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.
MLB.TV viewable on Google Chromecast with subscription
The Google Chromecast is now supported by the MLB.com At Bat for iOS and Android. The update allows subscribers of MLB.TV's Premium Subscription to stream live, out-of-market games and on-demand events, with a choice of home or away broadcasts also available. The MLB.TV subscription is $25 per month or $130 for the entire year, with access to the MLB.com At Bat app's features included in the price.
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.
WordPress announces debut of Version 3.9, refines blog management tool
Today WordPress.org announced an update to its blog management tool of the same name. Aiming to provides its users with a clearer understanding of how content will appear once published, WordPress v3.9.0 features improved editing. Its new visual editor includes increased speed, accessibility, and mobile support. Speedier access to crop and rotation tools allows for faster image editing, and images can now be uploaded by dragging and dropping from one's desktop to the editor.
Microsoft unveils All-in-One Media Keyboard for living room use
Microsoft has launched its All-in-One Media Keyboard. Designed for use in the living room, the peripheral offers a full-size spill-resistant QWERTY keyboard, and connects to a device using a USB wireless transceiver. On the right-hand side is a multi-touch trackpad that supports gestures, and a row of three buttons above which can be customized for quick access to specific apps. Shipping tomorrow, the All-in-One Media Keyboard is priced at $40.
Google Glass update bundles media together for simpler navigation
Google has revealed it will be updating Glass to Android KitKat later this week. While the update introduces a number of changes, including a more refined photographic experience, Google has decided to remove its video calling function from the wearable device, claiming that it has received poor user feedback over the function, and that less than ten percent use it in the first place.
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.
BlackBerry will update iOS, Android BBM apps over Heartbleed security flaw
BlackBerry has added itself to the list of companies working to fix issues caused by the 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL security flaw. Senior vice president Scott Totzke told Reuters that, though the majority of BlackBerry products are unaffected, by not using OpenSSL, it will still need to issue updates to Secure Work Space corporate e-mail and the BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android.
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.
Verify Apps updated to check for Android malware regularly after installation
Google is attempting to improve the security of Android, by changing the way it monitors apps on mobile devices. The Verify Apps service, which protects smartphones and tablets by checking the apps for malware at the time of installation and warning over potentially harmful software, will be updated to provide constant on-device monitoring of apps after the installation.
Coolpix S810c uses Android Jelly Bean, has 16MP sensor
Nikon is adding another camera to its popular Coolpix line, with an Android-based device. The Coolpix S810c runs on Android 4.2.2, an upgrade from the Android 2.3 used in the Coolpix S800c two years ago, and while it has a similar 16-megapixel sensor to its predecessor, its optical zoom has been improved from 10x to a greater 12x, doubling to 24x using "Dynamic Fine Zoom."
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.
SesameGO launches, offering US customers with kid-friendly streaming service
Sesame Workshop has today launched a educational television streaming service, called SesameGO. Offering children-centric, advertisement-free content, the service will features classic Sesame Street programming as well as current material. Web-focused, the service is optimized for Mac, PC, smartphones and tablets, with no native apps anticipated. SesameGO is available now for US residents, and is priced at $4 per month or $30 annually.
Rapid adoption means iOS more secure, easier to develop for
On Monday, Apple updated its iOS adoption statistics for developers to show that 87 percent of active iOS devices are now running iOS 7, with only 11 percent still on iOS 6 and a mere two percent (presumably devices that cannot upgrade, such as the original iPad) stuck on earlier versions. The figure was achieved less than seven months after the original release of the upgrade in mid-September. By comparison, only about 5.3 percent of Android users have or have been allowed to upgrade to last year's KitKat , which was announced around the same time as iOS 7 and debuted a month later.
Google TV replacement uses cards, recommends content
Google is preparing to offer an updated form of its Google TV software under the name of Android TV, according to a report. Screenshots of the software, which was previously said to have been rebranded to the new name, have surfaced to show an interface that takes after the company's "card" system in what appears to be a more cohesive user experience.
Amazon announces Dash barcode scanner, expands e-commerce versatility
Amazon has announced the release of a new LED barcode scanner, entitled Dash. Offering the ability to scan household objects and groceries, the aim of Dash is to facilitate replenishing stock within one's home by scanning existing products to order replacements. Users can scan or verbally dictate what is desired to be purchased, with Dash featuring a simplistic setup and sturdy design. Those interested can sign up through Amazon for a free Dash gadget, currently by invitation only.
Google's new Night Walk offers immersive tour through Cours Julien neighbourhood in France
Google's Street View has been taken to a new level with its release of Google Night Walk, an audio-based tour through a French neighbourhood. Leading those accessing the tour though Cours Julien, a neighbourhood of Marseille, France, narrators Julie and Christophe lead users across the city, highlighting locations of note. A mini-map displays one's progress though the city, and certain hotspots initiate YouTube clips, Wikipedia segments and photo galleries, and more.
Messages can be sent to non-Vine users
Twitter-owned Vine has updated its iOS and Android apps with a new direct messaging feature. The option lets people send videos privately, regardless of whether the recipient is a Vine user. People who don't have a Vine account will instead get the videos via SMS or email.
Exhibit helps Westerners understand the fear of living in area with land mines
To help promote awareness of land mines and international efforts to clear them from former battlefields around the world, a museum in New York City will be hosting an exhibit utilizing Apple's iBeacon technology, headphones and an iOS or Android app to create a "virtual minefield." The idea, part of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action being held on April 4, is to allow users to experience the fear of land mines.
Crackle adds Chromecast, iOS 7 optimization
Movie and TV show streaming app, Crackle, has received an update today. Central to the app's update is its new support for Google Chromecast, allowing Crackle users to stream content from its service through to one's Chromecast device ($35), and view content on one's HDTV. Crackle features a wide variety of video media for free, including original content such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Available for iOS and Android devices, Crackle is free to download.
Samsung says Google was already working on Apple-patented tech
Google's former Android head, Andy Rubin, may be asked to testify on behalf on Samsung during the second Apple v. Samsung patent trial beginning today, says the Wall Street Journal. Samsung is reportedly challenging Apple's assertion that the iPhone was completely groundbreaking by pointing out that Google was already working some of the contested technologies before the iPhone shipped. It notes that except for slide-to-unlock, all of the patents Apple is asserting -- related to hyperlinking, background sync, Siri's universal search functions, and auto-complete -- are Android features.
Online learning company Coursera adds Android app
Coursera, a free online education company, has released an app for Android, joining its iOS counterpart. Coursera offers over 600 real college and university courses from various educational institutions, and students can receive a mark of completion if all components of a course are finished. The newly-released app allows users to browse the course list and enroll in classes, stream video lectures, and download class materials. Free to download, Coursera's app is available through Google Play.
Logo rules promote Android at device start-up
Google is pushing to promote the Android operating system further, by requiring device manufacturers to add extra branding to their devices. The start-up screens of the new HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S5 both now include a "Powered by Android" logo close to the bottom, and could possibly lead to more prominent signs of the mobile operating system's use in the future.
LG starts Android 4.4 update roll-out for G Flex in South Korea
LG has started to roll out the Android KitKat update to the G Flex smartphone. The update for the curved mobile device will include LG's Knock Code security system, among other changes, with units located in South Korea being the first to receive Android 4.4. Other markets are also expected to receive the software update, though the timing for this will depend on the region and individual carriers.
AT&T announces addition of Android 4.4 to its available Galaxy Note 3 units
AT&T announced today that it is now rolling out the latest version of Android for its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Current users of the Note 3 through AT&T can update through the Software Update menu. Upon doing so, users will receive a revised user interface, improved GPS, and the option to select a default messaging app. When initiating the system update, AT&T recommends the device has at least a 50 percent charged battery.
CasinoCoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin variants all spotted on 'hundreds' of devices
New Android malware is making the rounds, with the latest threat being a piece of software that when installed, maxes out the device's processor mining for crypto-currencies. The "CoinKrypt" malware has three known variants, processing for CasinoCoin, Dogecoin, and Litecoin.
Suite would improve current multiplatform support
Alongside Office for iPad, Microsoft may also be preparing to launch a new licensing bundle today called the Enterprise Mobility Suite, sources say. The bundle is reportedly aimed at large-scale customers who need a way of managing Windows, iOS, and/or Android devices. While cross-platform support has been available from Microsoft for a while, EMS is expected to include Windows Intune, a new Azure Active Directory "Premium" option, and Azure Rights Management Services. Active Directory Premium is described as a paid version of Azure Active Directory with features like group-based app access, and self-service password resets and group management.
Random selection will determine attendees from interested individuals
Google has officially launched its website for the 2014 Google I/O conference to be held on June 25-26. The conference attendees will be selected by lottery, with interested attendees submitting interest and the search engine randomly selecting those able to purchase a ticket. Previous years' events have revealed the Nexus lines of Google-sponsored hardware, major Android releases, Chromebooks, and Google Music.
HTC news reader app, Zoe camera being prepared for non-HTC use
HTC is preparing to offer its BlinkFeed news reader app to all Android devices in the future. The app has appeared in Google Play but is currently available to download only on the new HTC One, along with a number of other apps associated with the Sense 6 Android user interface, and could be the first of a number of the apps set to appear on smartphones from other manufacturers.
Executive reveals existing investment in smart watch software prevents use of Android Wear
Sony will not be using Google's Android Wear platform for its smart watches in the future, an executive has revealed. Ravi Nookala, head of Sony Mobile in the US, said in an interview that the manufacturer will continue to use its own SmartWatch platform for the immediate future, instead of switching to Google's recently-announced wearable device platform.
App for Windows Phones developed with Royal National Institute of Blind People
Last week, Nokia released a new app for the Windows Phone platform to help people with vision issues, or those that need bigger text in their day-to-day activities. The aptly-named Pocket Magnifier was developed with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK to use a phone's camera to enhance text. The app allows for frames to be frozen for steady reading, offers filters to help define text, and allows the use of an LED (flash) to light up the object being read. Owners of a number of Nokia Windows Phone models utilizing their cameras now have another use for their device if they need assistance reading something on the go.
Could President Obama finally jump ship to Android, iPhone?
Adding insult to injury over BlackBerry's ongoing slide into oblivion, a US Department of Defense spokesperson has confirmed that "the White House Communications Agency, consistent with the rest of the Department of Defense, is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices" as a possible replacement for BlackBerry devices. Initial reports suggest Android devices are currently being tested, but not iPhones at this time.
Pebble lowers price of Steel smart watch with leather strap
Pebble has cut the price for one version of its metal smartwatch. The leather-strap version of the Pebble Steel is now reduced to $229 for both the brushed stainless and black matte models, representing a $20 saving on the metal-band variants, reports SmartwatchFans. Potential buyers will have to wait, as the leather-strapped models are now back-ordered, while the metal strap versions are listed as "unavailable." The original version of the Pebble is still listed as in-stock.
New statement reverses Huawei CMO comments about dual-OS devices
Huawei will not be producing a smartphone that is capable of booting to two operating systems, the company has revealed. Responding to reports about comments made by Chief Marketing Officer Shao Yang, the manufacturer advised it is not currently planning the release of a device that will boot to Windows Phone as well as Android.
Sony to release PS4 update, adding rich video editor and more
Today Sony announced on its blog the upcoming release of a patch for PlayStation 4. Offering the new ability to turn High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) off at any time, players will be able to record footage using an external capture device. The patch will add a video editor for users to modify their gaming footage without the need for external software, and video and screenshot content will be able to be moved to an external USB drive if desired. Sony states that in partnership with Twitch and Ustream, it will be adding the ability for Twitch broadcasts to be archived, and offered in a higher resolution of 720p. Further details are expected in the coming weeks.
More Xperia devices added to Android KitKat update list by Sony
Sony is starting to roll out Android 4.4 to some of its smartphone range. As confirmed in November last year, the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1 Compact, and Xperia Z Ultra are all receiving the Android KitKat update, though final timing depends on the market and carrier, with a company blog post also giving some hints as to when other Xperia devices will see the new mobile operating system.
Microsoft's Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850 announced
Microsoft has announced its new lightweight wireless mouse, the Wireless Mobile Mouse 1850. Priced at less than $15, the 1850 uses 2.4GHz wireless technology for a reliable computer connection, and holds a built-in mini USB transceiver that can be plugged into one's computer or hidden inside the mouse. The mouse will be offered in black, red, pink, purple and dark blue, and is due to be available this month.
Wearable device operating system to first arrive on smart watches
Google has announced its operating system software for wearable devices, called Android Wear. Hinted at during a South by Southwest interview by head of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai, the software will allow hardware producers to build devices, such as smart watches, with the platform claimed to offer many of the functions typically associated with smart devices, but with a Google twist.
New device to ship in latter half of 2014, specs unknown
Accompanying Google's wearable device API for Android reveal, LG has announced that it is working together with Google on LG's G Watch powered by Android Wear, which extends the Android platform to wearables. As one of Google's lead partners in this effort, LG is planning to introduce its first watch powered by Android Wear in the second quarter of 2014.
Play Movies and TV reaches 39 more countries on Android, 32 on iOS
Google has expanded the reach of two of its Google Play services, allowing more users access to its content. Google Play Music and Music All Access has been enabled in four more countries, while the Google Play Movies and TV apps gain increased language support and a service expansion into up to 39 new markets on Android, 32 new countries on iOS.
Android app users gain Line Call, iPhone to follow
Messaging service Line is expanding the usability of its Android app, and soon iPhone, from being able to make free calls to other Line members, by adding the option to call phones. Line Call will let users make calls to people in eight markets at a flat rate per minute, bringing the messaging app into direct competition with Microsoft's Skype, as well as potential calling plans from WhatsApp.
New SDK brings Google Game Services to all iOS developers
Google today announced that it is bringing its services for game developers, formerly exclusive to Android, to iOS. In a direct challenge to Apple's own Game Center, the move further expands Google's Android-based Play Games services to turn-based and real-time multiplayer games, which would allow gamers to compete on titles that use the SDK and are available on both iOS and Android.
SD stored backup allows developers, hackers access with permission request
A security consultant has found a way for Android developers and for hackers to access WhatsApp chat logs under a set of circumstances involving SD storage of the chat program's backup database. Developers who need access to large storage on a device or request complete access would be able to see the database once given permission through an app, while a hacker would be able to access the database using malicious software through the same channel.
Android-based Nokia smartphone sees high sales before release
Nokia's first attempt at an Android-based smartphone may be a success in one country before it's even been released, according to the company's social media accounts. The Nokia X, first shown at Mobile World Congress last month, has apparently received more than 1 million pre-orders in China alone, after being made available to customers just four days ago.
Controller similar to OnLive controller, sports Android control buttons
An Amazon-branded game controller with Android buttons has popped up in Brazilian regulatory documents. The controller resembles the OnLive controller, and has a pair of offset Analog sticks, a directional pad, a pair of triggers, two shoulder buttons, a diamond-oriented ABXY button configuration, as well as the standard back, home, and menu buttons common to Android devices.
Opera Mini 8 for Java-running phones and BlackBerry OS updated
Mobile web browser Opera Mini has been updated with the release of Opera Mini 8. Custom made for the Java platform on basic ("feature") cellphones, Opera Mini 8 has a revamped appearance that includes an improved Speed Dial start page with redesigned tiles. Featuring a new night mode, users can dim the browser's screen and utilize darker colors for viewing in low-light conditions. Opera Mini 8 supports private tabs that do not save information once the open tab is closed, and settings for minimizing data usage have been improved. Opera Mini 8 can be downloaded for free with one's existing browser on any Java-based basic mobile phone.
Password can be requested for all in-app, store purchases
Google is starting to roll out an update to the Google Play Store app, changing the way it deals with purchases. Version 4.6.16 of the store now allows users to request for the account password to be entered for every single purchase from within apps and from the store itself, rather than allowing for a 30 minute password-free window after the password's entry.
Report claims leaked memo reveals new Microsoft policy over dual-booting devices
Asus is receiving pressure from both Microsoft and Google to drop plans to sell a dual-booting notebook, according to reports. The manufacturer has apparently postponed its plans to ship the Transformer Book Duet, a combined notebook and tablet that could switch between Android and Windows, and is also looking to stop the sale of other dual-boot devices as well.
More news promised soon
A new edition of Office for Mac will ship later this year, says Microsoft Business Group Lead Thorsten Hübschen. The executive made the comment at this week's CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany. No details about planned upgrades are available, but development teams are said to be at work, and more news is due to be announced in the second quarter of the year. iOS and Android tablet versions of Office are described as possibilities; an Office for iPad has been rumored for years.