Galaxy K 10x optical zoom more than doubles phone thickness
Two more photographs of Samsung's alleged Galaxy K smartphone have surfaced, showing how far its zoom lens protrudes out of the back. The pair of images found on Baidu has the phone held inside a clear polycarbonate casing, with the lens extending outwards in three segments, spanning a larger distance on its own than the smartphone body's thickness.
WhatsApp reaches 500M monthly active users,700M photos shared daily
WhatsApp has hit a milestone of half a billion active users, the messaging service has announced. The 500 million-user figure is 50 million more than it reported in February, when it also announced it was being acquired by Facebook for a total of $19 billion in cash and shares, with the service now seeing 700 million photographs and 100 million videos being shared between users every day.
CyanogenMod-based smartphone has rear 13MP camera, replaceable covers
OnePlus has formally launched its first CyanogenMod-based Android smartphone, a device the company teased last week. The OnePlus One has a 5.5-inch 1920x1080-resolution display packed into a case that measures 8.9mm (0.35 inches) thick, weighs 162 grams (5.7 ounces), and will offer a variety of StyleSwap back covers including wooden and denim options.
Apple defends against Samsung charges, discloses secret deal
The biggest news in today's Apple vs Samsung patent trial was the previously-reported revelation of a secret deal between Google and Samsung in which the search and advertising giant not only agreed to indemnify Samsung if it lost on two of the patent claims in this trial, but that Google -- not Samsung -- was to "direct and control" litigation and defense on Samsung's behalf. The revelation, which Samsung had previously denied in court, will be used to diminish the Samsung claim that the case is really about Android.
Sony Smartwatch 2 updated, features customizable watch face editor
Sony has announced an update for its Android-based Smartwatch 2, adding a customizable watch face editor. Various widgets can be selected that include date, weather, calendar, Bluetooth, notifications, and more, with third-party developers welcomed to create new content. The Smartwatch 2 now has a built-in calculator app featured in the new update, as well as improved Gmail and Facebook apps. Featuring six new wallpaper options, the watch offers a new low-light double tap function that increases the display's brightness by thirty percent when touched. According to Sony's blog post, new options and further developments are on the horizon.
Withings updates Pulse activity tracker, adds blood oxygen monitoring
Withings has announced that its Pulse activity tracker has been updated with new sensor capabilities with the release of the Pulse O2. Able to measure the user's blood oxygen level, the Pulse O2 features a new bracelet mount for wrist wearing. By measuring one's oxygen saturation level, the Pulse O2 can determine how efficiently the user is breathing during activity. The Pulse O2 is priced at $120, and is now on sale through Withing's online store. Existing Pulse users can adopt the new features by downloading a free firmware update.
Report claims tilting Amazon smartphone will load menus, icon labels
Amazon's rumored smartphone will take advantage of its 3D interface by allowing users to tilt for more information, according to a report. Tilting the device is said to trigger various functions within apps, rather than navigating menus by swiping or tapping the screen, with the touch-free gesture controls also claimed to extend into the phone's main interface.
High-resolution display, Exynos 5430 processor touted in premium Galaxy S5
A premium version of the Samsung Galaxy S5 could be on the way, according to a rumor. The leak suggests that the "Project KQ" smartphone could have a QHD display, rather than the 1080p screen used by the Galaxy S5 at launch, and that these previously-rumored features were being mulled over by management before being removed from the device.
US Domino's customers can now pay using Google Wallet
Pizza service Domino's has added Google Wallet to its payment options for US customers, available on Android. Beginning today, pizza orders can be placed through the Google Wallet app, and those who spend more than $10 will receive a free order of Specialty Chicken until June 15. New users can initiate an account directly within the Domino's mobile app, or through Google's own portal.
Google refunds, provides extra credit to buyers of fake antivirus tool
Google is providing refunds to buyers of the fake Virus Shield app for Android. Discovered by Android Police, the paid $3.99 app was discovered to just switch between different sets of graphics, and failed to provide any protection. The app was removed from the Play Store shortly after the discovery, with more than 10,000 downloads recorded. Google has started to send e-mails to affected customers, promising a refund within 14 days and a $5 promotional credit for Google Play.
Mini version of rumored upcoming LG Flagship spotted in documents
A second smartphone under LG's rumored G3 name has reportedly surfaced, suggesting that just like the G2 Mini, there could be a "Mini" version on the way. Leaked documents allegedly show a device codenamed the B2 Mini alongside the B2, a listing already believed to be the LG G2 follow-up, hinting that the G3 Mini could go on sale a few months after the new flagship.
Motorola said to make Moto E half as thick as Moto G
Motorola will be making a third device in its Moto range of smartphones, a rumor alleges. Specifications for what is believed to be called the Moto E have apparently leaked, suggesting the company is planning to launch another low-budget smartphone similar to the Moto G, but with a slightly thinner 6.2mm (0.24 inches) body instead of the Moto G's 11.6mm (0.46 inches) thickness.
The HTC One (M8) could be the best Android smartphone yet made
You could forgive HTC if it had decided to take a backwards step with the second generation HTC One. It is no secret that the Taiwanese company, once the Android market leader, has been facing massive difficulties in the face of the Samsung marketing onslaught. However, rather than play it safe with the new HTC One, HTC has produced its boldest high-end smartphone statement yet. Our first look at the HTC One (M8) suggests that it is easily the best smartphone HTC has released to date and is shaping up as the best Android smartphone made to date.
Clean front of OnePlus One shown days before launch
The OnePlus One has allegedly surfaced in leaked marketing shots posted on a forum, days before its expected launch. The images, which are renders rather than photographs, appear to show not only what could be the final form of the smartphone, but also a collection of the StyleSwap back covers the company will also be producing.
Experts say conjoint studies flawed, patents worthless as Samsung begs for time
The eighth full day of the Samsung-Apple patent trial went through another raft of witnesses as Samsung struggles to make its case inside its allotted limit of 25 hours -- a problem that hounded the company in the last trial as well. Lead attorney for Samsung John Quinn was forced to read transcripts of declarations to save time, hustle through witnesses and plead with Judge Lucy Koh for more time. An expert that the Galaxy S5 maker paid $1,000 an hour for refuted a colleagues' studies as "kind of biased."
Newest Galaxy-series offering from Samsung examined
Samsung has been standing atop the hill of Android phones for some time now with its Galaxy line. Other manufacturers like HTC and Motorola have briefly held the crown, but Samsung always seems to find a way to yank it back with new features, ease of use and simple design. The newest in the line, the Galaxy S5, looks to push Samsung towards the top of the pile again. But what kind of features can you look forward to in the new Galaxy S5, and is it capable of competing head-to-head with Apple's iPhone 5s?
Low-cost Nexus smartphone could be priced at under $100
The next model in the Google Nexus smartphone collection could be a low-budget handset, according to reports. Google is said by report sources to be working with Taiwan-based chip producer MediaTek on a mobile device that, while relatively low in overall specification, could end up being sold by the company for under $100 off-contract.
Advances in phone optics expected by HTC within 12 to 18 months
HTC is looking towards adding optical zooming to its smartphones, the company's camera expert has revealed. Symon Whitehorn advised in an interview that the company expects to see "huge advances in phone optics" in relation to optical zooming within 12 to 18 months, and suggesting a smartphone could reach a DSLR level of imaging performance in 18 to 24 months.
Canonical releases Ubuntu 14.04 for desktops and servers, update for phone and tablets
Canonical has released its latest Long Term Support version of Ubuntu for desktops and servers. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS includes an update to its phone version as well as for tablets. Stated in a press release from by the company, the most recent Ubuntu version will "form the basis of the first commercially available Ubuntu tablets from Canonical OEM partners."
Feature deploying slowly
Facebook has announced an upcoming feature for its iOS and Android apps, Nearby Friends. The function will notify users when friends are within a certain radius, giving a chance to meet up. For security purposes the feature will be off by default, only work if both parties have it enabled, and allow restricting notifications to specific groups -- close friends, for example, or a custom list.
Developers could win cash prize for creating best Project Ara smartphone module
Google is aiming to launch the first Project Ara smartphone in January next year, the company revealed at the project's first developer conference earlier this week. Google is also attempting to encourage developers to produce sections of the modular smartphone, by offering a $100,000 prize in a competition for designing the best Ara module.
Front and back camera shooting app now available for Android devices
Frontback, a "selfie"-focused photo capturing app originally released for iPhone, is now available for Android users. The app captures two shots: one of the subject with the rear camera, and one of the user's face, a second later, with the front-facing camera (though varying combinations of shots can be paired). The second photo intends to add context much like a caption, and both images can be posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr, as well as Frontback's own newsfeed.
Rugged Cat-branded feature phone tested for durability
Mobile communications are an important part of any business, but most smartphones and mobile devices are not able to withstand the rigors of some environments. The Cat B100 feature phone attempts to fill this role by providing basic phone services in a device that can be dropped in dirt and survive an encounter with water. Is it suitable for use in construction sites, just like the vehicles it is named after? Our review attempts to answer that.
Unlocked sub-$400 smartphone uses CyanogenMod, 13MP Sony Exmor camera
OnePlus has revealed it will be launching its first Android smartphone next week, at the same time as a photograph surfaced, allegedly showing the rear of the device. The OnePlus One, running a customized version of CyanogenMod's Android ROM, will be available to buy in 16 countries and will be priced at under $400, under 350 Euro, or the local equivalent, with the device set to be revealed on April 23.
Tizen smartphones, Android-powered smart watch still on the way
Samsung is preparing to launch at least one Tizen-powered smartphone before the end of this year, according to an executive. Speaking in an interview about the Galaxy S5's sales figures, senior vice president for Samsung's product strategy team Yoon Han-kil advised that the first would be a "high-end model" launching around the end of the second quarter.
Smart watches usable with 12 smartphones, 8 tablets
Samsung has added more devices to the list that will work with the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit smart devices. A total of 20 Samsung mobile devices are now compatible with the smart watches, with the list of eight tablets and 12 smartphones including a large number of recent releases, as well as some of the more prominent best-sellers from the last few years.
String of Samsung witnesses find that Apple's patents are all invalid
Not only did Samsung not infringe on Apple's patents, a parade of witnesses for Samsung told the jury today in the Apple-Samsung trial, those patents aren't valid even if Samsung did copy them. With some help from Apple's very light cross-examination, Samsung again flew through a lengthy list of experts who testified on the relative worthlessness of Apple's patents for "data detectors" (also referred to as "quick links"), universal search, autocorrection and the "slide to unlock" concept.
Industry-led group will work on standards for phone security across platforms
Apple, Samsung, Google and Microsoft, among others, have joined with the top five US wireless carriers to create an industry group dedicated to fighting smartphone theft and implementing multi-platform technology to aid that cause by next summer. HTC, Huawei, Motorola and Nokia are also part of the group, which is aiming to create a "baseline anti-theft tool" similar to the steps Apple has already taken in its own iPhone security software, particularly with regards to preventing reactivation.
Five front-facing cameras shown in leaked photographs of Amazon smartphone
Photographs of what is believed to be Amazon's first smartphone have surfaced. Encased in what appears to be a protective casing to prevent the external appearance from being leaked, the images of an alleged prototype device seem to suggest that the smartphone will have a 3D interface powered by multiple front-facing camera sensors.
Samsung offers Google engineers, but Samsung marketers in day of witnesses
Over the weekend, Judge Lucy Koh turned down Samsung's request for a summary judgement in the Samsung-Apple second patent trial, claiming that Apple had failed to prove its case during its presentation. Judge Koh rebuffed the claims and thus the trial continued on Monday, with Samsung still presenting its defense. Continuing its strategy of saying the case is about a dispute between Apple and Google rather than Samsung, the Galaxy smartphone maker put on a stunning seven witnesses -- most of them from the search and advertising giant.
TransferWise money transfer app now available for Android
London-based startup TransferWise has launched a native Android app, allowing users to transfer money between currencies. A peer-to-peer service, TransferWise facilitates direct money transfers to users in other countries. Six months earlier, TransferWise had released an iOS native app, with the "app" for Android users available on Google Play until today being only a shortcut to its website. Free to download, TransferWise for Android is compatible with Android 2.3 or later.
Universal app submissions part of Windows Dev Center changes
Microsoft has started to accept submissions for "Universal Apps" in its Dev Center. Developers can now link apps made for the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store to create a single Windows app listing, allowing users to buy once on one platform and for it to be downloadable and usable on other Windows devices they also own.
Reason tech works a mystery
The Windows Phone 8.1 preview version of Microsoft Wallet actually supports Passbook files from iOS, reports say. iMore notes that Microsoft has developed a method of extracting information from a Passbook file. The individual passes are said to be composed of generic data, and simply rendered by the container app, much like a browser renders a webpage.
CEO John Legere attacks other carriers while eliminating T-Mobile overage fees
T-Mobile will be eliminating overage fees on all of its consumer plans, the carrier has revealed in its third day of Un-carrier announcements. Following the launch of the Simple Starter plan and the Tablet Freedom introduction on Wednesday and Thursday last week, the new announcement is accompanied by a call by president and CEO John Legere for other carriers to remove excess charges from their plans.
Windows Phone update to 8.1 adds Cortana, may void warranties
Windows Phone 8.1 is now available to download as a developer preview, allowing users to try out the Cortana virtual assistant on their own devices. The latest version of the mobile operating system, which Microsoft officially debuted on April 2nd at its Build conference, can be installed on smartphones owned by developers enrolled in Microsoft's Windows Phone Developer program.
Kapture the Moment invitation suggests use of K branding
Samsung will be launching a new device on April 29th, with invitations sent to an event in Singapore. The invitation asks to "Kapture the Moment," which could be related to a rumor that Samsung is not only looking to reveal the Zoom version of the Galaxy S5, but it could be offered as a new product line and under the name "Galaxy K" instead.
User Agent Profile, photograph allege LG G3 has Quad HD display
Specifications for what is believed to be LG's follow-up to the G2 have surfaced again in reports. A leaked User Agent Profile on Sprint's website and a photograph showing part of the smartphone's display strongly suggest the LG G3 will have a resolution of 1440x2560, as well as hinting at the remainder of the flagship mobile device's internal details.
Tweet: 'Both sides relying on stories to sell jury, Samsung borrowing Google's'
At the end of the twelth day of the Apple-Samsung trial, and fifth day of testimony, Apple rested its case against Samsung following a detailed presentation from "microeconomist" and PhD Chris Vellturo in which he explained for the jury exactly how he calculated the $2.191 billion in damages Samsung should owe Apple for its infringement. Samsung, which has admitted in an earlier damages retrial that it copied from Apple, began presenting its defense -- by borrowing a Google software executive.
TYLT announces new Energi Sliding Power Case and ALIN screen protector for new Galaxy S5
Portable power and wireless charging manufacturer, Tylt, has today introduced its Energi Sliding Power Case and Alin Screen Protector for the newly released Samsung Galaxy S5. The Energi Sliding Power Case pairs portable charging with physical protection, and is equipped with a 2,800mAh internal battery that is double the capacity of the Galaxy S5. The ALIN screen protector facilitates an easy installation, with its accompanying alignment tool. Four screen protectors are provided, with each featuring two removable tabs to avoid fingerprints during the application process.
Wall Street Journal sources believe Amazon phone will ship by end of September
Amazon is preparing to release its long-rumored smartphone in the second half of this year, claims sources of the Wall Street Journal. The retailer has allegedly demonstrated the device to developers in Seattle and San Francisco, with an official announcement planned for the end of June, and for the smartphone to ship by the end of September.
Latest Chrome beta for Android improves Chromecast support
Google has announced that it has begun rolling out a Chrome 35 beta for Android users today. Featuring improved Chromecast support, users can now send some video clips from the browser to a Chromecast-equipped TV. Additionally, Chrome now offers full-screen videos and improved support for multi-window devices. The update is available through Google Play.
Google opening up Google Glass sale April 15 for one day
Confirming earlier rumors, Google is opening up wearable computing device Google Glass for purchase for one day in the US. Any US adult can join the Explorer program with any shade or frame for $1,500, plus applicable local sales tax. Available devices are limited. Purchase begins April 15 at 6AM PDT.
Flagship Samsung smartphone, smart watches go on sale today
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has gone on sale in 125 countries, as part of its global launch. Initially unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February, the flagship smartphone is being sold in stores and through carriers in the US, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and the majority of Asia, flanked by the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, and Gear Fit smart watches.
Charming, surprising, intriguing finds coming to market soon
Now that we've had time to recover from the fury of meeting so many vendors at this year's Macworld, MacNN and Electronista have had a little time to reflect on some of the products and services we saw there. Many have yet to come to market -- a running joke was the number of projects crowdfunded last summer that will be arriving in stores soon -- some have won awards, and some are just little gems we were delighted, intrigued and wowed by. First up in this ongoing series is a successful Kickstarter startup, Glowdeck.
New plan pays early termination fees, offers 4G devices for Wi-Fi only pricing
The second day of wireless provider T-Mobile's pricing plan announcements sees the carrier offering an option to add a tablet to a postpaid voice plan for free through the end of the year. Called "Tablet Freedom," the program offers cheaper tablets, and 1GB of additional free 4G/LTE data each month, in addition to the 200MB of free data available through the "Free Data for Life" promotion.
Project Ara developer kit defines basic specifications of smartphone modules
Google has provided more details about its modular Project Ara smartphone plans, by releasing its Module Developers Kit. The documents, published ahead of a developer conference for the device, detail how the smartphone is put together, as well as basic specifications that individual modules must fulfill in order to interface with the main endoskeleton and other modules.
Failure to profit could see BlackBerry exit smartphone business
BlackBerry could sell off its hardware business entirely if it fails to return to profitability in the near future, the company's CEO has suggested. In an interview with Reuters, John Chen advised the manufacturer would consider exiting the smartphone hardware market if hardware sales do not improve to a point where the company becomes profitable.
Microsoft opens pre-orders for Surface 2 with LTE in UK
Microsoft has opened up pre-orders for the Surface 2 with LTE in the United Kingdom. Just as with its launch last month in the United States, the UK edition will be limited to just a 64GB model, and its £539 ($905) represents a £100 ($168) increase over the standard Wi-Fi model. Microsoft will be shipping the Windows RT tablet on the 8th of May.
Adesso releases Tru-Form Media 1500GB wireless ergonomic keyboard and mouse
Computer peripheral manufacturer, Adesso, has announced its release of a new wireless, ergonomic keyboard and mouse set, offering users two input devices with ergonomic design. Featuring a wireless range of up to 30 feet, the Tru-Form Media 1500GB keyboard and mouse set includes a "gently-sloped" keyboard with a split design that accommodates the natural positioning of hands, wrists and forearms; the accompanying laser mouse also aims to reduce hand strain. The keyboard's membrane key switches provide improved tactile response and a quieter typing experience, lasting up to five million keystrokes.
Data plan add first by T-Mobile in the next three days
T-Mobile today introduced a new entry-level Simple Starter value plan. The new $40 plan gives users unlimited talk and text, and 500MB of 4G/LTE data. The move is the first one for the week, which CEO John Legere calls "three days of UnCarrier" in a blog post calling the other carriers to task for predatory pricing and "obscene" price hikes.