Posts Tagged line

Line updated, providing more voice calls to more locations

Looking for a cheap way to make calls? Line has updated their service today, allowing for calls to more locations — including the USA. The free-to-download service will now let those in much of Asia to make and receive calls on their platform.

The service isn’t VoIP, but rather a low-cost alternative to using potentially expensive international minutes. If you make a lot of international calls from North America, or are in other areas of the world, Line may be a good option for you. With calls as low as $0.02 per minute, Line provides an easy alternative for those who don’t want to rack up charges on their carrier plan.

In addition to the US market, the following will get access to Line voice calling as well: Columbia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Spain, and Thailand. Via the app, all you have to do is use the country code, then dial the number of who you’d like to reach. Apart from the countries listed, there is a laundry list of others with the ability to use Line already — a list far too exhaustive to get into now.

Of course, both users will have to be on Line, but that’s a small concession for cheap calls. An added bonus is that iPhone users can also use Line, making it a true winner for the international market. The update is rolling out now, so if you use Line — look for it.

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Line messaging app doubles size in seven months, has 300 million users

The public’s adoration of stickers and kawaii mascots continues unabated. There are now 300 million Line users out there, possibly making it the biggest messaging app you’ve never used. While it still has a challenge on its hands to claw away users from Western favorites like Whatsapp and Facebook, the conventional wisdom is that messaging is very much big business. Line continues to grow its following in Asia and while Japan forms the base of operations for the app, overseas messaging accounts for roughly 80 percent of its business. We’re off to score some new Dragon Quest stickers. Or maybe some Finding Nemo ones. So many ‘stamps’, so little time.

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Source: Line blog (Japanese)

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Line messaging app update adds distinctly Vine-ish Snap Movie feature

Line messaging app update adds distinctly Vineish Snap Movie feature

Line is all about stickers. Or adorable mascots. Or stickers of said adorable mascots. But this time around, it’s looking to tap into that rich Vine vein of short video-clip sharing. Initially on iOS (but Android will get the feature soon), you can now craft a 4-10 second short, with the ability to add your own choice of music in the background. The Snap Movie (that’s what Line’s calling it) will then play, on loop, forever, on your own timeline within the app. The update also expands users’ photo and video-sharing capacity too and you can now make up to 100 albums (each housing 100 photos). If you’re not exactly sure how those mini-videos are going to work, Line’s been kind enough to offer up a free tutorial — and check out a Line-sanctioned video example after the break.

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Via: TNW

Source: Line

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Mad Catz to launch line of mobile gaming accessories in 2013

Mad Catz is a popular brand for aftermarket gaming accessories. And as we’ve all seen, the Android platform is a pretty popular choice for gamers, so releasing gaming accessories for Android devices seems like a no-brainer, right? Mad Catz thinks so. They announced they’ll be launching “GameSmart” peripherals, which are basically just accessories that you can use across multiple devices. Your PC, your Xbox… or that shiny new Nexus 10 tablet. They’re releasing a wired and wireless mouse, a gaming headset, and a wireless gaming pad, and they all come in quite an assortment of colors and styles. Personally, I think something this universal is long overdue, and I’m excited to pick some of them up in early 2013 when they’ll supposedly become available to consumers. Hit the break for the press release.

MAD CATZ® ANNOUNCES NEW RANGE OF MOBILE GAMING PRODUCTS FOR PC, MAC AND SMART DEVICES
First GameSmart™ Products Include R.A.T.M Gaming Mouse, F.R.E.Q.M Wired Stereo Headset, M.O.U.S.9 Wireless Mouse, and C.T.R.L.R Wireless GamePad
San Diego – January 7, 2013 – Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (“Mad Catz”) (NYSE MKT: MCZ) announced today a new range of products featuring the Company’s new GameSmart™ technology. Initial products in the range include the R.A.T.M mobile gaming mouse, the F.R.E.Q.M headset, the M.O.U.S.9 wireless mouse, and the C.T.R.L.R wireless gamepad.
In addition to delivering leading edge gaming performance on PC, Mac and in some instances consoles, GameSmart products are designed to extend the core gaming experience to supporting smart devices. GameSmart offers mobile game developers and publishers standardization, ease of implementation and scalability when enabling controller and console-like accessory functionality in mobile games. GameSmart control products will function through the Bluetooth® Smart stack, will be game and hardware independent, and will feature simplified setup, longer battery life and universal compatibility.
The R.A.T.M is the first mouse to combine Bluetooth Smart technology and a gaming grade laser sensor, providing market leading battery life, universal compatibility and the performance expected from a R.A.T. gaming mouse. Delivering up to a one year battery life, the R.A.T.M is compatible with a multitude of devices from PC and Mac through to next generation TV’s and tablets. For devices that do not feature Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the R.A.T.M comes equipped with a nano dongle. For platforms running Windows® 8 with native Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the R.A.T.M can be connected directly. The R.A.T.M features an adjustable palm rest, 12 action buttons (10 of which are programmable), and a power efficient 6400DPI twin-eye laser sensor. The R.A.T.M uses an all new Windows® and Mac compatible drag-and-drop programming interface, allowing gamers to intuitively program commands with speed. In addition, the R.A.T.M is app-enabled, allowing for future configuration via a smart device app.
The F.R.E.Q.M is the first mobile headset in the F.R.E.Q. audio line, featuring rich stereo sound and a lightweight aluminum chassis which folds away for easy transport. The F.R.E.Q.M comes with two unique in-line cables, one for use with PC or Mac and the other for use with smart devices and some consoles; each providing the user with different functionality.
The M.O.U.S.9, with striking aesthetics based upon the Company’s award-winning R.A.T. gaming mouse, has been simplified for everyday use and features new Bluetooth® Smart technology and a laser sensor capable of tracking on virtually any surface, including glass. Delivering up to a one year battery life, the M.O.U.S.9 is compatible with a multitude of devices from PC and Mac through to next generation TV’s and tablets. For devices that do not have Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the M.O.U.S.9 comes equipped with a nano dongle. For platforms running Windows 8 with native Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the M.O.U.S.9 can be connected directly. The M.O.U.S.9 features an adjustable palm rest and uses an all new Windows® and Mac compatible drag-and-drop programming interface, allowing gamers to intuitively program commands with speed, featuring profiles for many home and office applications such as Adobe® Creative Suite and Microsoft® Office. The M.O.U.S.9 is app-enabled, allowing for future configuration via a smart device app.
The C.T.R.L.R is inspired by the Company’s critically acclaimed MLG Pro Circuit Controller and will bring console-like functionality to smart devices. Equipped with dual analog sticks, triggers, media controls, shoulder and action buttons, the C.T.R.L.R connects via Bluetooth Smart technology and brings a fully featured console-like experience to any compatible device. The C.T.R.L.R is app-enabled and can be configured via a smart device app.
“Our GameSmart initiative aims to enable core gaming on smart devices, similar to the console living room or PC gaming experience. We’re committed to adding smart device compatibility to our core gaming products wherever practical and to playing a pivotal role in bringing core gaming to the mobile platform,” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. “We are excited about the new range and believe it fits perfectly with our long-term strategy of designing innovative products for passionate gamers.”
The R.A.T.M, F.R.E.Q.M, M.O.U.S.9, and C.T.R.L.R are each expected to be available in a range of distinctive colors in early 2013.
Additional information available at: HYPERLINK “http://www.madcatz.com/gamesmart” www.madcatz.com/gamesmart
About Mad Catz
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (“Mad Catz”) (NYSE MKT: MCZ) is a global provider of innovative interactive entertainment products marketed under its Mad Catz® (gaming), Tritton® (audio), and Saitek® (simulation) brands. Mad Catz also develops flight simulation software through its internal ThunderHawk Studios™; operates flight simulation centers under its Saitek brand; publishes games under its Mad Catz brand; and distributes games and videogame products for third parties. Mad Catz distributes its products through most leading retailers offering interactive entertainment products and has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For additional information please go to www.madcatz.com.
Social Media
HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/MadCatzInc” HYPERLINK “http://twitter.com/MadCatzInc” HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/MadCatzCompany”
Safe Harbor
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the Company’s business prospects that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information or future events or developments. You can identify these statements by the fact that they use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “goal,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: the ability to maintain or renew the Company’s licenses; competitive developments affecting the Company’s current products; first party price reductions; the ability to successfully market both new and existing products domestically and internationally; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; or a downturn in the market or industry. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators.
Source
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc.

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HTC made just $34 million last quarter, its lowest profit since 2004

HTC made just $34 million last quarter, its lowest profit since 2004

Think back to the days of Windows Mobile, to when PDAs were a thing, to when HTC barely had enough clout to put its name on its own hardware. That was the last time the Taiwanese manufacturer reported a profit as measly as today’s. Despite Peter Chou’s recent bout of hopefulness, the Taiwanese manufacture says it took home just NT$1 billion ($34 million) in net income in Q4 of 2012 — which is less than a tenth of what it made in the same quarter of 2011. Revenue was at least in line with HTC’s pessimistic forecast of NT$60 billion, which equates to a 41 percent drop year-over-year, so the stock market won’t find any of this particularly shocking — even though history says it is.

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Source: Bloomberg

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Mad Catz to launch line of mobile gaming accessories in 2013

Mad Catz is a popular brand for aftermarket gaming accessories. And as we’ve all seen, the Android platform is a pretty popular choice for gamers, so releasing gaming accessories for Android devices seems like a no-brainer, right? Mad Catz thinks so. They announced they’ll be launching “GameSmart” peripherals, which are basically just accessories that you can use across multiple devices. Your PC, your Xbox… or that shiny new Nexus 10 tablet. They’re releasing a wired and wireless mouse, a gaming headset, and a wireless gaming pad, and they all come in quite an assortment of colors and styles. Personally, I think something this universal is long overdue, and I’m excited to pick some of them up in early 2013 when they’ll supposedly become available to consumers. Hit the break for the press release.

MAD CATZ® ANNOUNCES NEW RANGE OF MOBILE GAMING PRODUCTS FOR PC, MAC AND SMART DEVICES
First GameSmart™ Products Include R.A.T.M Gaming Mouse, F.R.E.Q.M Wired Stereo Headset, M.O.U.S.9 Wireless Mouse, and C.T.R.L.R Wireless GamePad
San Diego – January 7, 2013 – Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (“Mad Catz”) (NYSE MKT: MCZ) announced today a new range of products featuring the Company’s new GameSmart™ technology. Initial products in the range include the R.A.T.M mobile gaming mouse, the F.R.E.Q.M headset, the M.O.U.S.9 wireless mouse, and the C.T.R.L.R wireless gamepad.
In addition to delivering leading edge gaming performance on PC, Mac and in some instances consoles, GameSmart products are designed to extend the core gaming experience to supporting smart devices. GameSmart offers mobile game developers and publishers standardization, ease of implementation and scalability when enabling controller and console-like accessory functionality in mobile games. GameSmart control products will function through the Bluetooth® Smart stack, will be game and hardware independent, and will feature simplified setup, longer battery life and universal compatibility.
The R.A.T.M is the first mouse to combine Bluetooth Smart technology and a gaming grade laser sensor, providing market leading battery life, universal compatibility and the performance expected from a R.A.T. gaming mouse. Delivering up to a one year battery life, the R.A.T.M is compatible with a multitude of devices from PC and Mac through to next generation TV’s and tablets. For devices that do not feature Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the R.A.T.M comes equipped with a nano dongle. For platforms running Windows® 8 with native Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the R.A.T.M can be connected directly. The R.A.T.M features an adjustable palm rest, 12 action buttons (10 of which are programmable), and a power efficient 6400DPI twin-eye laser sensor. The R.A.T.M uses an all new Windows® and Mac compatible drag-and-drop programming interface, allowing gamers to intuitively program commands with speed. In addition, the R.A.T.M is app-enabled, allowing for future configuration via a smart device app.
The F.R.E.Q.M is the first mobile headset in the F.R.E.Q. audio line, featuring rich stereo sound and a lightweight aluminum chassis which folds away for easy transport. The F.R.E.Q.M comes with two unique in-line cables, one for use with PC or Mac and the other for use with smart devices and some consoles; each providing the user with different functionality.
The M.O.U.S.9, with striking aesthetics based upon the Company’s award-winning R.A.T. gaming mouse, has been simplified for everyday use and features new Bluetooth® Smart technology and a laser sensor capable of tracking on virtually any surface, including glass. Delivering up to a one year battery life, the M.O.U.S.9 is compatible with a multitude of devices from PC and Mac through to next generation TV’s and tablets. For devices that do not have Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the M.O.U.S.9 comes equipped with a nano dongle. For platforms running Windows 8 with native Bluetooth Smart mouse support, the M.O.U.S.9 can be connected directly. The M.O.U.S.9 features an adjustable palm rest and uses an all new Windows® and Mac compatible drag-and-drop programming interface, allowing gamers to intuitively program commands with speed, featuring profiles for many home and office applications such as Adobe® Creative Suite and Microsoft® Office. The M.O.U.S.9 is app-enabled, allowing for future configuration via a smart device app.
The C.T.R.L.R is inspired by the Company’s critically acclaimed MLG Pro Circuit Controller and will bring console-like functionality to smart devices. Equipped with dual analog sticks, triggers, media controls, shoulder and action buttons, the C.T.R.L.R connects via Bluetooth Smart technology and brings a fully featured console-like experience to any compatible device. The C.T.R.L.R is app-enabled and can be configured via a smart device app.
“Our GameSmart initiative aims to enable core gaming on smart devices, similar to the console living room or PC gaming experience. We’re committed to adding smart device compatibility to our core gaming products wherever practical and to playing a pivotal role in bringing core gaming to the mobile platform,” said Darren Richardson, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. “We are excited about the new range and believe it fits perfectly with our long-term strategy of designing innovative products for passionate gamers.”
The R.A.T.M, F.R.E.Q.M, M.O.U.S.9, and C.T.R.L.R are each expected to be available in a range of distinctive colors in early 2013.
Additional information available at: HYPERLINK “http://www.madcatz.com/gamesmart” www.madcatz.com/gamesmart
About Mad Catz
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc. (“Mad Catz”) (NYSE MKT: MCZ) is a global provider of innovative interactive entertainment products marketed under its Mad Catz® (gaming), Tritton® (audio), and Saitek® (simulation) brands. Mad Catz also develops flight simulation software through its internal ThunderHawk Studios™; operates flight simulation centers under its Saitek brand; publishes games under its Mad Catz brand; and distributes games and videogame products for third parties. Mad Catz distributes its products through most leading retailers offering interactive entertainment products and has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. For additional information please go to www.madcatz.com.
Social Media
HYPERLINK “http://www.facebook.com/MadCatzInc” HYPERLINK “http://twitter.com/MadCatzInc” HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/MadCatzCompany”
Safe Harbor
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the Company’s business prospects that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information or future events or developments. You can identify these statements by the fact that they use words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “should,” “plan,” “goal,” “believe,” and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are the following: the ability to maintain or renew the Company’s licenses; competitive developments affecting the Company’s current products; first party price reductions; the ability to successfully market both new and existing products domestically and internationally; difficulties or delays in manufacturing; or a downturn in the market or industry. A further list and description of these risks, uncertainties and other matters can be found in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators.
Source
Mad Catz Interactive, Inc.

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NVIDIA details Tegra 4 platform at CES 2013

72 GPU cores? Four A15 CPUs? Integrated LTE support? That, boys and girls, is what we call the Tegra 4, NVIDIA’s latest update to its line of mobile processors. Pitted head-to-head against the Samsung Nexus 10, a prototype running the new platform loaded 25 web pages in nearly half the time (using a simulated internet connection).

Though the graphics company is known best for its work in perfecting high-quality PC gaming, the Tegra 4 has a few tricks up its sleeve beyond playtime. NVIDIA has placed a special focus on the SoC’s photo processing capabilities, particularly when it pertains to HDR photography. Tegra 4 reorganizes the photo capture stack in order to snap HDR photos instantly. It can even provide a live HDR preview in order to help hone your shot.

NVIDIA is labeling it the hands-down fasted mobile processor on the market, and they didn’t end their demo without showing off a bit of Dead Trigger 2. As you might expect, the new architecture delivered near-console quality graphics on a mobile device. Pretty nifty stuff. We’ll be checking out the Tegra 4 processor in depth as CES marches on, so stay tuned for more throughout the week.

[NVIDIA]

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Urban Hello introduces bizarrely attractive home phone via Kickstarter, we go eyes-on

Urban Hello introduces bizarrely attractive home phone via Kickstarter, we go eyeson

The Kickstarter page for Urban Hello’s beautiful, strange home phone may not be live yet, but we’ve already gotten our hands all over it. The HD voice device is more than looks, though, featuring two OLED screens built into a minimalist aesthetic, intended to simplify the home phone experience. The handset even comes in a handful of colors, “in order to blend in better with the decoration of any interior.” A pre-order of $85 will net you one of the very first off the production line — of course, the Kickstarter has to go live before you can pledge any money. Head past the break for all the specifics, straight from Urban Hello.

Gallery: Urban Hello

Continue reading Urban Hello introduces bizarrely attractive home phone via Kickstarter, we go eyes-on

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Huawei’s Ascend D2 confirmed by uncovered billboard at CES

Huawei's Ascend D2 confirmed by uncovered billboard at CES

The days preceding CES are like an easter egg hunt, with clues of future products everywhere. Easily revealed near the cabstand line of the Las Vegas Convention Center is a billboard proudly displaying the Huawei Ascend D2 we’ve been expecting. We will have to wait until tomorrow at 1pm ET for the Huawei press event for the official details, though, which we’ll of course be covering live.

[Thanks, anon]

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CES 2013: Toyota and Audi to roll out autonomous cars

0104-lexus-driverless_full_600

It’s 2013 and humans have advanced a lot in terms of technological capabilities. The Consumer Electronics Show is near and we will be seeing a lot of companies display their products which are made using the latest technology.

CES is always exciting. LG has already announced that they will be launching line up of smart home appliances that are intelligent and communicate with each other. According to the latest reports, Toyota and Audi will be rolling out new self-driving cars at the CES this year. Google has been working on self-driving cars for several years now and according to the videos they have showed, the future is pretty close. Of course it isn’t just the search engine giant into developing autonomous cars. Several companies in the automobile industry are working hard to get the same results and Toyota and Audi are preparing to show off their own semi-driverless cars at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, which will be taking place on 8th of January in Las Vegas.

Toyota will be showcasing a special version of luxury Lexus LS which will sport rotating radar on top of the car and cameras on the front. The car will also be equipped with Intelligent Transport Systems which will basically help the car’s system to communicate with other cars in the surrounding as well as with the highway “grid”, which can thought of as a decentralized computer network that can coordinate other vehicle’s path, much like an aircraft’s anti-collision system.

Toyata has already leaked a video of the car in action on their official website, and if we take a look at the video we can make out that much of the work has been completed. The car can be seen speeding down the highway without a driver inside it. All the additional equipment such as the radar and cameras are visible from outside, which isn’t great from aesthetic point of view, and also it isn’t aerodynamic, but I’m sure they will conceal all that in the production version in the future and make the car look great.

Audi has also developed somewhat similar, but the company is keeping its lips zipped until the official announcement at the CES. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Audi will be launching a car which will have the ability to find parking spot on its own and park itself in that spot without any input from the driver. Audi’s been working on autonomous vehicle technology for quite a while, and so have Ford and Mercedes-Benz.

There are a small number of driverless cars available in the market right now, but all of them are considered “semi-autonomous.” They need some sort of input from humans and at this point they just add features which reduce the driver input to certain extent, but they cannot do tasks autonomously. The new cars from Toyota and Audi aim to offer complete autonomy with very little to no input from driver. The future looks promising. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know using the comment form below.

Source: CSMonitor

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Samsung to test the waters with Tizen OS in 2013

Samsung and Android go together like peanut butter and jelly. Android wouldn’t have gained so much market dominance without Samsung’s Galaxy line, and that Galaxy lineup wouldn’t exist without Android. Surely these two would enjoy a long, peaceful relationship for the foreseeable future, right? Maybe not. Samsung is reportedly looking at launching several phones running Tizen instead of Android in 2013. Now, this isn’t weird for Samsung, as they do have other phones running Bada, although they don’t have the success Android does, but if Tizen does well enough in its initial Eastern launch, don’t be surprised to see Samsung slowly bring a few devices across the sea.

Samsung is understandably in a position where it really needs to make sure it isn’t too dependent on another partner, like Google. If Google were to take Android down a path that Samsung didn’t agree with, for instance, it wouldn’t hurt to have a backup plan. This is obviously speculation for something that won’t happen for another several years, so no one should worry about the Galaxy S IV running something other than our beloved Android. But if Samsung did launch a competing OS and app ecosystem, would any of you give it a chance?

source: BGR

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HTC One VX review

HTC One VX

The HTC One VX looks to be a great (and cheap) way to get an entry-level LTE smartphone on AT&T

This may be one of those rare instances in which we know too much. For those of us who live and breathe smartphones all day long (and that includes many of you out there), it's tough to look at an HTC One phone without seeing the entire line in context. With regards for pecking order, there's the One V. The One S. The One S. (There's also the new One SV in Europe and Asia, and in the U.S. on Cricket.) And now, on AT&T, we have the HTC One VX.

Where the hell does this phone fit in?

To answer that question, you need to take it out of context a little bit. Instead of looking at where it sits in the HTC family, think about where the One VX sits in the AT&T lineup. Things start to make a little more sense in that respect, especially considering that as of this writing, the One VX is exclusive to the U.S. carrier.

As its name might imply (again, to those of us who live and breathe this stuff), and as the spec sheet spells out, the One VX picks and chooses from some of the best features of the other phones in the HTC One line. You can't help but compare it to its older siblings. But it's also important to remember where it stands for AT&T. This phone serves a purpose for AT&T — filling a hole in its lineup — more than it does for HTC. And that's OK. Because what we end up with is a really good entry-level phone.

So, with all that said, on to our HTC One VX review.

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Samsung announces new Bluetooth speaker with NFC and apt-X codec support

Samsung Bluetooth Speaker

Samsung has just announced a new set of digital audio equipment, most importantly to us smartphone nerds being a new Bluetooth speaker for pairing with phones and tablets. This newest speaker, model DA-F60, supports both NFC pairing and the apt-X audio codec. This is a not-so-common yet interesting use of NFC, which lets users tap a tablet or phone to the speaker to initiate the bluetooth pairing connection meaning there's no messing around with a manual Bluetooth setup — pretty neat.

Android Central @ CES

Apt-X, if you're not familiar, is a relatively new audio codec available in some devices that improves the dynamic range and quality of streaming bluetooth audio. The list of supported devices is small but growing — including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, the HTC One (X, S, V) line and Motorola RAZR (original, HD, Maxx, i, M) line.

We should see a bit more of the new speaker (and Samsung's other offerings) at CES this week, and hopefully have some time to play around with these new ones. No pricing or availability is out just yet, but we should expect those shortly as well.

Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)

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Samsung to test the waters with Tizen OS in 2013

Samsung and Android go together like peanut butter and jelly. Android wouldn’t have gained so much market dominance without Samsung’s Galaxy line, and that Galaxy lineup wouldn’t exist without Android. Surely these two would enjoy a long, peaceful relationship for the foreseeable future, right? Maybe not. Samsung is reportedly looking at launching several phones running Tizen instead of Android in 2013. Now, this isn’t weird for Samsung, as they do have other phones running Bada, although they don’t have the success Android does, but if Tizen does well enough in its initial Eastern launch, don’t be surprised to see Samsung slowly bring a few devices across the sea.

Samsung is understandably in a position where it really needs to make sure it isn’t too dependent on another partner, like Google. If Google were to take Android down a path that Samsung didn’t agree with, for instance, it wouldn’t hurt to have a backup plan. This is obviously speculation for something that won’t happen for another several years, so no one should worry about the Galaxy S IV running something other than our beloved Android. But if Samsung did launch a competing OS and app ecosystem, would any of you give it a chance?

source: BGR

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Ask Engadget: best smartphone car mount?

Ask Engadget best Smartphone windshield mount

We know you’ve got questions, and if you’re brave enough to ask the world for answers, then here’s the outlet to do so. This week’s Ask Engadget inquiry is from Sam, who needs to find a new way of attaching a Galaxy S III to a windshield. If you’re looking to ask one of your own, drop us a line at ask [at] engadget [dawt] com.

“I’ve ditched my GPS unit for a Galaxy S III in my car, but I can’t find a good windshield mount. Are there any models that don’t use suction cups? For some reason they won’t stick to my window, and yes, before you ask, yes I do keep it clean. Thanks!”

While we wouldn’t recommend doing anything unhealthy, we’ve found a good lick on the suction cup before attaching it sometimes helps. Your mileage, however, may vary. Still, you could always try one of TomTom’s generic smartphone dashboard mounts or perhaps even using a Bean Bag mount? As for a window mount that doesn’t use suction cups? That’s a question we’ll leave for our friendly commenters to join in on.

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Samsung announces new bluetooth speaker with NFC and apt-X codec support

Samsung Bluetooth Speaker

Samsung has just announced a new set of digital audio equipment, most importantly to us smartphone nerds being a new Bluetooth speaker for pairing with phones and tablets. This newest speaker, model DA-F60, supports both NFC pairing and the apt-X audio codec. This is a not-so-common yet interesting use of NFC, which lets users tap a tablet or phone to the speaker to initiate the bluetooth pairing connection meaning there's no messing around with a manual Bluetooth setup — pretty neat.

Android Central @ CES

Apt-X, if you're not familiar, is a relatively new audio codec available in some devices that improves the dynamic range and quality of streaming bluetooth audio. The list of supported devices is small but growing — including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, the HTC One (X, S, V) line and Motorola RAZR (original, HD, Maxx, i, M) line.

We should see a bit more of the new speaker (and Samsung's other offerings) at CES this week, and hopefully have some time to play around with these new ones. No pricing or availability is out just yet, but we should expect those shortly as well.

Source: Samsung (BusinessWire)

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ASUS Nexus 7 Dock Set To Ship On January 16th

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for those of you Nexus 7 owners looking forward to that elusive docking station, but it appears the shipping date has been pushed back just oh-so slightly. According to the listing found at online retailer B&H, the Nexus 7 dock has been revised to show a January 16th shipping date— which still technically falls in line with the originally expected mid-January ship date, but still gives a minor reason for concern considering there are many of you out there who were hoping for the dock arriving as early as on the 15th (or even possibly before that).

The good thing is that at least the 16th is only a few weeks away… let’s just hope owners of the tablet won’t need to wait beyond that.

source: B&H
via: Droid Life

 

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ASUS Nexus 7 Dock Set To Ship On January 16th

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for those of you Nexus 7 owners looking forward to that elusive docking station, but it appears the shipping date has been pushed back just oh-so slightly. According to the listing found at online retailer B&H, the Nexus 7 dock has been revised to show a January 16th shipping date— which still technically falls in line with the originally expected mid-January ship date, but still gives a minor reason for concern considering there are many of you out there who were hoping for the dock arriving as early as on the 15th (or even possibly before that).

The good thing is that at least the 16th is only a few weeks away… let’s just hope owners of the tablet won’t need to wait beyond that.

source: B&H
via: Droid Life

 

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ASUS PadFone 2 Updated To Build 10.4.9.6, Full ROM Download Available For WWE And RU Devices

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ASUS has just uploaded the full ROM of build 10.4.9.6 for the Turducken PadFone 2, which brings a whole slew of improvements and enhancements to the device:

Improved Item:
1. Added 7-day weather forecast
2. Added revolving desktop wallpapers and pinch-to-preview feature for all desktop wallpapers in one screen of Pad
3. Added multiple line translation feature in the default browser
4. Enhanced system stability
5. Improved video playback quality
6. Added full screen playback of YouTube videos on Pad
7. Improved HDR photo quality
8. Improved camera focus, video recording, and preview functions
9. Improved phonetic typing speed
10. Improved Bejeweled game’s audio playback
11.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

ASUS PadFone 2 Updated To Build 10.4.9.6, Full ROM Download Available For WWE And RU Devices was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Mad Catz gets in on Android gaming with new GameSmart universal Bluetooth tech

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It’s the next best thing to a standardized format: get one of the biggest peripheral makers in the market to release controllers for Android. You may remember Mad Catz from years past. You know, those gaudy controllers you forced upon your little brother whenever you’d play Street Fighter. Ya, those guys. Looks like they’ll be at CES debuting a whole new set of gaming peripherals, this time designed for mobile devices in mind. Okay, while that may not sound too exciting, the interesting bit is that these new controllers will be taking advantage of Bluetooth Smart, a new universal technology found inside their controller line dubbed GameSmart.

GameSmart is Mad Catz’s new initiative that will allow for game developers to ensure their games are compatible with this new technology, not various controller hardware (MOGA, PlayPad, etc.). In theory, this could make Mad Catz controllers the one peripheral to rule them all. ‘Course as we all know, they just gotta convince game devs of that. Mad Catz will show off a full line of GameSmart products at CES next week, ranging from controllers and mice, to keyboards and headsets. We’ll make sure to give you guys a hands-on when we touch down in Vegas in just a few short days. Stay tuned!

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SuperTooth Showcases New Bluetooth Gear at CES 2013 – DISCO TWIN and HD-VOICE

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SuperTooth Showcases New Bluetooth Gear at CES 2013 –
DISCO TWIN and HD-VOICE

Entire SuperTooth collection of audio & car kit accessories on display
at CES 2013 in South Hall 3, Booth # 30769 (January 8th-11th)
and at ShowStoppers Table # B19 (January 8th) at the Wynn Hotel

Las Vegas – January 7, 2013 – SuperTooth, Bluetooth expert and world’s leading in-car speakerphone brand, will showcase its industry-leading line of Bluetooth accessories – speakers, hands-free car kits and recently launched headphone line – at South Hall 3, Booth # 30769 at CES. Set to debut are the DISCO TWIN – stereo speakers sold in pairs and HD-VOICE – an in-car speakerphone able to speak in 12 languages.

“SuperTooth’s acute understanding of the Bluetooth space positions us to roll out the best technology at the most affordable price,” said Yves Le Reun, Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “Our products are designed to provide the best quality, most power and overall greatest value within their respective price points. This is why SuperTooth has built such a loyal following over the years, growing to 45% market share worldwide in the Bluetooth speakerphone space.”

The DISCO TWIN will debut at CES, priced at $199 for a set of two. The DISCO TWIN are a pair of portable, rechargeable speakers featuring true right / left stereo, each unit equipped with 16 watts RMS audio power, double speakers in front and a high efficiency bass reflex system in back, pairing together for a combined 32 watts of pure sound. Music can be streamed wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device to the DISCO TWIN; users simply pair their Bluetooth device to both speakers, and Bluetooth stereo technology will channel audio to each. The integrated rechargeable batteries ensure 3-4 hours of non-stop, maximum-volume music or up to 10 hours of moderately played tunes. Watch the DISCO TWIN video

HD-VOICE, also debuting at CES priced at $89, is a Bluetooth hands-free car kit with instant installation – just clip
it to the sun visor in the car, pair it with any Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone and begin making hands-free calls in
any type of vehicle. The novelty of the HD-VOICE is its ability to verbalize pairing instructions and announce callers
in 12 languages, as well as its robust audio power – two speakers and two microphones for outstanding sound
quality, both in emission and reception. For incoming calls, the HD-VOICE announces the name of the caller and
users say ‘OK’ to pick up the call. The HD-VOICE also speaks aloud the battery level, connection status and GPS
instructions in 12 languages.

Also on display at the booth will be the entire SuperTooth collection of speakers (DISCO TWIN, Disco2 and Disco),
hands-free car kits (HD-VOICE, Crystal and HD), and recently introduced Melody headphone.
Visit the SuperTooth booth at South Hall 3, Booth # 30769 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and at ShowStoppers Table # B19 at the Wynn Hotel, Lafite Ballroom, 3131 South Las Vegas Boulevard.

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ASUS Nexus 7 Dock Set To Ship On January 16th

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news for those of you Nexus 7 owners looking forward to that elusive docking station, but it appears the shipping date has been pushed back just oh-so slightly. According to the listing found at online retailer B&H, the Nexus 7 dock has been revised to show a January 16th shipping date— which still technically falls in line with the originally expected mid-January ship date, but still gives a minor reason for concern considering there are many of you out there who were hoping for the dock arriving as early as on the 15th (or even possibly before that).

The good thing is that at least the 16th is only a few weeks away… let’s just hope owners of the tablet won’t need to wait beyond that.

source: B&H
via: Droid Life

 

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Is this really our first look at the Samsung Galaxy S4?

Alright, put on your skeptic’s hat. The above image is making the rounds with the claim that it is our first look at the Samsung Galaxy S4. If it is, it looks like we will finally see Samsung ditch the physical home button and possibly move toward Android’s virtual navigation buttons. We say possibly because there is always a chance that capacitive navigation buttons are present but simply not illuminated (we have seen this on previous Samsung handsets).

It also appears that Samsung is looking to squeeze a rumored 4.99-inch 1080p Super AMOLED display into the smallest frame possible by deploying a nearly bezel-less setup. Other reported specs include a 2GHz quad-core Exynos chipset, 2GB of RAM, and a 13MP camera.

The design itself seems to return to the roots of the Samsung flagship franchise with a look that resembles that of the original Galaxy S more than the most recent device in the line, the Galaxy S3. While it’s probably a bit much to call that original design a classic, it would certainly be nice to see Samsung pay homage (if that’s the intention, anyway).

Now, we’re not saying this definitely is the real deal. We’re not saying it isn’t. Either way, it’s worth giving this particular image a good, hard look. If it does turn out to be genuine, it raises another intriguing question. Will we see the Galaxy S4 at CES as initially rumored?

[via SamMobile]

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Samsung Galaxy S IV Image Spotted in the Wild?

leaked-galaxy-s-iv-540x475

Time for those blurry, low quality pictures of a new phone to start surfacing from depths of the interwebs. SamMobile claims they got their hands on the one of the first images of the newly Galaxy S IV that has been rumored to be hitting the digital streets in May. As you can see from the image above, it is just a straight shot without the screen on, and you can see the flash from the camera being used to take the picture. Always seems to happen. These guys that take these pictures never seem want to turn the flash off for some strange reason.

Specs have also been talked about with this image release.  13 megapixel camera, 2GB of RAM and a quad-core 2.0GHz Exynos 5450 processor, all hiding behind a 4.99-inch display are looking to be what we might see rocking in this device. Looking at the image, it does not really look much different from the GSIII, which I am sure there are slight differences we just cannot see from this image.  I do not see Samsung drastically changing the design of the Galaxy line anytime soon.

So let us know what you guys think. You planning on getting the GSIV this year? Or is there another phone that has caught your eye?

Source: Android Community

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BEST DEALS: Sony Xperia T £15.50 a month plus £20 upfront

The mobile phone selling part of Tesco is on a MISSION to sell a lorry load of Xperia Ts, offering Sony’s very awesome recent high-end Android model on monthly contracts starting at just £15.50 a month plus a £20 one-off fee.

For that you get an O2 SIM card with 200 calling minutes and unlimited SMS messages, plus a 500MB monthly mobile data allowance. That’s just about usable as your “main” SIM if you’re careful and is a great way to get a lovely phone on the cheap.

xperia-t-tesco

Of course, Sony’s probably got something even better to announce next week, but you’ve got to draw a line in the sand somewhere. Else you’ll never upgrade and will be using a battered old Nokia forever. Check out all of Tesco’s Xperia options here.

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The HTC One SV comes to the U.S. on Cricket Wireless on Jan. 16 for $349

HTC One SV

And the first U.S. smartphone announcement of 2013 belongs to … HTC and Cricket Wireless. The HTC One SV, last seen making its way through Europe SIM-free, and before that in Asia, is coming to Cricket Wireless starting Jan 16 for $349.99.

Spec-wise, the One SV sort of dances around what we consider to be the middle of of the HTC One line, much like the One VX on AT&T, though this is a different phone, with a different design. It's got a 4.3-inch display, same as the HTC One S, but it's switched to Super LCD 2 instead of AMOLED — and that's a change we like. It's powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 at 1.2 GHz. On-board storage won't win any awards, but you can add a 32GB microSD card and any cloud storage as you see fit. Plus, the One SV has a 5-megapixel camera with with an f/2.0 lens and backside illuminated sensor. There's a front-facing 1.6-megapixel shooter as well. Beats Audio is on board, too.

The bad news? It's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and not the newer Jelly Bean.

But this being a Cricket phone, the real winner is in the data plans. For $70 a month you can get 10GB of 4G LTE data. Fork over $60 a month for 5GB, and $50 gets you 2GB.

We've got the full presser, including 3G data plan info, and more pics after the break.

read more

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Corning announces Gorilla Glass 3, will show it off at CES

Gorilla Glass

Corning has just announced that they have released the latest version of their hardened glass, and Gorilla Glass 3 will be shown off at CES. They haven't told us a lot about the product in their press announcement, but we expect to see scratch-resistance glass that's thinner and more optically clear than the first two iterations of the popular Gorilla Glass line. 

Android Central @ CES

Corning labels Gorilla Glass as "tough, yet sophisticated". Electronic manufacturers seem to agree, as you'll find Gorilla Glass on all manner of products from big screen TVs to the smartphone in your pocket. Their technique makes the surface of the glass clearer and harder to scratch, without adding any bulk or weight. Anything that keeps nasty scratches away from our precious Android phones and tablets. 

Corning will have hourly demos that test the toughness of the new Gorilla Glass 3 at their booth at CES, as well as large format multitouch displays for a more hands on look at the new product. We'll be sure to have a look as we mosey through. A demonstration video and the full press release is after the break.

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Jelly Bean now on 10 percent of all Android devices

Android platform versions

Android 4.1 and 4.2 each up 50 percent over last month's tallies

The latest numbers are in, and things are continuing to move in the right direction: The "Jelly Bean" version of Android — that's Android 4.1 and 4.2 — is now on 10.2 percent of all active devices, as of the two weeks ending Jan. 3. For the two weeks ending Dec. 3, 2012, Jelly Bean was on 6.7 percent of all active devices. Ice Cream Sandwich numbers were up slightly as well, from 27.5 percent to 29.1 percent. Devices on Android 2.3 Gingerbread are trending down, from 50.8 percent last month to 47.6 percent today.

Breaking down the numbers, you'll see that both Android 4.1 and 4.2 increased about 50 percent over last month. But It's Android 4.2 that's on more phones and tablets — thanks in no small part to updates to the Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X and One S, and Motorola's RAZR line. Android 4.2 means Nexus, of course (and custom ROMs), and remains significantly lower.

Source: Google

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Polaroid Launches 7-inch Child Friendly Tablet at $150

When you hear the word Polaroid the first thing that comes into mind is instant photos. Today however, the company is diversifying its product line by introducing a child friendly tablet that runs on Android. This 7-inch device which costs $150 and can be ordered at their online site right will be making an appearance at the Polaroid booth at CES later this month.

polaroid-tablet

What’s so special about this tablet anyway? Well for starters it’s designed to be rugged enough to be handled by kids. It has large buttons so kids can easily press on it. There’s also a side and rear bumper to protect it from accidental falls. As far as specifications go it really is lackluster but considering its target market this won’t matter at all.

Polaroid 7-inch Android Specifications

  • Display:7.0″ capacitive, multi-touch, screen Resolution: 800×480 (16:9)
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz CORTEX-A8
  • RAM: 512MB DDR3
  • OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Internal Storage: 8GB with additional external SD card slot
  • Camera: 2MP Rear
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
  • Battery: Rechargeable (Li-ion Polymer) 3500 mAh
  • Preloaded with over 35 premium apps (all full versions)

The device comes with an easy to setup parental control so you can decide what content your child can view. It also has its own app shop which is actually pretty good since you don’t want your kids to have full access to Google Play anyway. This app shop has content that’s suited for children.

You will be able to use this right out of the box since it already comes with pre-loaded content. You will have access to 3 top rated learning apps, 10 Dr. Seuss & Smithsonian interactive books, 16 games that boys and girls will enjoy, and a Nook Bookstore and reader.

If you’ve wanted to get your child a tablet that’s safe for them to use then you might want to consider getting this model from Polaroid.

via polaroid

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Insert Coin: Leikr GPS sports watch has 2-inch screen, ex-Nokia engineers on its side

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.

Insert Coin Leikr GPS sports watch has 2inch screen, exNokia engineers on its side

Granted, the Garmin Fenix already does decent GPS from your wrist, but there’s a limit to what it can accomplish on its basic little LCD. Enter Leikr: a Gorilla Glass beast with a 2-inch, 320 x 240 display that can throw out a wide range of endurance stats simultaneously or switch to a color navigation mode using up to 8GB-worth of onboard OpenStreetMap data. It’s designed by former Nokia engineers who claim they’ve used their mobile skills to make the Leikr catch a quicker GPS signal, connect directly to a cloud-based, Endomondo-integrated exercise portal using WiFi and Linux-based software, and at the same time stick to a smartphone-like 10mm thickness.

The project’s Kickstarter page has just gone live, with early bird deals still available — at the time of writing, a minimum $229 buy-in is required to lock down a final production Leikr by the summer. That’s hardly cheap, but it’s not at $400 Fenix proportions either, so take a look at the video after the break and the funding link below (scroll to the bottom of that page for full specs) and then, you know, dwell on it.

Continue reading Insert Coin: Leikr GPS sports watch has 2-inch screen, ex-Nokia engineers on its side

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Source: Leikr (Kickstarter)

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