HP Pro Slate 12, 8 include ultrasound-based Duet Pen stylus input
HP added a large number of tablets to its arsenal, running on Android and Windows. The main launches from the collection are two Android tablets, with the Pro Slate 12 and the Pro Slate 8 both equipped with the Duet Pen, an accessory using Qualcomm's ultrasound technology that lets the user write anywhere nearby and have the text appearing on the tablet automatically.
Nexus 9 struggles to deliver a knockout blow against iPad Air 2
Ever since the day that I scored a world exclusive for Electronista by spotting the original Samsung Galaxy Tab in the wild ahead of its release, I have taken a keen interest in watching Android tablets continue to take on the iPad and fail. Google's success with Android has been largely dominated by smartphones, with no single Android tablet competitor getting anywhere near the sales numbers of Apple's iPad. With the continued rise of "phablets," which effectively do double duty as a smartphone and a tablet, it seems that the chance for Android tablets to truly challenge the success of the iPad may have passed. Despite this, Google is persisting with Android tablets of its own, with the Nexus 9 its latest hope. Does the Nexus 9 stand a chance against the undisputed champion of tablets, the Apple iPad Air 2?
Google Maps for Android updated with route-sharing option
Google has made some changes to Google Maps for Android, with some new features mirroring similar additions in the iOS update. Version 9.3 for Android introduces filtering restaurants by cuisine, as well as permanently dismissing the location settings pop-up. More importantly, Android Police notes the app has a Share Directions option, allowing the user to send an email to a contact containing instructions for following a specific route.
OnePlus still developing its own custom Lollipop-based ROM
Late last month, smartphone maker OnePlus asked their users for feedback on naming the custom ROM for the OnePlus One. An alpha release of the ROM, based on Android v5.0 "Lollipop," has been available at the OnePlus forums since just before the New Year. Today, an interview with Cyanogen founder Steve Kondik confirmed that Cyanogen plans to ship its own Lollipop/CyanogenMod 12 for the OnePlus One next month.
Lighter TouchWiz could increase usable space in Samsung smartphones
The next iteration of Samsung's Android overlay may include smaller changes to the mobile operating system's appearance and functionality than previous versions, according to rumors. Keeping the TouchWiz user interface closer to stock, and without adding Samsung's extra software features, could help users by taking up less of the internal storage space, granting more user-accessible free space in its future flagship devices.
Security analysts warn of security problems for 60 percent of current users
There comes a time in any piece of software or hardware's life when the company that produced it decides that it's no longer worth providing updates or support for it. That time has apparently come for the version of WebView used by Android Jelly Bean and earlier, which is still installed in roughly 60 percent of Android devices: Google has made the surprising announcement that it will no longer update the default browser technology, opening older devices up to vastly increased security issues.
Former Google engineers borrow heavily from the Microsoft aesthetic
Last year, three ex-Google engineers from the Search and Maps divisions got together and formed Jide Technology. Now, Jeremy Zhou, David Ko, and Ben Luk have debuted the Remix, a combination tablet and laptop, or what the company calls an "ultra-tablet." While it runs on a modified version of Android, the look and feel is very reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface -- giving the new product's title an ironic extra layer of meaning.
We go hands on with Blu's 5.1mm unlocked Vivo Air smartphone
Electronista just had to check out the Blu booth at CES, as we had heard rumors of an unlocked, $200 Android smartphone that sits in a 5.1mm aluminum/magnesium alloy chassis, runs on an eight-core 1.7GHz CPU, and has a 4.8-inch AMOLED touchscreen. First impressions of the Vivo Air didn't disappoint, and the device will launch next week, we're told, so we expect it to sell plenty of units.
Saygus to get 21MP camera, world band support, Harman Kardon sound
While cruising the show floor at CES, Electronista stumbled upon the Saygus booth, with the company's V2 Android-based smartphone on display. To be fair, it was more of an engineering sample rushed to be ready in time for the CES show, so the hardware felt a little flimsily glued together. While the phone may not yet be ready for the customer, its promised specs are relatively impressive, and include some exclusives in the business.
Drivers can now use their watch for remote start
Hyundai is among the first automakers to bring its connected-car features to wearable devices, introducing a Blue Link app for Android Wear. Electronista checked out the new service at CES, where Hyundai brought a connected Sonata and a few Android-powered watches to demonstrate the capabilities. Owners of select vehicles can already access the full range of Blue Link features via their smartphone, and the Android Wear implementation simply serves as the watch-based extension of the service.
New edition compatible with iOS and Android with simultaneous analog connection
Unlike its predecessor -- which only recently added support for Android devices (and then just the Galaxy Note 4) -- the iRig 2 guitar-to-phone interface, announced today, will support both iOS and Android right out of the gate, developer IK Multimedia says. Outputs on the device have been improved and added -- not only provide studio-quality sound from a smartphone, but to allow musicians to additionally plug into a traditional amplifier without an adapter.
Super Slim TV measures only half an inch thick
While the main focus of Sharp's morning keynote was the new Beyond 4K Ultra HD TV, some time was also spent showing off an upcoming Super Slim 4K set. While most details are still unknown, the TV will become available towards the end of 2015 in a 70-inch model. The Super Slim model will very closely mirror the features found in the also-announced UE30 and UH30 TVs, but in a form factor that measures only half an inch thick (excluding the set mount). Beyond Sharp's own SmartCentral 4.0 platform, the Super Slim TV will also include Google's Android TV.
Exceptional algorithms improve nearly any picture with little assistance
Unless you are a supremely-gifted photographer with a bucketful of top camera gear, you may often find yourself wishing a shot you had taken could be sharper, clearer, or otherwise "better," and are always looking for an app that can deliver this magic to your pictures consistently. Honest to gosh, we think we've found it -- or at least, pretty darn close. The program is called Perfectly Clear by Athentech, it's available as a mobile app or a plug-in for Photoshop or Lightroom, and -- we kid you not -- it's like Windex for most photos.
Connected bindings shows 'boarders lean angles, more
Just in time for the snow season, Japanese company Cerevo has introduced the XON Snow-1, a set of connected snowboard bindings that records data and lets users analyze their run, much like a data analyzer for race car drivers. Each binding has a pair of load sensors to measure lean angle, and a flex sensor to gauge weight distribution, along with LED lights that appear to serve no other function apart from just looking cool.
Parrot's latest has CarPlay integration, OBDII, more
France-based Parrot's latest unveiling at this year's Consumer Electronics Show was the RNB6 double-DIN automotive head unit. The new RNB6 supports both Apple CarPlay and Google's Android Auto. The seven-inch capacitive touchscreen unit also offers many other features to prospective buyers, such as an included dashcam, navigation, and Bluetooth 4.0.
China-manufactured device echoes Apple design clues, brings Bay Trail
Knockoffs of popular products aren't uncommon in overseas markets, but its not often that a knockoff has altered functionality in a way that looks good, at least on paper. Chinese company Onda has released the V919 3G Air -- a clear iPad Air design clone, but one that runs both Android and full Windows 8.1 on a single device rather than iOS -- an ability that was promised at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show by many Android or Windows tablet manufacturers, but which never materialized.
New 10.1-inch tablet will be introduced at CES 2015
Arbor Solution will be introducing its new ruggedized Gladius 10 Android-based tablet for applications such as warehousing, transportation, medical, and mobile point of sale (mPOS) at CES this week. The ruggedized device will be available in the US and Canada beginning in May, with base models starting at $1,030. The unit meets MIL-STD-810G and IP-65 certifications, and offers four-foot drop resistance, a raised bezel for LCD impact protection, and hinged rubber covers over the I/O ports.
Pixi 3 smartphone runs Windows Phone, Firefox OS, and Android
Alcatel OneTouch is preparing to show off two different types of mobile device at CES next week. The Pixi 3 are said to be a collection of smartphones capable of running three different mobile operating systems on the same hardware, while the Watch is said to be an "affordable" round-faced smartwatch at a "fraction of the cost of competitors."
Custom ROM created following CyanogenMod issues in India
OnePlus has released the first iteration of its own custom Android Fork to OnePlus One users, as it starts to move away from CyanogenMod. The official custom ROM, which will be named by the users via a competition, effectively offers just the stock features of AOSP Android Lollipop at the moment, but the company is planning to improve the mobile operating system in future releases.
Second-gen Moto X is one of Motorola's best ever smartphones
The second-generation Motorola Moto X has been eagerly anticipated among Android fans, who see it as fulfilling the promise offer by the first-generation model. The original Moto X once went by the mysterious code name of the "X Phone," and was pitched as the first device fully developed under the ownership of Google, with much expected of it. Although we found a lot to like about the original Moto X, it failed to live up to sales expectations. Has Motorola - now under the stewardship of Lenovo - managed to keep what was great about the original Moto X, but address what its potential customer base saw as its weaknesses with the second-generation model?
Slim margins, heavy advertising impact profits for otherwise-popular devices
In a blog post of all the notable developments in the mobile market for 2014, industry analyst Chetan Sharma includes a number of observations about Android hardware and its profit margins. The primary one is that the Android device manufacturer community suffered its "most significant ever" drop in profits during 2014, with earnings having dropped 50 percent from expected levels across 2014.
Server issue prevented logged-out users from signing back into Twitter
Users of Twitter found they were logged out of their account and unable to log back in, for a few hours earlier today. Primarily affecting users of the Twitter app on Android as well as the mobile site, the fault has since been rectified by the microblogging service, and though there has yet to be any official explanation for the outage, at least one Twitter user claims it to be a date-based issue.
Free apps for your Android phones and tablets
You've no doubt seen some of our picks for discounted iOS apps, and our "beyond-the-last-minute" Gift Guide, but we've been poking around the Android side of things as well. The biggest deal going for Android users is a special offer from Amazon's app store currently has $220 worth of normally for-pay apps available for free. Read on to discover just a sampling of what Santa-zon has in store for you.
Claims not yet verified by authorities, LG; Reddit user offers photo evidence
A Reddit user's younger sister had her LG G3 battery explode as it sat charging on her bed, according to photos and a report from Reddit Android group contributor "s-blade." The heat from the explosion appears to have been so intense that it caused the phone to melt through the mattress, only lightly scorching the sheets as it sank into the bed. The report mentions that the battery and charger involved were original equipment, and not cheap knock-offs or counterfeit low-cost replacements that have a track record of serious problems.
Google pushes the boundaries of smartphone size with Nexus 6
The Google Nexus 6 is the latest Android flagship smartphone from Google and, like each one before it, it is designed to showcase the latest developments on its Android platform. Indisputably and unapologetically a "phablet," the device centers on a gargantuan 5.96-inch QHD AMOLED display, and comes pre-installed with Android 5.0 "Lollipop." It truly challenges the boundaries of what users are prepared to carry around with them as an everyday all-purpose device. That, of course, makes it a very interesting proposition.
Leaked screenshot suggests LG G2 to gain Android Lollipop soon
The Android Lollipop upgrade may reach the LG G2, if a leaked screenshot is to be believed. According to TuttoAndroid, the screenshot is said to show the G2 as running Android 5.0.1, with part of the screenshot showing a new, flatter user interface in line with Material Design principles. No date for the update has been provided -- but if the image is genuine, it could start reaching phones as early as January next year.
Platforms include iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows
DirecTV has announced a partnership with Fox Networks, giving subscribers to the satellite-based TV service access to all the content in the Fox Now, FXNow, and Nat Geo TV apps on multiple platforms. This includes iOS, Apple TV, Android, and Windows devices. In effect, the change means that the apps have simply added DirecTV as a service authentication option, joining other TV providers such as cable operators.
Judge concerned about 'speculative nature of the damages'
US District Judge Beth L. Freeman ruled on Thursday that she requires the plaintiffs, Gary Feitelson and Daniel McKee, in a lawsuit against Google to submit more details. The two consumers allege that Android-based smartphone prices are being negatively impacted because manufacturers must agree to pre-load apps like the Google search app by default, instead of making deals with, for instance, Bing. The judge has said she would most likely dismiss the lawsuit as it stands, but is giving the plaintiffs a chance to revise it with additional evidence.
Version 5.1 expected to be available by February, sources say
The latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, has been experiencing a bit of a rocky road since its release, with version 5.0.1 already having been pushed out to address some of the issues. Rumors are surfacing that Lollipop 5.1 will be released in early 2015 -- however, some users may not be able to update until July, if ever.
Instagram adds five new filter options, filter management
Instagram has updated its famous photo filters, for the first time in two years. The Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, and Perpetua effects have been added to both the Android and iOS versions of the app, each shifting and softening the photograph's colors in varying ways. The app has also updated how the various effects are displayed, providing a blurred preview of filters, while a "Manage" button will allow users to hide the rarely-used filters from view.
Baidu agrees to use Here maps for location services outside of China
Here, Nokia's mapping service, is going to provide content for the Android and iOS Baidu Maps app, as well as desktop maps. The agreement will allow Baidu to offer its Chinese travelers access to maps for areas outside of China for the first time, with Taiwan set to be the first country covered and others set to follow. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
LTE-equipped Nexus 9 priced $120 more than Wi-Fi equivalent
A variant of the Google Nexus 9 tablet with cellular connectivity is now on sale in the United States, two months after it was first unveiled. The Nexus 9 LTE, being sold first through T-Mobile before other carriers and Google Play, is identical to the already-available 32GB Wi-Fi model, but includes the requisite cellular radios to connect to T-Mobile's network.
Works with iOS, Android, Windows Phone: crash reporting, analytics, beta distribution to be unified
Microsoft has announced through a blog post that it has acquired HockeyApp, a mobile analytics and app-distribution service similar to Apple's Testflight. Originally launched as a web-only service in 2011 that allowed iOS, OS X, and Android developers to collect crash reports and manage beta distribution, the app now offers such services for Android, iOS and Windows Phone developers, and will continue to operate as Microsoft works on integrating HockeyApp into the Applications Insights service in Visual Studio Online.
App replaced by 'Amazon Shopping' app with no links to app store
As a result of a revised developer's agreement, Google has made the original Amazon Android app undiscoverable in Google Play. Amazon has replaced the removed app with a new "Amazon Shopping" app, which notably removes access to the retailer's app store through a Google Play-sanctioned app, leaving users forced to "sideload" a separate app from another source in order to facilitate downloads and purchases from Amazon's app store.
Ultrasonic pulses used to connect guest smartphone with Chromecast
The Google Chromecast is finally allowing guests to cast content without joining the same Wi-Fi network, courtesy of a new update. Originally teased during Google IO in June, the new Guest Mode can be enabled on a Chromecast individually, with the Chromecast and the guest smartphone or tablet also attempting to open communications without requiring any user configuration.
Developers for low-tech virtual reality device gains more support from Google
Google's low-tech virtual reality efforts have received a boost, with updates for users, developers, and those creating their own version of the Google Cardboard kit. Alongside a new Cardboard app making it easier to find and view VR experiences, Google Play now includes a collection page showing a number of made-for-Cardboard apps, including a performance by Paul McCartney and scenes from The Hobbit.
Nokia plans launch of Here maps on iOS in early 2015
Nokia's Here maps for Android is no longer just for Samsung smartphones and tablets, with Nokia making it available to other Android devices on Google Play, without the need to side load the app. At the same time as the Android expansion, the company has revealed its upcoming Here release for iOS will be slightly later than initially believed, with a version for Apple devices set to arrive in early 2015.
Developers gain new API to help create faces for Android Wear devices
The latest update to Android Wear is adding more user-personalizable options to the smartwatch software, among other improvements. Dozens of watch faces for Android Wear wearables are being made available to download, with a new Watch Face API also being introduced to make it easier for developers to create new faces.
'The iPad has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled'
A top Android fan site, Android Police, has published its annual gift guide, with staff members recommending (and sometimes dissing) various top-flight models of Android phones and phablets. For straight-up tablets, however, the site picked the iPad Air 2 as its top pick over the expected Nexus 9 or Nvidia's Shield tablet. The surprise choice, said Senior Editor David Ruddock, was because "the Air 2 is reliable, predictable, and very fast," adding that the iPad "has been the gold standard in tablets since it was unveiled."
Swipe your way through even the longest texts without lifting a finger
Most people have gotten used to texting and typing on their iPads and iPhones, and chances are, they're good at it. However, it's undeniable that the standard thumb-texting can be pretty slow. On top of that, texting tends to grow tiresome in this manner as the conversation becomes more involved. Of course a user can always revert to hunt-and-peck typing with an index finger, but that leads to slower typing or reliance on predictive text, which can produce unintentionally-hilarious mis-types. Swype by Nuance has come up with a clever solution to help us text and type faster and longer, with less fatigue.
Future update to Google Translate will use live camera feed
A future update to Google Translate will apparently include technology acquired from the company's purchase of Quest Visual, the developer of the Word Lens translation app. The Translate app will soon include a "Live Translation" mode, which will automatically change the text displayed from a live camera feed from one language to another.
Netflix tests original show marketing with reminder Twitter messages
Netflix is testing a new way to remind subscribers to watch their original shows. A custom card for upcoming show Marco Polo is being used on Twitter to promote the show, complete with a "Tweet Me a Reminder" button. According to The Next Web, the @MarcoPoloMP Twitter account will be sending a message to anyone who opts in to the service at 12:01AM Pacific Time on December 12th, with participants also receiving a custom video message from the cast.
Android Wear search app spreads to mobile phones, adds more answer options
The Microsoft equivalent of Google Voice Search is now available on Android. Initially released from Microsoft Garage for Android Wear devices, Torque is a search app which provides card-style answers to questions in a similar manner to Google's own voice-controlled product, though instead of being triggered by a voice prompt, it starts up by shaking the phone.
Microsoft brings Cortana to France, Germany, Italy, Spain
Microsoft is bringing the Cortana virtual assistant to more countries in Europe. An update as part of the Windows Phone Developer Preview Program rolling out today will grant access to Cortana in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Released as an alpha version, Microsoft warns many of the advanced features will not be available, such as flight tracking and some reference data, but the team is working to add localized content for each language, along with a slightly tailored personality.
Incoming Inbox app updates detailed during Reddit AMA
Google is planning to introduce support for Google Apps within Inbox, the team behind the mobile app has revealed. As part of a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread, the team revealed a number of features which will be coming to the app at some point in the future, though it was not revealed when exactly users will be able to benefit from the new functions.
Update to Android Lollipop may fix lock screen bug
An update for Android Lollipop is believed to be on the way, after a new factory image for Nexus devices was released for download. Version 5.01 of the mobile operating system has been pushed to AOSP along with factory images for the Wi-Fi Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and 2013 Nexus 7, a step usually followed by an over-the-air update for other devices.
Targeted emails outpace Google ads or search for merchant results
A new study that monitored US holiday shopping from mobile devices between Thanksgiving through to Cyber Monday showed results exactly in line with similar surveys from last summer, noting that Apple iOS devices accounted for about 78 percent of orders, with Android accounting for only 21.6 percent of online sales from mobile devices. Analytics firm Custora noted the consistency between holiday and non-holiday buying patterns, with iOS and Android showing the same respective percentages last summer as well.
Yahoo switch not mandatory
Mozilla has released Firefox 34, the latest version of its multi-platform web browser. As promised last month, the update makes Yahoo the default search engine. People upgrading from a previous version, however, are only being prompted to switch engines in a pop-up message; clicking "Later" leaves Google search in place.
Android tablet deals from zero dollars
With all the great deals out there on Android tablets today, it gets a little bit tricky trying to figure out what exactly the best prices are. While most of these tablets are even remotely in the league of top-quality tabs like the iPad or the Nexus 7, we have put together a list of some of the best Black Friday Android tablet deals we could find. At TigerDirect.com right now, get the Proscan seven-inch Android tablet with McAfee 2015 multi-access for only $70. That's already $80 off the list price of $150. A $70 mail-in-rebate offer on this bundle drops the final cost down to zero dollars. However, McAfee activation is required to claim this rebate.
LG G3 rollout of Android Lollipop commences in South Korea
LG has continued its roll out the Android 5.0 update for the G3 smartphone, albeit just in South Korea. Following an initial rollout in Poland, the Lollipop firmware update in the company's home country is a good sign for the update's overall progress, though BGR notes that there has yet to be any confirmation of any other international updates, nor what other devices will be upgraded to Lollipop in the near future.