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4
Apr
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Apple’s Sales Team Expressed Fears iPhone Growth Could Stall Due to Android Threat


Apple is worried about larger-screened, lower-priced Android phones, according to an internal document shared today in the ongoing Apple vs. Samsung patent lawsuit (via Re/code). The document, which is from the company’s sales department, notes that iPhone growth could drop due to competition from smartphones that have larger screens or lower prices than the iPhone.

“Competitors have drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems,” a member of Apple’s sales team wrote in a document that was prepared as part of a fiscal 2014 offsite meeting. Portions of the document were shown Friday to the jury in the Apple-Samsung case.

Other concerns noted in the document included the idea that Android rivals were “spending ‘obscene’ amounts of money on advertising and/or carrier channel to gain traction” and that mobile carriers had an interest in limiting iPhone sales because of, among other things, the high subsidies they had to pay on the device.

Samsung presented the document during its cross-examination of Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller, who was on the stand earlier today. According to Schiller, the document was not representative of Apple policy and contained information that he largely disagreed with.
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Ahead of the release of the iPhone 5c, many thought Apple would enter the low-cost smartphone market for the first time, positioning the phone as an alternative to cheaper Android phones. The iPhone 5c ended up being priced higher than expected and was later described by Tim Cook as a mid-tier device rather than a low-cost option.

Though it is unwilling to sacrifice quality for price even amid fierce competition, Apple is gearing up to compete with Android phones and boost its growth through another arena in 2014 — larger screens. Rumors have indicated the iPhone 6 may be released in two sizes, 4.7 and 5.5 inches, both of which are larger than the existing iPhone 5s. Analysts have already suggested the release of a larger-screened iPhone could lure back a significant number of Android switchers and cause a massive spike in upgrades.

Other tidbits from the Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit include details on its “Holy War” with Google and the fact that Apple considered dropping its advertising partner, Media Arts Lab, due to its dissatisfaction with its advertising in early 2013.

Following Phil Schiller, Apple senior software engineer and inventor of “Slide to Unlock” Greg Christie has taken the stand, largely reiterating details on the development of the original iPhone, which were first published in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in March.

    



4
Apr
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Safely tour Marseille’s back streets after dark with Google Night Walk


The streets of Marseille are beautiful, but have something of a reputation for being a bit stabby. Fear for your safety shouldn’t prevent you from seeing the sights, which is why Google and Radio Grenouille have teamed up to create Night Walk. Combining high-res Street View shots with audio from the city, you’ll now be able to wander the back alleys of the Cours Julien with the warming gallic tones of Christophe Perruchi by your side.

[Thanks, Daniel]

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4
Apr
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Gaming deals of the week: 4.4.14


The weekend is here, so why not celebrate with a gaming purchase? If you hadn’t heard already, NVIDIA’s Shield is currently sporting a $50 price cut, and there’s a handful of other gadgets on the other side of the break that are ready to outfit your exploits. Some of the offers will only be around for a few days, so you’ll want to decide quickly whether or not to commit your funds.

If there are other gaming purchases that you’re after that we haven’t included here — join us and add them to your “Want” list. Every time there’s a price cut in the future, you’ll get an email alert!

NVIDIA Shield

Price: $200
Regular Price: $250
Engadget Score: 83
Buy: Amazon

For a limited time, NVIDIA’s Android handheld is seeing a $50 price drop at most retailers. For your monetary commitment, you’ll nab both PC game and media streaming, but in a hefty device that’s not quite as portable as we’d like. As you might expect, the going rate is on par with the 90-day low.

Astro A30

Price: $150
Regular Price: $200
Engadget Global Score: 90
Buy: Amazon

The 2013 version of Astro’s A30 headset just arrived back in the fall, and it’s now seeing a pretty attractive $50 discount. The cans sport MixAmps for adjusting game-to-voice levels, four separate EQ modes, customizable speaker tags and Dolby Digital 7.1. What’s more, this unit is currently tied for the second-highest headset score in our product database.

Call of Duty: Ghosts

Price: $30-$40
Regular Price: $50-$60
Buy: GameStop

If you’ve yet to nab up Call of Duty: Ghosts, GameStop is running another sale on the title from now through the weekend (ends on 4/6). Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are set at $30, while the Xbox One and PS4 options are priced at $40. Need further convincing? Check out the review from our pals at Joystiq.

Nyko Charge Base

Price: $23
Regular Price: $30
Buy: Amazon Xbox One, PS4

To keep those controllers juiced up now that you’ve splurged for the above COD title, Nyko’s Charge Base accessories can sort the requisite power. Both Xbox One and PS4 versions charge a pair of controllers so they’re ready whenever duty calls.

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4
Apr
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Game Boy Advance titles reach the Wii U’s online store


Metroid Fusion on the Game Boy Advance virtual console for Wii U

Don’t worry if you gave away your Game Boy Advance years ago — you now have an easy way to indulge your nostalgia for the early 2000′s. As promised, Nintendo has released its first batch of GBA Virtual Console games on the Wii U’s eShop at a cost of $8 per title. The early roster is small but instantly recognizable to veterans. Strategy lovers can check out Advance Wars, while Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and Metroid Fusion are on tap for fans of role-playing games and side-scrolling shooters. And that’s just the start of Nintendo’s planned launches this month. The studio is releasing Kirby & The Amazing Mirror and WarioWare, Inc. on the 10th; F-Zero, Golden Sun, Super Mario Bros. 3 and Yoshi’s Island are on deck for the following weeks. We wouldn’t pick up a Wii U solely for the sake of the GBA catalog, but it should give you something to play while you’re waiting for more contemporary games.

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Via: Joystiq

Source: Nintendo

4
Apr
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Apple’s (Product) RED Charity Contributions Reach $70 Million


Apple’s (Product) RED contributions towards the fight against AIDS have reached $70 million, according to a Friday tweet from the (RED) Twitter account. That’s up $5 million from $65 million in July of 2013, with 100 percent of that total going towards HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.

Apple has collaborated with (RED) since it was created in 2006, first releasing a special edition (RED) iPod nano. Since then, Apple has released a number of (RED) devices, including iPod nanos and shuffles, iPad Smart Covers, iPhone Bumpers, and iPhone 5s cases. With every (RED) product bought, Apple donates a portion of the purchase price to the charity.

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Last year, lead Apple designer Jony Ive teamed up with designer Marc Newson to create a range of one-of-a-kind products that were auctioned off by Sotheby’s, with proceeds going to (RED). Items included a red Mac Pro and solid gold EarPods, earning nearly $13 million in total.

(Product) RED is affiliated with several other companies in addition to Apple, including Starbucks, Nike, and American Express, raising more than $200 million to date.

    



4
Apr
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Pixar President: ‘Steve Jobs Changed Pixar Even as Pixar Changed Him’


Steve Jobs is best known as the co-founder of Apple and the man who spurred the company to greatness, but he also co-founded Pixar Animation Studios, another company that’s both highly successful and widely admired for the quality animated movies that it produces.

In a new book that’s slated to be released next week, Pixar president and co-founder Ed Catmull gives an inside look at Pixar and what made the company so successful. An early excerpt describing Steve Jobs and his influence on the company has been published at Gizmodo, giving an inside look at Jobs’ later years.

Though Jobs is often described as obsessed with perfection and relentlessly tough on his employees, Catmull notes that he underwent a significant transformation as he matured, becoming sensitive to other people’s feelings and their “value as contributors to the creative process” during his last two decades of life.

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Catmull attributes some of that personality shift to Jobs’ experiences at Pixar, a company that he was particularly proud of because of the lasting impact its films had on the world. Jobs believed that movies endure because they “dig for deeper truths” and later in life, he fully embraced the “nobility of entertaining people.”

His experience with Pixar was part of this change. Steve aspired to create utilitarian things that also brought joy; it was his way of making the world a better place. That was part of why Pixar made him so proud—because he felt the world was better for the films we made. He used to say regularly that as brilliant as Apple products were, eventually they all ended up in landfills.

During Pixar’s early years, Jobs is described as the company’s benefactor, later becoming a “protector” who gave constructive criticism within the company but defended it to the outside world. As a side project, Pixar was a “place [Jobs] could relax and play a little,” which changed him for the better, according to Catmull.

While he never lost his intensity, we watched him develop the ability to listen. More and more, he could express empathy and caring and patience. He became truly wise. The change in him was real, and it was deep.

Jobs was able to diagnose problems at Pixar with “startling efficiency,” focusing on the problem itself and not the filmmakers. As he spent more time at the company, he became “more articulate and observant of people’s feelings.”

Some people have said that he got mellower with age, but I don’t think that’s an adequate description of what happened; it sounds too passive, as if he just was letting more go. Steve’s transformation was an active one. He continued to engage; he just changed the way he went about it.

Catmull’s Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration is currently available for preorder on Amazon.com and will be released on April 8. The full excerpt on Steve Jobs’ role at Pixar is well worth reading and can be found over at Gizmodo.

    



4
Apr
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Contour returns to the action camera market with some familiar gear


Contour +2 action camera

Contour quietly shut down last year, leaving outdoor explorers little choice but to pick up action cameras from GoPro and other rivals. The company found new ownership during that downtime, however, and it’s back in business this week with a renewed sense of purpose. For now, the firm is only selling the cameras it had before the lights went out. You can buy the entry-level ROAM2 camera for $200, while the flagship Contour+2 is available for $300. The firm won’t lean on its past glories for long, mind you — it’s promising new models later this year. It’s too early to say whether Contour can reclaim its place in the point-of-view camera industry that it helped create, but it’s good to see renewed competition in a field where the choices have been rapidly shrinking.

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Source: Contour (Pitchengine)

4
Apr
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Crackle scores exclusive streaming rights to NBCUniversal movies


If you were hoping to catch the big screen reboot of Miami Vice on Netflix, think again. NBCUniversal Television and New Media Distribution, which owns the rights to the film, signed an exclusive three-year deal, giving Crackle exclusive ad-supported streaming rights. In addition to Jamie Foxx’s latest, the arrangement will bring 140 movies including Jarhead and the remake of King Kong. Don’t schedule a marathon just yet, though: films will roll out gradually over the course of the deal. Movie buffs can, however, go ahead and start popping the popcorn — some of the first flicks from the partnership arrive on Crackle today.

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Source: Crackle (PR Newswire)

4
Apr
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Here’s how Titanfall’s Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions differ


We’ve long known that Titanfall was coming to the Xbox 360 in addition to the Xbox One but, aside from that sliver of info, there hasn’t been much to go on — unless you count release delays, that is. Now we’re learning that on paper, at least, it won’t stray too far from the Xbox One version’s shadow when it comes out next week. The last-gen version has all of the maps, modes and features of the Respawn-developed game, but naturally some concessions have been made to accommodate the 360′s nine-year-old hardware. As developer Bluepoint Games’ senior producer Daryl Allison writes, the game can’t hit the same frame rates as its sibling, but it runs “above 30 fps” — around half the speed you’d get on the Xbox One.

That’s a pretty considerable difference, and it’s akin to what DICE has done to port the last few Battlefield games to older consoles. What’s troubling, however, is that even though the game releases in a few days, we still haven’t seen any screenshots or videos of it in action. That alone should be reason enough to hold off on buying until reviews start cropping up.

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Source: Titanfall (official)

4
Apr
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Meet AutoCast, the all-in-one Chromecast app you’ve been begging for


AutoCast   YouTube

You know those conceptual dashboard apps we’ve covered here? The stuff that would make our mornings and work environments so much more awesome? Well, we’ve just discovered a new Android app that handles all sorts of amazing tasks and tools.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/

Created as a Tasker plug-in, AutoCast gives users casting control over audio, video, images, playlists, web pages, and even notifications. Indeed, you can set this up to work as an all-in-one resource and dashboard for tons of needs.

Want to play YouTube videos? Fine. Want to search by voice and tell the player to skip ahead 70 seconds? So be it. Want to watch a movie and receive all of your Android notifications in the bottom right? PRESTO!  This app is all about customizing to your liking.

Features and concepts shown in the video:

  • Slideshows and videos playing back to back
  • Watching a video while listening to music in Google Play Music
  • Watch Flickr slideshow
  • Cast any web page you like (provided the site allows it)
  • Alternate home screen that shows your own photo and info
  • Search YouTube from the home screen via voice
  • Casting from Dropbox, VIMEO, and other sources
  • Multiple users editing a single image
  • Create a remote control screen on your Pebble whenever a YouTube video is being cast
  • Set up a home surveillance system
  • Automatically play cartoons in the morning

The developer hopes to see mass adoption and development from others, something we don’t think will be a problem. Personally, I would love to see a website or community dedicated to creating and sharing recipes in a manner not unlike IFTTT.com.

Apps shown in the video

How will you use AutoCast to enhance your Chromecast experience? If you’ll excuse me, I have a Jarvis to build.

AutoCast

Read the rest at the source, ChromeWatching.com

The post Meet AutoCast, the all-in-one Chromecast app you’ve been begging for appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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