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Motorola to close factory in Fort Worth by year-end, a sad day for American manufacturing

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Motorola started as an American company and recently had a dream of bringing a product assembled in the USA to the masses when it opened its new facility last year, but it’s all coming to an end.

According to the Wall Street Journal, also confirmed by The Verge, Motorola will be closing its Fort Worth, Texas, factory by the end of 2014. The plant was created to be able to build custom Moto X’s designed though Moto Maker and has about 700 workers.

“What we found was that the North American market was exceptionally tough,” said Motorola President Rick Osterloh. “The decision potentially leaves hundreds of American workers out of a job.”

Motorola told The Verge that it will continue to offer the Moto Maker service, but it’s not clear as to how it will continue that work with manufacturing moving overseas, as the close proximity to customers ensured the fast shipping time, usually around eight days, not bad for a made-to-order smartphone built in the U.S.

At least that means we should all still get to order a custom Moto X+1 once it releases sometime this summer, but it will probably be the last we’ll see of a company trying to move these type of operations to the U.S. Who knows though.

The plan to close the factory shows that the Moto X wasn’t the success Motorola wanted. Hopefully with the successor, it can be a bigger hit if it has specs to match the other flagship devices. Specs aren’t everything, but with devices like the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 (and now 5) and the LG G2, outselling the Moto X, specs and marketing must matter to most.

Via The Verge

The post Motorola to close factory in Fort Worth by year-end, a sad day for American manufacturing appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Playdate: We’re livestreaming Mario Kart 8 for Wii U!

Welcome, ladygeeks and gentlenerds, to the new era of gaming. The one where you get to watch, and comment, as other people livestream gameplay from next-gen consoles. Because games! They’re fun!

Mario Kart 8 isn’t actually the eighth Mario Kart game. Disappointing as that may be, the game itself is a blast. Heck, we’d go as far as to say it’s a good reason to buy a Wii U. The game launches today in North America and Europe, so we figure it’s a good time to give people a thorough look at the Wii U’s next big game. Join myself and everyone’s favorite goomba, Tim Seppala, right here at 3PM ET (well, after the break), as we throw red shells, drop banana peels, and smear ink in each other’s eyes — all virtually of course. Oh, and the profanity and shouting definitely we’re bound to do isn’t serious. OR IS IT?

Filed under: HD, Nintendo



Rdio’s Android app finally lets you listen to live albums correctly


Imagine this, if you will. You’re sitting in a recliner listening to Electric Light Orchestra’s Time, and just as Prologue gives way to Twilight — nothing — and then music. Those odious little pauses are hell when you’re really trying to let certain live or gapless albums wash over you, and now Rdio is addressing the problem for listeners on the go. In one of the rare instances of an Android app getting a feature ahead of its iOS cousin, the streaming service has brought gapless playback to Google’s faithful first (if you’re running Android 4.1 or later, anyway) Alas, there’s still no word on when iOS users will get the gapless treatment other than “soon.” In fairness, Rdio is a little behind the curve here anyway — rival Spotify has had uninterrupted playback for what seems like ages now — but we’re always pleased when a music service lets us listen to Pink Floyd’s oeuvre the way it was meant to be heard.


Source: Rdio


Google Stars bookmarking app makes brief appearance on Chrome Web Store

Google’s Stars bookmarking app showed up ever so briefly on the Chrome Web Store, and then disappeared again. The app, which was leaked early this month, seems to allow you to “star” web pages from Chrome’s address bar. You’d then be able to organize them by folder and search them for content, with the results displayed in an “image-rich grid” as seen in the screencap above. Indeed, the app description in the store read: “Google Stars is the platform where everything you’re already indicating interest in is saved. Initially, these will include your Chrome bookmarks, More integrations to come!” However, this particular release seems to be an accidental leak of the internal version, as it says “Thanks for dogfooding Google Stars” when we installed it. At this time, it looks as if the app has been pulled from the store. We’ve reached out to Google to find out more about what happened here, but it does seem like Stars could be close enough to final release if it’s getting leaked out to the public.


Source: Chrome, Florian Kiersch (G+)


iTunes Radio eyes local reach with broadcast content and focused ads

The Beats Music purchase may help Apple compete with Spotify, but iTunes Radio remains focused squarely on Pandora. According to a report from The Information, Apple is said to be working on local advertising while serving up content beyond the scope of musical selections with a hand from broadcast stations. iTunes Radio has yet to take off, and adding items like talk radio and more could give the platform a major boost. Items like ESPN’s daily slate and your favorite team’s hometown coverage are but a couple of examples that could make for a compelling station menu. There’s also the ads. They make money. If the folks in Cupertino can get local — or even regional — content, advertisers in those markets may be more apt to spend promotional dollars there. iHeartRadio has shown the interest in streaming broadcast programming with its apps available on mobile platforms and preinstalled in a number of automobiles. With CarPlay on the way, an expansion of iTunes Radio makes the upcoming in-car offering a much more enticing addition.

Filed under: Internet, Software, Apple


Source: The Information


HTC One Wear smartwatch due this fall, report says



The second half of the year will be a fun one to watch if you’re into smartwatches. New reports surfacing online tell us that HTC’s planned smartwatch will be called the “One Wear” and it should debut in August or September. Details, although sparse at the moment, tell us we should look for a rounded face a la the Moto 360; the watch may include polycarbonate and metal materials.

Sources have provided more than rumors but a actual demo of the HTC smart watch. I did ask for a name. Tentatively it’s called the One Wear, slated to launch late august early September of this year.

The name is said to be tentative for now but we think it fits nicely with their smartphone lineup.

TK Tech News

The post HTC One Wear smartwatch due this fall, report says appeared first on SmarterWatching.

Read the rest at the source,

The post HTC One Wear smartwatch due this fall, report says appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Apple to Bolster iTunes Radio With Localized Ads, Content

Apple has plans to add both targeted local advertisements and broadcast radio stations to its iTunes Radio music service in the coming months, according to a report from The Information. The move will boost its advertising efforts and introduce new content on iTunes Radio, better positioning it to compete with market leader Pandora. Apple is also expected to begin advertising its own iTunes content through the iAd network.

In a move that strikes at the heart of Pandora’s advertising business, iTunes Radio is expected to enable locally targeted advertising later this year, according to ad buyers who have spoken to Apple. Apple may begin promoting iTunes with “house ads” on its iAd mobile advertising network, an unusual move for the company.

Apple has reportedly contacted broadcasters like Cumulus Media, the second largest operator of radio stations in America. Cumulus serves approximately 150 million listeners in 110 metropolitan areas and could potentially bring multiple local stations to iTunes Radio. Apple made its first moves towards introducing local content on iTunes Radio earlier this year with the launch of the National Public Radio (NPR) channel, which will eventually include local stations offering a mix of live and taped news.

Since the launch of iTunes Radio, Apple has had a renewed focus on advertising, redirecting its iAd team to monetize iTunes Radio through advertising sales. While the company has signed deals on a national level with several high profile companies like McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble, local ads are new territory.

The addition of local ads could significantly boost the revenue iTunes Radio pulls in, which is a major threat to Pandora. Pandora currently focuses heavily on local ads with sales teams located in more than 35 markets around the United States.

In April, Apple moved towards expanding into Pandora’s local advertising territory by making it easier to create and buy iAds on its network. While a developer account was previously required to create an ad campaign, that restriction has now been removed, making it simpler for advertisers large and small to create ads for the platform.

Apple’s efforts to bolster its iTunes Radio revenue through local content come as the company works to acquire Beats Music, a paid streaming music service that delivers content on demand. With both iTunes Radio and Beats Music, Apple is hoping to boost its overall music sales, which have waned in recent years.


First iOS 8 Banner Appears at Moscone Ahead of WWDC

Apple is beginning to decorate the inside of the Moscone Center ahead of WWDC, adding banners for OS X 10.10 and iOS 8. A photo of the iOS 8 banner has been supplied by BusinessInsider‘s Jay Yarow, depicting a simple “8″ on what appears to be a watery background.

Apple’s iOS 8 is expected to retain the same general look as iOS 7, offering polish along with several new features including a health-aggregating “Healthbook” app, new TextEdit and Preview apps, and possible improvements to both Siri and Maps.

We will get our first glimpse of iOS 8 on Monday during Apple’s WWDC keynote, which kicks off at 10 AM Pacific Time. Apple will be live streaming the event and MacRumors will also provide a live blog, live tweets via the MacRumorsLive Twitter account, and a spoiler free page for those who want to watch the full keynote at a later time.


Buyer’s Guide: iMac and 13-Inch Retina MacBook Pro Discounts Ahead of WWDC [Mac Blog]

Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) kicks off on Monday, but a few retailers have some larger than normal discounts on some current Mac models.

The 21.5″ 2.7GHz current generation iMac is seeing a $149 discount at Adorama and Best Buy. The iMac, however, is near the end of its refresh cycle and while we probably won’t see the new low-cost iMac debuted at WWDC, it does seem imminent. So, we recommend you wait on buying any new iMacs.

The 13″ Retina MacBook Pro with 512GB SSD, however, is seeing a $199 discount at both Amazon and B&H Photo, bringing the price from $1799 to $1599.99. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen. The buy recommendation for the Retina MacBook Pro is more complicated.

The Retina MacBook Pros were last updated in October 2013, according to our Buyer’s Guide and receives a “Caution” rating. Current MacBook Pro rumors place the next update in between Q3 and Q4, so approximately 4 months from now. That is enough time that if you are on the market specifically for the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, a $199 discount may be enough to pull the trigger.

B&H Photo and Adorama only charge sales tax in NY and NY/NJ, respectively.

MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors.


GO Launcher EX moves to v5 with Complete Overhaul and Prime for Free

GO Launcher EXGO Launcher EX has been around for quite a while. While the apps saturation is pretty heavy, 200 million plus users, there are plenty out there that have never seen it, used it or heard of it. Today is your lucky day as the GO Launcher Dev Team has released a substantial update to the home launcher replacement that brings it to version 5.0.

GO Launcher EXIn 5.0 they have started from scratch and built the app from the ground up all over again. That is a great approach when it comes time to bring a whole new version, look and feel to a long standing app. The updated app offers up a new flat style UI, full screen folders with smart card, GO panels, menu redesign and sub-menu modules, simplified app drawer and enhanced accuracy of the auto-folders. That is just what they have listed on the Play Store for what’s new.

GO Launcher EXGO Launcher EXGO Launcher EXIt certainly looks like a great new design to me. To celebrate the launch the GO Launcher Dev Team is kicking out the Prime version of the launcher for free from now through June 1st. Prime is normally $5.99, so this is a deal you might want to take advantage of really quickly. With Prime the ads are removed, you get 6+ more transitions, more gestures and a few other things that make the purchase a good idea. To pick up prime you just need to install the free version of GO Launcher EX. Once installed, head to the Menu > Preferences > About GO launcher EX > Enter Activation Code. You will have two code words to choose from. It doesn’t seem to matter which one you use as they both work. The activation codes are “appsales” and “appszoom“, without the quotation marks of course. hit the link below to go grab the new and improved GO Launcher EX and grab the Prime version while you are at it. Let us know what you think of their update.

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