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The Engadget Podcast is live at 12PM ET!

On this week’s episode of the Engadget Podcast, Terrence sits alone in a closet studio piled high with ancient gadgets that no one will ever use again. Palm Pres, Kins and Zunes appear to be his only friends — Joseph and Ben have “more important things to do.” But, when all hope seemed lost, two valiant riders came rushing to his rescue. Brad Molen decided to fight through his MWC hangover to join our intrepid host, and the always soothing Richard Lawler will be rounding out this week’s trio as they tackle the big news of the week (and probably talk some smack about those other hosts).

It all happens at 12PM ET, right after the break.

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Apple Readying Fix for Issues with Touch ID Fading

Apple is preparing an update that will improve performance of the Touch ID sensor on its iPhone 5s handset, claims AppleInsider. Apple has tapped its AuthenTec team to eliminate “fade”, a term coined to describe the increasingly erratic performance of the fingerprint sensor that is experienced by some iPhone 5s owners.

After launching iPhone 5s last fall, Apple has continued to work with the original AuthenTec team to improve its recognition software and will release an update relatively soon, the source confidently reported. However, AppleInsider could not verify whether the update will ship as part of iOS 7.1, which is expected to drop in mid-March.

Issues with Touch ID surfaced shortly after the iPhone 5s was introduced, with owners reporting an increasing number of failed scans shortly after they enter their fingerprints. Deleting and rescanning a fingerprint only temporarily fixes the issue.

iPhone 5s owners have devised creative homemade fixes that include scanning the same fingerprint five times and overtraining the sensor for improved accuracy, but these are workarounds that don’t address the underlying problem.

Apple introduced Touch ID in the iPhone 5s and promoted the technology in an ad campaign that appeared in The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated and other print newspapers and magazines. Apple obtained the fingerprint scanning technology when it acquired AuthenTec in 2012.



Apple Retail Stores Pushing Sales of Current Apple TV with $25 iTunes Gift Card Offer

apple_tv_buy_99With rumors of a new Apple TV set-top box swirling, Apple’s brick and mortar stores have launched a one-week promotion offering customers who purchase the current model a $25 iTunes Store gift card, reports 9to5Mac.

The promotion naturally sparks speculation that Apple is trying to clear stock of the current model ahead of new hardware. A recent report from Bloomberg claimed, however, that while Apple was aiming for an April introduction of the new Apple TV, a launch would not come until much later in the year around the holiday shopping season.

The Apple TV recently received added prominence in the Apple online store with its own major heading as opposed to its previous placement as an accessory, suggesting that Apple may be laying the groundwork to move the Apple TV from its longtime “hobby” status to a full-fledged product on par with its other lines.

Apple has reportedly considered a new set-top box that would combine the features of the current Apple TV with the Wi-Fi router features of the existing AirPort Express. The new Apple TV could also leverage iOS devices and Bluetooth accessories as game controllers for a potential Apple TV App Store, while also adding an Apple software layer on top of users’ existing cable television services. Apple has also reportedly been in talks with Time Warner Cable about a potential content deal.

The new gift card offer on the existing Apple TV runs through March 5 and is currently not offered on the Apple online store. As with all iTunes gift cards, the credit can be used in any of Apple’s digital content stores, including the iTunes Store, App Store, Mac App Store, and iBooks Store.



March Madness Live app dribbles its way to Windows Phone 8 this year

This year, Windows Phone 8 users can watch all 67 NCAA men’s basketball games too, now that the March Madness Live app has arrived (there’s also a new app for Windows 8, if the browser doesn’t cut it). The streaming app was previously available on iOS and Android only, and long ago, it even cost $10 a pop to download. Now the app is free, but any game aired on TNT, TBS or TruTV still requires a cable TV subscription for viewing. There is a brief preview period before users need to log in, and anyone can stream games aired on CBS.

As a bonus for cable subscribers, each semifinal round will have three different feeds that viewers can choose from: the game coverage itself and team-specific presentations. Other than these new features, the apps also got a new interface that make them more suitable for phone and tablet screens. The March Madness Live apps aren’t exactly available yet, but as the name implies, they’re slated to hit the App Store, Google Play and Windows Marketplaces sometime this March.

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Source: NCAA, Turner Sports


IPCom’s $2 Billion Patent Lawsuit Against Apple Dismissed by German Court

German patent licensing company IPCom was handed a setback today when both of its patent infringement lawsuits against Apple were dismissed in a German court, reports FOSS Patents. The decisions were handed down by two different chambers within the Mannheim Regional Court.

Two lawsuits against Apple, including one involving a €1.57 billion ($2.2 billion) “partial” damages claim, and one against HTC (a company IPCom has been suing for about six years) were dismissed because the court concluded that Apple and HTC didn’t infringe a certain IPCom patent family by implementing the 3G/UMTS standard.

The patents cited in the dismissed lawsuits include European patent EP1841268 and German patent DE19910239, which describe methods of managing priority emergency access when wireless networks are overloaded. Apple, Nokia, HTC and others asked the European Patent Office to invalidate the European patent, but the EPO denied this request.
IPCom is expected to appeal these decisions, while Apple and other mobile manufacturers likely will continue to challenge the validity of this patent. Outside of Germany, Apple is petitioning both the <a href="U.S. Supreme Court and the <a href="EU to limit the power of patent holding companies like IPCom in future infringement cases.



Aerb 3in1 Smart Multimedia Dock for Galaxy Devices Review

Recently I got my hands on the Aerb 3in1 Smart Multimedia Dock and usually I am kind of skeptical about using off brand docks that claim to have a lot of functionality.  Usually you have to jump through hoops to get a device to work, but yet the Aerb Dock is as easy as they come.  I plugged in my peripherals (mouse and keyboard, HDTV, and micro usb charger) and your device becomes alive on your screen to do whatever you want.  My wife thought this was the greatest way to play Candy Crush, but hey whatever floats your boat.  Alright, lets break this thing down.

What we got:  Aerb Smart Multimedia Dock

The Good: 

  • 2 x USB 2.0 (keyboard/mouse, external storage)
  • 1 HDMI Out (TV/Monitor)
  • 1 micro-usb (for charging and data transfer if plugged into computer)
  • 4 built in rubber feet to hold the dock in place

The Bad: 

  • Won’t work with a thick case, but a very very thin case would
  • Charges slow, but that’s not the real reason we are using it
  • No audio out for speakers, but can use your TV’s HDMI to push through your system


I ended up plugging mine into my TV at home and connected with a wireless keyboard and mouse. This allowed me to have one extra USB, so I slapped on an external hard drive and everything worked as it should. I played movies from the external hard drive and they were crisp and clear running at 1080p.

It is useful to download “Rotation Locker”, which is free, to put your screen into landscape mode and keep it there. That way your entire screen is used by the TV and not just the middle of it.

The device is nice to have when you have friends or family over. Instead of them huddling around to see a new app or pictures, you can display it on the big screen, with great picture quality.

Reigning in at just under 25 bucks, this is a dock that holds its own and gives the factory Samsung Smart dock a run for its money. If I had to choose between the two I would go with the Aerb hands down. You’re getting the same functionality but minus the extra USB port and audio out, but for 50 bucks more it’s not worth it to me.

Check it out on Amazon and see what everyone else is saying or head over to Aerb’s official website for more details!






The post Aerb 3in1 Smart Multimedia Dock for Galaxy Devices Review appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Google steps up security for non-Play Store apps

Google, over the next few weeks, will beef up its security for apps installed from sources outside of the Google Play Store. According to details revealed at the RSA Conference, Google will enhance the protective measures for those apps which are installed from external sources.

While Google already does “Verify Apps” upon installation, it’s a one-time deal designed to block apps from bringing malware to the mobile device. Reportedly, the new feature will continue to monitor the apps over time and notify the user if anything suspicious happens. Android users will not have to do anything different to receive the enhanced security measures.

via CNET


The post Google steps up security for non-Play Store apps appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Sony may be releasing the Sony Xperia Z3 in the second half of 2014

sony xperia z3By the current market standards, the Sony Xperia Z2 was somewhat of a surprise announcement at MWC 2014 despite a copious amount of leaked photos prior to its release; it’s a surprise because its predecessor, the Xperia Z1, was released only in September 2013, giving it only a 5 month run before Sony released the Z2, which when compared to the yearly cycle that Samsung has perfected seems a bit premature. But in an address given by Kurozumi Yoshiro, Creative Director of Sony Mobile, not only should the Z2 be expected, we can also look forward to a Sony Xperia Z3 in the second half of 2014.

Yoshiro elaborates on this by saying that maintaining a flagship level device requires more than only yearly updates, and that it would be too difficult for Sony to catch its competitors if it kept to a yearly cycle. In this way, the Z2 can be considered the “flagship of the first half of 2014″. It’s definitely a bold stance, and although I consider Sony among one of the premier manufacturers entering 2014, this strategy makes a lot of sense and may help them wrest market share away from the bigger Android manufacturers which it currently doesn’t have.

I guess only time will tell, but if the Z2 is anything go by, a potential Sony Xperia Z3 would be a tantalizing prospect come mid-2014. What do you think of Sony’s bi-annual flagship strategy: will it work for them? Let us know your opinion in the comments below.

Source: Xperia Blog via Phone Arena


LucidLogix technologies will give the Samsung Galaxy S5 up to 25% better battery Life

lucidlogixMany of you who saw the announcement of the Samsung Galaxy S5 would have seen a battery-saving technology demoed that allows the screen of the device to turn black and white and results in a large increase in battery life. Along with this technology, however, Samsung has said that the Galaxy S5 also has 3 more battery saving measures built into it, all courtesy of LucidLogix.

These measures include Lucid’s Xtend features: NavExtend, WebExtend, and GamExtend, all of which affect a different part of the Galaxy S5′s functionality giving an overall better battery life. As the names may suggest, NavExtend works on extending battery life during use with navigation features like GPS, WebExtend extends battery life during web surfing by up to 25%, and GamExtend cuts down battery consumption during processor intensive activities like gaming. As you can see, all these little things will add up to huge gains in battery life for the Galaxy S5; who said the Galaxy S5 wasn’t innovative?

I guess we won’t know exactly how good these battery saving features are until the device gets formally reviewed, but it’s definitely going to be an interesting test of its abilities. Who’s more intrigued by the Galaxy S5 after hearing the news about its battery saving features? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: Fudzilla via SamMobile


Sony to reportedly offload its old Tokyo HQ for some quick cash

It appears Sony isn’t quite done selling off assets in a bid to reverse its financial losses. Just weeks after it sold its VAIO PC business, the company is reportedly in talks to offload another one of its properties: its former headquarters in central Tokyo. The deal could net Sony more than 15 billion yen ($146.5 million), adding to the $2.3 billion it recouped from the sale of its New York and Osaka buildings last year. Locals have blasted the potential move, however, arguing that the company’s “birthplace,” where founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka worked on the Walkman and Trinitron TV, should be exempt from its restructuring efforts. The proceeds could be used to cushion the $1.1 billion loss Sony expects to make in its current financial year, putting no pressure whatsoever on the new Xperia Z2 family to sell well when it hits stores in April.

[Image credit: Wikimedia]

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Source: WSJ Digits

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