands –black rubber,brown leather,olive green nylon,and a special limited edition black. As far as the interior workings of the smartwatch,HP is going to supply that. It appears that they are planning to develop their software to power the watch,similar to the path Pebble took,making it platform agnostic so HP can go after both Android and iOS customers.

The new device is expected to be released sometime this fall. No other details,especially specs,are available.

If you are not yet looking for a smartwatch,would better designs entice you to check them out?

hp_michael_bastion_smartwatch_sketches

source:Gilt
via:Engadget

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NuMi by Nutrisystem Diet App Available for Android

NutriSystem Main 2Diet has to be the worst four-letter of all time – I have dieted all of my life and any form of help is welcomed.  Diets are big business and we see advertisements for them all of the time – Weight Watchers,Jenny Craig,DASH,the Biggest Loser,TLC Diet,Medifast,South Beach Diet and Nutrisystem,just to name a few and I personally,have tried at least four of them.  One of the biggest names on that list,Nutrisystem,has finally come out with an app for our  Android smartphone – called NuMi.

Aditi Gokhale,Senior Vice President &GM Digital at Nutrisystem said:“Today’s dieters expect support wherever they go,and with the NuMi Android app,Android smartphone users can get the exclusive information and expertise NuMi delivers as they go about their daily lives.  It’s a challenge to lose extra pounds and keep them off,but with NuMi’s flexible,comprehensive program,dieters get the full spectrum of services they need to succeed – wherever they are.”

The NuMi,like Weight Watchers,does require a fee for you to access its features.  You can pay $19.99 per month if you only want to try it out on a month-to-month basis.  To save money,you can get a 3-month membership for $47.98 or to save even more,the best value is $139.93 for the entire year,which works out to $2.69 per week.  All plans include a 7-day FREE trial.  For your membership you get a personalized weight-loss program that will calculate your daily caloric needs and recommend meal and ‘activity’ recommendations (sounds a lot like exercise to me).  It will give you places to eat out by your location including over 300 restaurant chains.  You also are entitled to one-on-one real-time support and encouragement – 7 days a week from 7AM – Midnight (EST).  The NuMi app will recommend real-time activities based on your lifestyle.  You will have seamless connectivity to fitness devices and Wi-Fi Scales-FitBit,Jawbone and Withings.  You will also get a snapshot of your progress,as well as insights and tips to help you stay on track.

The app also has extra options to help you follow your diet – you don’t feel like chatting,no problem – how about tracking the three most common behaviors that affect your weight loss.  Victories – Daily wins that will eventually add up to your long-term success.  Slip Ups – Natural and expected missteps that occur with every diet.  Wobbles – Moments of temptations or indecisions.

The app comes with a Bar Code Scanner to scan the nutritional information directly into the program from tens of thousands of package foods.  You can also create a shopping list,print it out,email it or just carry it around on your phone.  You can even pick a dietary preference – Vegetarian,Vegan and Gluten-Free,and even includes Italian,Mexican and Asian choices for cooking.

Check out the Nutrisystem NuMi via the seven day free trial and see if it is right for you.  Like all diets the main thing you need is willpower,however,programs like NuMi can help give you guidance and the support that may help you follow the program…and if you can afford the annual fee,the cost is one of the most reasonable you will find.  Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you are a dieter and if you have tried the NuMi app and let us know what you think about their program…as always,we would love to hear from you.

NutriSystem 1 NutriSystem New 2 NutriSystem 3 NutriSystem 4 NutriSystem 5 NutriSystem 6

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Featured Review:Dell Portable Bluetooth Speaker – AD211

Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-2

Dell sent over their latest Android tablets,the Venue 7 and 8 –which that review will be out this weekend –and they also sent over their own Bluetooth Speaker to go along with it. So we’ve been putting that through it’s paces alongside the two tablets. It’s actually a really nice Bluetooth speaker,and one I’d definitely recommend picking up. This one is $69.99,and gives you more than 10 hours of continuous playback,which is great. Although there are speakers that can do it longer,their sound isn’t always as good. Like the Fugoo Bluetooth speaker that lasts around 40 hours. I’ve been using Dell’s Bluetooth speaker alongside the Venue 7 and 8,as well as with my LG G3 and my laptop. It’s worked great with all of those devices. And the sound coming out of it is just amazing.

It’s a somewhat small speaker,about 7 inches wide,and couple inches deep. It’s a nice looking speaker as well. It also weighs less than a pound so it’s great for taking to the beach and such,as it’s really lightweight. It’s a little lighter than Braven and Ultimate Ears’offerings. As mentioned above,it does have great sound quality,and can get plenty loud as well. Dell includes a microUSB cable as well as a 3.5mm cable so you can plug it directly into your smartphone or tablet or any other device. The only controls are on the right side,which includes a power button,volume controls,and bluetooth. It does also have NFC,which is a personal favorite feature of mine. You can tap your phone on the top of the Bluetooth speaker and have it pair instantly. Making it easy to pair with a new device,instead of making sure discoverability is on so it can find the speaker.

This one is available for $69.99 at Dell’s website,or for $57 from Amazon,if you’d rather pick it up from there. You can also check out the gallery down below.

Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-1 Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-2 Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-3 Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-4 Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-5 Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-6 Dell-Portable-Bluetooth-Speaker-AH-7

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ARM and Qualcomm seem to be ready for 64-bit generation of processors

AH SnapDragon Qualcomm 1.6

We’ve seen Android L announced at this year’s Google I/O. There are many features in Android L itself that we’ve talked about,we’re not here to talk about those. We’re here to focus on a specific one,support for 64-bit processors. Considering that Android L will support 64-bit processors,processor manufacturers will focus more on 64-bit chips,rather than using current 32-bit architecture. It might take some time to see benefits from those SoCs (System on Chip) though,considering the fact that vast majority of apps aren’t compatible with 64-bit architecture. That is completely normal,developers were coding apps for current-gen 32-bit chips.

Speaking of chip manufacturers,ARM has been powering over 95% of today’s smartphone devices,Android devices included. They’ve launched their first ARMv7-A chip in 2009 and have since then shipped over 1 billion devices. Tablets are close to 500 million mark. Some of you may wonder how in the heck did ARM ship so many devices when you see Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in most devices these days. Well,Qualcomm is licensing ARM’s architecture (they’re basically partners),or processor technology if you will,in order to produce its own SoCs (processors) such as Snapdragon 400 (Moto G),600 (HTC One M7),800 (Nexus 5),801 (Galaxy S5),and so on. I listed those devices in order to show you how many different smartphone manufacturers use this technology.

Partnership between ARM and Qualcomm will continue as they’re getting ready to offer new chips for 64-bit generation of mobile devices. They are getting ready to offer ARMv8 architecture within Qualcomm SoCs. There are many benefits in moving to 64-bit architecture,performance improvements and increased memory capacity is a given. ARMv8 will bring lots more according to ARM and Qualcomm though. Doubled general purpose registers and SIMD/Floating point registers,more cryptographic extensions,improved performance of virtual machines/compilers and lots more. ARMv8 will also be backwards compatible with the current ARMv7 architecture of course,without this you wouldn’t be able to use any of the applications which are made for 32-bit ARMv7 architecture.

Cortex A53 and A57 CPU core designs are also on the way. They’re going to replace A7,A9 and A15 cores. These processors will be more power efficient and will offer 20-50% better performance that Cortex A15,depending on what core part are we talking about. They intend to improve power efficiency through the big.LITTLE platform. The idea is to save power using the cores alone by optimizing them for specific tasks. In other words,x number of cores will work for a specific task,no need to fire up extra cores when not necessary. We’ve seen this in action already and the results were…well,not what they expected. Hopefully,they’ve managed to improve on it and are now ready to offer some real improvements.

Qualcomm’s Adreno GPU line has also seen some performance and power efficiency improvements already and it will only get better with the architecture. Qualcomm has low and mid-range market covered as well,they’ll offer Snapdragon 410 and 610 processors for those devices. All of this of course next to higher-end 808 and 810 chips which will be a part of flagship devices all over the world.

ARM and Qualcomm seem ready to take the market by storm yet again. If you want to read the full document directly from Qualcomm’s official website (for more details),follow the source link below.

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Google is decommissioning one of their mysterious barges and selling it for scrap

Google Barge

After Google got the whole world riled up about their mysterious floating buildings in Maine and San Francisco,it looks like the mystery may already be coming to an end before Google revealed the barge’s true purpose. The Portland Press Herald is reporting that at least one of Google’s four barges is being sold for scrap.

“On Wednesday,a tugboat towed the barge from Rickers Wharf Marine Facility in Portland and deposited it at Turner’s Island Cargo Terminal in South Portland. Roger Hale,owner of the terminal,said the structure had been purchased by an unnamed “international barging company” and was being prepared to leave Portland for an ocean voyage to an undisclosed location.

The containers,though,will be disassembled at Turner’s Island and scrapped,said Lance Hanna,deputy harbor master for Portland Harbor.”

The project had run into issues with various government agencies and had even been forced to move at a couple points,so its likely that the headache wasn’t worth the hassle for Google. Rumors of the barge’s purpose ran the gamut from retail showrooms (complete with a party deck) to floating technology centers,or in Google’s words,“interactive spaces where people can learn about new technology”.

Regardless of its purpose,Google’s futuristic looking barges got people talking,even inciting a bit on The Daily Show. The fate of the remaining three barges has yet to be announced,but if Google decommissioned one for legal or practical purposes,its hard to imagine they’ll continue work on the other three. Sound off in the comments with your thoughts on Google’s mini man-made islands.

Via:9 to 5 Google
Source:Portland Press Herald

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Google Now Launcher Adds Compatibility to the HTC One M8,LG G3 and Others

Google-Now-Launcher-AH-1

With Android 4.4.2 Kitkat,Google showed off a brand new launcher which we called the Google Experience Launcher for quite some time until it hit the Play Store earlier this year,as the Google Now Launcher. Up until this recent update,the launcher was only compatible with the Nexus line and Google Play Devices. However,the Google Now launcher got an update last night,which brought support to HTC One M8,One E8,One Mini 2,Desire 816,Huawei Ascend P7,Samsung Galaxy S5 Active and LG G3. There’s probably more devices that it’s compatible with,but those are the ones that we know for sure it’s compatible with now. So if you have a device that it is now compatible with and we don’t have it listed,be sure to let us know in the comments. It’s likely compatible with any Android 4.4.2 device,but we don’t have any confirmation on that just yet. Even though the Google Now Launcher hadn’t been officially compatible with most devices,we were able to sideload it and use it without any issues. 

The Google Now Launcher is one of my favorite launchers these days. As it has Google Now on the left side of the home screen,similar to what LG,Samsung and even HTC do with their own services and launchers. The Google Now Launcher is even better if you use Xposed XGELS module with it. This allows you to change a ton of different parts of the launcher,including adding icon packs.

So now the Google Now Launcher is available and compatible with many more devices. And now we don’t have to go ahead and sideload the apk to get the Google Now Launcher on our device. Again,if you find that the Play Store says your device is compatible with the Google Now Launcher,be sure to let us know in the comments down below.

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Nokia May be in the Android Business for the Long Haul,Job Postings Suggest

AH NOKia Logo 1.0

Over the past few years as Android has flourished and turned into the market winning giant that it is today,many former Nokia users had been pining to finally get their hands on a top-tier Nokia phone powered by Android.  I was one of them for sure,being a recovering Nokia fanboy myself,and the hope kind of died when Microsoft purchased the Nokia hardware division and made it Microsoft Mobile,effectively eliminating any chance of ever getting a real Nokia phone powered by Android.  Surprisingly we still got the Nokia X,X2 and a few other notable entry-level phones from Nokia that are powered by Android,bringing hope back alive again that someday we could see a Lumia-level phone from Microsoft with a real version of Android.  Again Microsoft crushed those hopes the other day stating that the Nokia XL 4G will be the last Android phone from their coffers.

Now,however,it looks like the rest of Nokia that wasn’t purchased by Microsoft is looking to hire some engineers to develop Android phones,meaning that we could see the old Nokia from the N95 days make a resurgence with an Android-powered phone on board.  This is the same group of folks that are currently building the Nokia Z Launcher for Android,so we’re expecting some pretty great things from them if this all pans out.  While it’ll be some time before this group can get Android hardware out,given Microsoft’s agreements to sell under the Nokia brand for a while,but the hope is still there for the future.  Specifically Nokia is looking to hire camera specialists,phone engineers and designers for Android development,a clear sign that a full phone is coming down the pipeline at some point.

Is the hope alive for you?  I don’t think I’ll personally ever give up on the idea of having an Android powered Nokia phone with a killer camera one day.  It’s going to be interesting to see exact what Nokia comes up with too since Microsoft owns the rights to practically all of Nokia’s best mobile technologies and patents,meaning Nokia has a lot of work ahead of them before such a project even sees the light of day in any kind of prototype form.

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Galaxy Mega helps save a man from being shot

galaxy-mega-bulletWhile Samsung may get a lot of flack for their design and material choices,the plastic clad devices may get a second look as a story out of Taiwan shows a Galaxy Mega 6.3 helping stop a bullet. What started off as a misunderstanding at a bar escalated into a shooting. According to the report,a man named Han found a wallet on the street jokingly shouting “free beer.”The owner of the wallet,named Xu,became upset and pulled out a gun.

Han then pulled out a sickle and went to attack the gun wielding man. Of course,like something out of George Lucas’fantasy,Han didn’t shoot first and was shot by Xu. The bullet penetrated his arm and was heading for his chest. However,the Galaxy Mega in his chest pocket saved him as it took the bullet instead. Han is said to make a full recovery but his Galaxy Mega didn’t make it.

source:9to5Google

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New rumor suggests Moto 360 to be made out of plastic

Moto_360_Google_IO_2014Like the Moto X before it,the Moto 360 can call itself one of the most hype-beasted devices to date. Of course anyone who’s been paying attention will understand why. Rumored to be a luxury device,the 360 is said to be made out of quality materials and sport high-end specs. It was also rumored to come packing a luxury device price point too. 

One of the other rumors suggested the Android Wear device would also be made out of metal,adding more to the luxurious feel. However,according to a new rumor,the smartwatch will actually be made out of plastic. The same source of this rumor confirms the device will come with wireless charging but at the cost of thinness.

According to the tipster the device will come in at 13.5mm adding to the rumored 48mm in diameter. Does the extra thickness and lack of metal make you want to reconsider another Android Wear device? Let us know below.

source:Tech Web
via:G for Games

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Kids Rescue Vehicle Puzzles

Sharpen the minds of toddlers with funny puzzles,because that’s what Kids Rescue Vehicle Puzzles is about. A series of 6 easy puzzles with rescue vehicles for toddlers to piece together. Aside this,they also get to listen to sounds of real rescue vehicles and finally practice hand-eye coordination while popping fun bubbles once the puzzle is done.

Here’s what “Kids Rescue Vehicle Puzzles”offers:
- 6 different puzzles with large pieces especially crafted for toddlers
- 8 different rescue vehicles each with real sounds for toddlers to get familiar with
- balloon popping at the end of each level for cognitive skills practice
- funny backgrounds and sounds to captivate their attention

While the puzzles are definitely too easy for sober adults they will definitely help in sharpening young minds. The app is available for free on Google Play.
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