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27
May

A pretty penny: Huawei Watch could cost around $100 more than its competitors






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The Moto 360 is an obvious first place when it comes to looks in the Android Wear world, but there is a very close second in the Huawei Watch. However, while the Moto 360 is relatively well priced among its competitors, there’s been a very big question mark around the price of Huawei‘s smartwatch after an Amazon listing put a price tag of $1000 next to the Watch. We’re learning today that it’s almost definitely not going to cost a grand, but it’s not going to be that cheap either. According to listings made on retailer MobileFun’s website, the Huawei Watch is going to start at $386.99 USD for the silver and black versions, and stretching up to $451.49 USD for the gold version.

How much can we trust these listings? As always, we have to take it with our usual grain of salt, but these pricings seem the most logical we have seen so far. That said, that would make the Huawei Watch more than $100 more expensive than its Android Wear compatriots – for reference, MobileFun is offering the leather Moto 360 variants for $257.99 USD. That puts the Huawei Watch in direct pricing competition with the LG Watch Urbane, the only other ‘premium’ Android Wear smartwatch, and although it has the advantage in the looks department, we still wonder how much of a market there is for ‘premium’ smartwatches.


What do you think about this pricing for the Huawei Watch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: MobileFun via BGR

The post A pretty penny: Huawei Watch could cost around $100 more than its competitors appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

27
May

Adult Swim makes virtual reality even weirder


Adult Swim's 'Virtual Brainload'

Virtual reality’s notion of strapping a display to your head is already a bit weird by itself, but Adult Swim just took that strangeness to a new level. The network’s Virtual Brainload app for Android invites you to grab a Google Cardboard viewer and experience the “backside of reality” — in short, it’s going to be a kaleidoscopic mind trip. Whether or not you’re up for the audiovisual assault, you can expect more VR content from Adult Swim’s parent, Turner, in the future. The broadcaster says that it’s working on “deeper, custom-created” virtual content that will arrive as soon as this year, so you can expect these VR side projects to become increasingly important in the near future.

Filed under: Cellphones, Wearables, Mobile, Google

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Via: Boing Boing

Source: Adult Swim, Google Play

27
May

New iOS Bug Crashing iPhones Simply by Receiving a Text Message


A new bug has been discovered in the Messages app, allowing a string of characters sent to a person via iMessage or text message to crash an iPhone and cause the Messages app to fail to open. The bug, which requires a specific string of characters, was first noticed on reddit earlier this afternoon and has been spreading around the Internet since then.

Sending the string of characters to an iPhone results in an immediate respring, causing an iPhone to crash and quickly reboot, and then it prevents the Messages app from being opened again.

messagescrashingbug
If you receive one of these messages, there’s a quick way to fix it. The Messages app appears to be able to be opened to the last conversation where the offending message was sent from, so sending another message (or having a person send you a message) in this conversation clears the bug and returns functionality to normal.

Other fixes include sending yourself a message via Siri or sending yourself a message through the Share feature in the Notes app or any other app if you can’t open the Messages app at all.




27
May

Nintendo asks you to pay what you want for indie games


Nintendo’s been going through some serious growing pains on its path to the modern era of console gaming but with this latest step it’s actually beating Microsoft and Sony to the punch for once. The Japanese gaming company is running a Humble Bundle. Not a Nintendo homegrown version of a Humble Bundle, but a real McCoy on Humble’s website. Pretty crazy right? Especially considering these are all indies. Up for grabs are digital codes for games on the 3DS handheld and Wii U alike, including Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition for the latter and Whoah Dave! for the former.

Those follow Humble’s pay-what-you-want model (so long as it’s at least $1), but if you drop more than the average donation you’ll snag The Fall, OlliOlli and Moon Chronicles Episode 1. Should you feel even more generous, a donation of $10 or more adds Stealth Inc. 2 and SteamWorld Dig to the party. Now, if only Nintendo would jump on this whole mobile gaming fad it’d have its bases covered. Wait

Filed under: Gaming, Home Entertainment, HD, Nintendo

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Source: Humble Bundle

27
May

Amazon Fire Phone price drops… again


Amazon_Fire_Phone_Back_TA

The Amazon Fire Phone has transitioned from an underwhelming, costly on-contract handset to an alright off-contract choice. The price of the Fire Phone has dropped yet again.

When launched last summer, the Fire Phone lacked an identity. Amazon gave practically no reason to purchase the handset. It was a glorified digital storefront in a phone that had one selling point: four front-facing cameras paired with a gyroscope that to give a 3D-like feel. The other specifications were not too bad, but owners of the Fire Phone would be locked into Amazon’s tight ecosystem. There were no Google services to turn to.

To make it even more difficult to sell, the Fire Phone was way too expensive (and offered only through AT&T).

Starting today, the Fire Phone can be purchased for $179 without a contract or any carrier restriction. This price, which is pretty good for an unlocked handset, also includes a free subscription to Amazon Prime for one year.

[Fire Phone – Amazon]

Via: Android Police

Come comment on this article: Amazon Fire Phone price drops… again

27
May

Skrillex Live Cases now available from the Google Store


skrillex_live_case_google_play

Three limited edition cases, all designed by Skrillex, are now available in the Google Store for five handsets.

Owners of the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Note 4 can purchase a Skrillex Live Case for $40. The cases have either metallic or matte finishes with special designs on the rear. Pair any one of the cases with the official app and it launches a live wallpaper that provides a 360° experience on the front, back, and sides.

[Skrillex Live Case]

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: Skrillex Live Cases now available from the Google Store

27
May

Motion-sensing ‘PomPom Mirror’ recreates your likeness in fur


If you’re tired of your ugly mug staring back from across the bathroom sink every morning, just install this furry silhouetting mirror from New York-based artist Daniel Rozin. He built it for the Descent With Modification exhibit at NYC’s bitforms gallery. The “PomPom Mirror,” as it’s called, leverages a Kinect motion capture device to control 464 servos that, in turn, flip 928 black and white faux fur pom poms back and forth to match your movements in real-time.

Filed under: Displays

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Via: ThisIsColossal

Source: Vimeo

27
May

Air Force certifies SpaceX to bid for military space missions


Making peace with US Air Force and dropping charges against the agency has paid off for SpaceX. Its Falcon 9 rocket has finally been certified, giving the company the right to compete for national security launches. Elon Musk’s space corp has passed every requirement set by the Air Force, after a couple of years (and a few months of delay), lots of paperwork and tests. According to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, this certification allows more than one provider to compete for military launches, which is expected to cost the branch $70 billion until 2030, for the first time in around a decade. “Ultimately, leverage of the commercial space market drives down cost to the American taxpayer and improves our military’s resiliency,” she said in a statement.

If you recall, this all started when the armed service awarded an exclusive contract to United Launch Alliance (ULA), a Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint venture. The Air Force did make a handful of launches available for bidding, but Elon Musk sued the Air Force for the right to compete for more. He accused ULA of bribing an AF official with a lucrative VP position to get that solo contract and argued that the exclusivity will cost too much taxpayer money.

Now that SpaceX has been certified, it might even take over the the projects originally meant for ULA beyond 2019. See, the US Congress banned the use of Russian engines for national security launches beyond that year due to the country’s military actions in the Ukraine. That means the ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket, which is equipped with Russian-built RD-180 engines, has to retire in a few years’ time. The company doesn’t expect its next-gen rocket, the Vulcan, to be certified until 2022, whereas SpaceX is hoping the Falcon Heavy gains certification by 2017. Musk and his team will get the first chance to bid for a national security mission as early as this June, wherein the winner will have to ferry additional Global Positioning System III satellites to space.

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Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, US Air Force

27
May

Minecraft Pocket Edition getting update full of cool things this week


minecraft_pocket_edition_boat

Developer Mojang has announced an update to Minecraft: Pocket Edition on all mobile platforms, Android included, will be submitted to the app stores for Google, Apple and Microsoft this week. Mojang is highlighting a new “skins” feature, probably because it includes an in-app purchase option, but there are a bunch of other wacky updates and new features included.

Skins for Minecraft: Pocket Edition will be the way players can change the appearance of their character. The skins do not provide any special abilities or affect game play in any. They are just for looks.

For those ready to get a new look right away, Minecraft will offer bundles of paid skins for about $1 per pack of around 20 skins. The first two that will be available include City Folk and Town Folk. Those interested in spending a little time instead of money on new skins can look for them on the Internet and upload them to Minecraft: Pocket Edition or create their own using the Minecraft: Skin Studio.

For users interested in other aspects of the game, Mojang has a slew of new stuff being added. Boats will now support two passengers so players can take their pets along, stuff like snowballs and eggs can be thrown from boats, and players will now be able to fish, even for edible clownfish.

Lots of new creatures are being added to the game, including chicken jockeys, baby zombies, bats, cave spiders, spider jockeys, and squids. Mojang also fixed some issues like chickens walking on water and animals breeding without touching along with general bug fixes.

minecraft_pocket_edition_skins

source: Mojang

Come comment on this article: Minecraft Pocket Edition getting update full of cool things this week

27
May

I/O 2015: What’s next for Google?


Google IO

On Thursday, thousands of people will take to the Moscone Center in San Francisco for Google I/O 2015. The event, which runs for two days, shows us what Google has been working on to be released this year and beyond. The schedule actually gives us an idea of what to expect. Between the keynote and abundance of workshops, there is plenty to see from Google this week.

Android M

With so much going on with the next version of Android, it would be better to provide some key links:

The team behind Android is continuously working to extend battery life and reduce memory use. Hardware manufacturers can keep stuffing batteries of larger sizes into devices, but, ultimately, Google has to do its part. The company plans to optimize the operating system so that it does less work on the battery and memory. Google will also bring fingerprint authentication to Android, a feature that has only been included by hardware manufacturers themselves. Furthermore, Android Pay will be heading into the mobile payments arena with Apple Pay. Prepare for the Google-Apple battle to intensify once again this fall.

Nexus_5_Back_TA

Android M should be available in preview relatively soon as a full release, paired with two Nexus phones, is expected in October.

Wearables

Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Garmin, Basis, HTC, Razer, and Pebble are all among the companies fighting with each other and Google for placement on wrists around the world. Since Android Wear launched last year, the wearables industry has only become more complex. This year, Android Wear could lean more towards health and fitness as Google Fit and biometrics are being spotlighted with sessions of their own.

Google’s wearable platform will also get a new always-on feature that allows apps to be opened for as long as the user needs them to be.

android_wear_watch_faces_collection

Perhaps new hardware will be announced during the Android Wear segment of the keynote considering the platform’s hardware is due for a refresh. Who knows, maybe we will see something less like a smartwatch and more like a fitness band. Remember, Android Wear is for wearables as a whole and not just smarwatches.

Home Automation / Internet of Things

nest_labs_logo

Nest didn’t come cheap and is finally being put to work:

For years, we’ve been talking about home automation. There are universal remotes, wall panels and apps to control devices in your home. But Works with Nest is more than just an on/off switch. It’s about making your house a more thoughtful home, working securely behind the scenes to interact with things you already use every day. And, as a result, making your home safer, more energy efficient, and more aware. Learn more about the Works with Nest developer program and join us in making this vision become reality.

An entirely new platform, possibly the rumored Brillo operating system, will bring together things that don’t even have a screen. Screen or not, from your thermostat to your refrigerator, Google wants to be involved.

Virtual Reality

Those in attendance at Google I/O 2014 thought they were on the verge of seeing the company’s first shot at virtual reality enter the world. Instead, they were given materials to get started with Cardboard. People didn’t think Google was serious. Well, they were, and now it’s an open source platform.

Google enjoys showing what people can do with its software, so having Cardboard present at the event would be a great celebration. It would be nice way for Google to show Oculus, Samsung, and HTC that virtual reality doesn’t have to be so expensive.

The next iteration of Google Glass will likely miss this year’s event to take a breather.

Android TV

nvidia_shield_tv_best_friend_promotional_image

Did you notice that NVIDIA’s SHIELD TV set-top box has yet to be released? The powerful set-top box was announced months ago and, still, no one can buy it. Google may be the reason behind that. The company will be focusing on gaming with dedicated sessions for both Android TV and Google Cast. Having the SHIELD TV present would certainly help because of the strength of the new Tegra X1 processor. Then, following the event, the SHIELD TV could become available to everyone.

android_tv_screen

More interestingly, we could see Android TV receive a feature that resembles its predecessor. One session is described as a way to “install channels on TVs that blend in seamlessly with traditional linear channels.” Users are seemingly going to be able to give Android TV access to information from their television provider. Apps and services from the Play Store, such as Netflix or Hulu, would then be embedded into a program guide to exist alongside traditional channels. The phrase “media playback” is included but I doubt that means DVR-like features.

There is absolutely no way that the company will allow Android TV to go in the way of Google TV.

Chromecast

It has been two years since Google introduced Chromecast to the world. This little dongle darling exceeded everyone’s expectations and millions of people are enjoying its versatility. In fact, the Cast button has been hit more than 1 billion times. People love Chromecast due to its price and affordability. The once meager section of the Play Store for compatible apps is now overflowing with content.

Chromecast_product-image

Now, though, could be time to repackage the device. Amazon, Roku, and even Intel all have competing products on the market. The Nexus Player seems to have been a miss and Google should be looking to knock them down. The next Chromecast could support 4K content and gaming capabilities with improved power inside. A Marvell processor with 512MB of RAM may not cut it anymore. Also, increased WiFi support would be nice to increase range and reduce lag. Consumers wouldn’t mind paying around $50 for those benefits.

That’s it?

Of course not! Google will have much more to say. The keynote will run for about 2-3 hours, leaving room for in-depth demonstrations and surprises. Almost anything is possible.

[Full Schedule]

Be sure to stick with us for our live coverage of Google I/O 2015. And let us know in the comments what you think Google will introduce.

Come comment on this article: I/O 2015: What’s next for Google?

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