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Amazon Announces the ‘Fire Phone’, the first Amazon Smartphone Offering

An Amazon phone has been rumored for a number of years around the web. From supply chain chatter to other leakster claims. Now the Amazon phone is a reality. They are keeping with their tradition of naming their devices and have dubbed it the Amazon Fire Phone. Not to be confused with the Kindle Fire or Fire TV. The Fire phone is a pretty interesting little device to say the least. Check out the officially announced over view of specs.

Amazon Fire Phone

  • Quad-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.2GHz with Adreno 330 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32 or 64 GB of on board storage
  • 4.7-inch HD display (Gorilla Glass 3, 590 nit brightness) 1280 x 720 res with 315 ppi
  • 13MP rear camera
  • 2.1MP front facing camera
  • Four front facing dynamic perspective sensors
  • Dual Stero Speakers, placed at the top and bottom. Not front facing.
  • Fire OS 3.5.0
  • 2400mAh battery rated for 22 hours talk time and 285 hours standby
  • Weight: 5.64 ounces
  • Size: 5.5 x 2.6 x 0.35 inches ( 139.2 x 66.5 x 8.9 mm)
  • Mobile bands: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz), Quad-band GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz), 9 bands of LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 17, 20), supports carrier aggregation

The hardware is pretty attractive sounding, and looking. Much of the device is hinged on the additional functions and features like Firefly which is a button on the side of the device that launches the camera and lets you identify things you see. Obviously anything you can buy through Amazon will come up for your convenience. The videos Amazon has up on the product page show how many of the features work together. Sadly we can’t pull those videos here, so you will have to check them out at

The not so big surprise about the Fire Phone is that it is exclusively, for now, available with AT&T for $199 on a two-year contract for the 32GB or $299 for the 64Gb. If you don’t want service the 32Gb will set you back $649 and the 64GB is $749. On the bright side, if you pick on up Amazon will give your Amazon Prime service free for one year. If you are already an Amazon Prime subscriber then you get it tacked on to the end of your current year. The Fire phone ships out July 25th.

What are your thoughts on the Amazon Fire Phone? Is it loaded with to many gimmicky things or has Amazon really done something unique that is worth checking out?

Full Press Release:

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jun. 18, 2014– (NASDAQ: AMZN)–Amazon today unveiled Fire, the first smartphone designed by Amazon. Fire is the only smartphone with Dynamic Perspective and Firefly, two new breakthrough technologies that allow you to see and interact with the world through a whole new lens. Dynamic Perspective uses a new sensor system to respond to the way you hold, view, and move Fire, enabling experiences not possible on other smartphones. Firefly quickly recognizes things in the real worldweb and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, movies, music, and millions of products, and lets you take action in secondsall with the simple press of the Firefly button. See what people are already saying about Fire at

“Fire Phone puts everything you love about Amazon in the palm of your hand–instant access to Amazon’s vast content ecosystem and exclusive features like the Mayday button, ASAP, Second Screen, X-Ray, free unlimited photo storage, and more,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “The Firefly button lets you identify printed web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, artwork, and over 100 million items, including songs, movies, TV shows, and products–and take action in seconds. We invented a new sensor system called Dynamic Perspective that recognizes where a user’s head is relative to the device–we use it to offer customers a more immersive experience, one-handed navigation, and gestures that actually work. And this is only the beginning–the most powerful inventions are the ones that empower others to unleash their creativity–that’s why today we are launching the Dynamic Perspective SDK and the Firefly SDK–we can’t wait to see how developers surprise us.”

Dynamic Perspective–Immersive Smartphone Experience

Dynamic Perspective uses four ultra-low power specialized cameras and four infrared LEDs built into the front face of Fire, a dedicated custom processor, sophisticated real-time computer vision algorithms, and a new high-performing and power-efficient graphics rendering engine. Dynamic Perspective features include:

  • One-handed gestures: Auto-scroll, tilt, swivel and peek for quicker, easier navigation and a better media and entertainment experience. For example, with auto-scroll, customers can read a long web page or a book without ever having to touch the screen; tilt in Amazon Music shows song lyrics; swivel instantly reveals quick actions; peek in Maps shows layered information like Yelp ratings and reviews.
  • Immersive apps and games: Dynamic Perspective enables a new class of apps and games that are more immersive, and make it quicker and easier for the user to access information. For example, peek to instantly see close-up front and back views of a dress in the new Amazon Shopping app for Fire. In games like Lili, take on the character’s viewpoint and move your head to look around corners, obstacles, and other objects.
  • Enhanced Carousel: Stay productive with real-time updates and take action right from the home screen–triage email, find recent photos, access most visited websites, return missed calls, view appointments, and more. Developers can customize the contents of their dynamic app and how it responds to user actions. For example, Zillow’s app in the carousel shows property information based on the location, so customers can access search results on nearby homes from the carousel without having to launch the Zillow app. USA TODAY shows headlines most relevant to customer’s interest–someone who frequents football in the Sports section will see those related headlines appear in the carousel.

Starting today, Amazon is introducing the Dynamic Perspective SDK that enables developers to build new experiences with this groundbreaking technology. Learn more about the SDK at

Firefly Technology-Illuminate Your World

Firefly combines Amazon’s deep catalog of physical and digital content with multiple image, text and audio recognition technologies to quickly identify web and email addresses, phone numbers, QR and bar codes, plus over 100 million items, including movies, TV episodes, songs, and products. Simply press and hold the dedicated Firefly button to discover helpful information and take action in seconds.

  • Printed phone numbers, email, web addresses, QR, and bar codes: Firefly identifies printed text on signs, posters, magazines and business cards–make a call, send an email, save as a contact, or go to the website without typing out long URLs or email addresses.
  • 245,000 movies and TV episodes, and 160 live TV channels: Firefly recognizes movies and TV episodes, and uses IMDb for X-Ray to show actors, plot synopses, and related content–add titles to Watch List or download and start watching immediately.
  • 35 million songs: Firefly recognizes music and uses Amazon Music’s rich catalog to show information about the artist–play more songs, add them to your Wish List, or download instantly to your Fire. Developers, such as iHeartRadio and StubHub, used the SDK to build Firefly-enabled apps, so customers can create a new radio station based on the song or find concert tickets for the artist.
  • 70 million products, including household items, books, DVDs, CDs, video games, and more: Access product details, add items to your Wish List, or order on

The Firefly SDK is available starting today so developers can invent new ways to use this advanced technology. Later this year, Firefly will include artwork recognition, foreign language translation, and wine label recognition powered by Vivino. Learn more about the SDK at

Amazon Exclusive Features and Vast Digital Ecosystem–All Deeply Integrated

Fire seamlessly integrates Amazon’s vast digital ecosystem for instant access to over 33 million songs, apps, games, movies, TV shows, books, audiobooks, and magazines, including thousands of exclusivesPlus, Prime members get unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes at no additional cost with Prime Instant Video, over 500,000 books to borrow with the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and the all-new Prime Music–unlimited streaming and download of more than a million songs and hundreds of expert-programmed playlists–all at no additional cost.

Fire deeply integrates Amazon exclusive services:

  • Mayday is now available over 3G and 4G, in addition to Wi-Fi–simply hit the Mayday button in quick actions and an Amazon expert will appear via live video to co-pilot you through any feature on the device. Amazon experts are able to draw on the screen, talk you through how to do a task, or do it for you–whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free. Amazon’s response time goal for Mayday is 15 seconds or less–since launch, the average response time has been 9.75 seconds.
  • ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction) predicts which movies and TV episodes you’ll want to watch and prepares them for instant playback before you even hit play.
  • X-Ray helps you get more from books, music, movies, and TV shows. Explore the bones of a book, including characters, ideas and background with a single tap on the screen; bring the power of IMDb right to Fire for trivia on movies and TV shows; plus, with X-Ray for Music, see synchronized lyrics display while you listen to your favorite song.
  • Second Screen lets you fling TV shows and movies from Fire phone to your Fire TV, PlayStation or any other Miracast-enabled device. Second Screen turns your TV into the primary screen and frees up Fire phone to provide playback controls and a customized display for X-Ray, all without leaving the TV show or movie you’re watching.
  • Free unlimited cloud storage of photos taken with Fire, automatically backed-up wirelessly and available across Amazon devices and Cloud Drive apps so you have access anywhere.

Beautiful Industrial Design & Powerful Hardware

Built using premium materials, including Gorilla Glass 3 for the rear and front, aluminum buttons, stainless steel details and a rubberized polyurethane grip area, Fire is optimized for beauty, hand comfort and powerful performance:

  • Quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 2.2 GHz processor and 2GB RAM for excellent fluidity and image rendering.
  • 4.7-inch HD display with an ambient light sensor and Dynamic Image Contrast that delivers better outdoor viewing.
  • Global LTE and connectivity with nine bands of LTE, four bands of GSM, five bands of UMTS for better voice coverage and faster data speeds, 802.11ac support, Wi-Fi channel bonding, NFC, and Bluetooth.
  • Dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus for a virtual surround sound experience.
  • Advanced imaging system with custom-tuned 13MP rear-facing camera with backside illumination, LED flash, 5-element f/2.0 lens, Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities for beautiful, crisp photos, even in low-light conditions. Fire also includes a 2.1MP front-facing camera. Both front and rear-facing cameras record smooth 1080p HD videos.
  • Reliable backup and restore leveraging the experience and operational excellence of Amazon Web Services and its cloud technology. Fire customers can automatically back up device settings, notes, bookmarks, messages, and installed applications–no need to manually configure or connect to a computer.

Availability & Exclusive Network Partner

Fire ships on July 25 and is available exclusively on AT&T–the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network. Starting today, customers can pre-order Fire at, and in AT&T retail locations nationwide. Fire with 32GB is available for $199 with a two-year contract–that’s an extra 16GB of memory for the same price as many other premium smartphones–or zero money down for as little as $27.09 a month from AT&T on Next 18. Fire is also available with 64GB for $299 with a two-year contract or starting at $31.25/month fromAT&T on Next 18.

Limited Time, Introductory Offer

Starting today, customers can take advantage of an introductory, limited time offer–buy Fire and get 12 months of Amazon Prime included–FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video, unlimited, ad-free streaming and downloading of over a million songs and hundreds of playlists, and over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Existing Prime members get an additional 12 months added to their account.


Amazon opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by three principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.


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Amazon makes the Fire smartphone a reality; due July 25


Amazon on Wednesday finally revealed the long-anticipated Fire phone. Making its debut at an event in Seattle, the smartphone teeters on the the balance of mid-range and top-tier hardware.

Specifications include a quad-core 2.2GHz processor with Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and f/2.0 five element lens. The display, as we’ve come to expect, is a 4.7-inch screen with 590 nits which means it has better viewing outdoors. Other hardware includesd dual Dolby stereo speakers with stay-flat cables (ribbon-like) with magnetic earbuds. But, lest you believe this is all about hardware, there’s plenty of great software and enhancements that will certainly “wow” consumers.


About that 3D

You know all those rumors about the 3D features being built into the phone? It’s here, and it centers around “Dynamic perspective.” Starting with the lock screen which shows clock sitting on a moss-covered rock, with trees around it, the phone adds depth and perspective to a lot of content. Maps? Want to see how tall a building is or what it looks like in relation to the surrounding are? Presto. Thanks to four front-facing and head-tracking cameras and some sensors, the Fire  provides and intuitive experience that doesn’t need to be taught to enjoy. Tilt and move the device and you can be launched into Yelp from a map listing.

Shopping in the Amazon store also gets the same treatment. Tilt and you’ll cycle through product listing. Move over to the web browser and you’ll find tilting will “autoscroll” through a website. Reading a book? Tilt and you’ll change pages. You get how it works because it simply makes sense. The cameras atop and below the display create stereo vision and include infrared lighting. Yes, it should work in the dark. Oh, and developers should surely eat up the Dynamic Perspectice SDK which lets them add depth to their apps and games.

Other experience and services

Additional features include unlimited cloud storage for your photos using Amazon Cloud Drive, Second Screen and X-Ray. There’s a lot of crossover from their Kindle Fire line of tablets, which should come as no surprise. Also present are Audible, WhisperSync, and the MayDay customer service feature. Tying into Amazon’s recent announcement of Prime music service, the Fire  has access to more than 1 million ad-free songs.

The home screen offers widget and apps; the carousel across the top is very much like what you have with the Kindle Fire tablet line. Users can pin items to the carousel for immediate access to your favorite content.

Amazon Prime

For a limited time, Fire also includes a full year of Amazon Prime—FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video, unlimited, ad-free streaming and downloading of over a million songs and hundreds of playlists, and over 500,000 books to borrow from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. If you’re already a Prime member, we’ll add 12 months to your existing account.

Say hello to Firefly

One particularly cool feature, Firefly, lets users snap a picture of just about anything (over 100,000,000 items) and have it pull up the Amazon ecosystem. Be it books, CD’s, DVD’s, QR code, email, URL, or other products, it hands things off to Amazon immediately. Yes, it also listens to music, TV, or movies (like Shazam) and points you to Amazon to let you purchase the content or listento/watch it through your account.


Take a picture of artwork and Firefly will toss you to Wikipedia for additional details. See a phone number on a sign? Use Firefly and it will push you into the dialer. And, because you’ll likely use this feature quite a bit, you’ll love the dedicated hardware button found on the smartphone. 

Developers will certainly appreciate the Firefly SDK which allows for quick and easy integration options.


The Amazon Fire will be offered through AT&T exclusively in the United States; the launch date is pegged for July 25 but pre-orders are available immediately. Pricing is $199 (32GB) with a two-year service agreement or $27 per month on AT&T Next plans.

The post Amazon makes the Fire smartphone a reality; due July 25 appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Sharp’s ‘Free-Form Displays’ with Ultra-Thin Bezels Make New Display Shapes Possible

Sharp today announced its upcoming “Free-Form Display” technology that will allow the company to nearly eliminate the traditional bezel that surrounds LCD displays. As a result, Sharp will be able to build LCD panels in nearly any shape to conform to the display area of the intended product.


Conventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen’s display area. With the Free-Form Display, the gate driver’s function is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. This allows the bezel to be shrunk considerably, and it gives the freedom to design the LCD to match whatever shape the display area of the screen needs to be.

As an example, Sharp demonstrates a prototype display for a vehicle dashboard, with the display conforming to the shape of the main instrument panel, but the company also address the possibility of using the technology for “wearable devices with elliptical displays”.

The concept of non-rectangular LCD displays naturally ties in to Apple’s rumored iWatch, which at least one analyst believes will include a round display, although most recent rumors have suggested the device will use an OLED display. Still, advancements in LCD technology that would allow for non-traditional display shapes open the door to many different possibilities for future devices, particularly as wearables appear set to become an increasingly significant focus for mobile device companies.

Reducing bezel thickness on traditionally shaped devices such as the iPhone and iPad has also been a goal for Apple, seeking to maximize display size relative to the overall device size. Sharp’s technology could serve to push this effort even further, and issues with devices registering unintended touches from simply holding the device should be minimized as Apple has already developed software solutions for recognizing those touches as part of the development of the iPad mini and iPad Air.

Sharp has not announced when its Free-Form Display technology will be ready for use, noting only that will enter mass production “at the earliest possible date.”


Amazon Announces ‘Fire Phone’ With 3D ‘Dynamic Perspective’ Interface, ‘Firefly’ Object Recognition Engine

Amazon today unveiled its much-anticipated new smartphone, the Fire Phone, which Amazon calls “refined, beautiful, and robust.” The phone has a 4.7-inch LCD HD display along with Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides and “precise” aluminum buttons.

It includes a quad-core 2.2Ghz processor, an Adreno 330 Graphics Processor, 2GB of RAM, and dual stereo speakers. There’s a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with an f/2.0 five element lens and built-in optical image stabilization.

Aiming at Apple, Amazon touted the low-light capabilities of the camera included in the phone and announced free unlimited photo storage through its Amazon Cloud Drive service. Apple recently announced its own iCloud Photo Library, but it offers a limited amount of storage for free.

Along with standard cameras, Amazon’s Fire Phone utilizes four additional cameras for a 3D interface, called “Dynamic Perspective.” 3D images on the phone change as it is tilted and viewed from different angles, thanks to advanced eye and face tracking capabilities. Demonstrated with a mapping app, the 3D UI displayed a 3D version of the Empire State Building that could be viewed from all angles, with a tilt of the phone expanding the view.

Amazon’s Fire Phone accomplishes the facial tracking with its four corner cameras and knows where a user’s head is at all times to aid Dynamic Perspective, using infrared for tracking in the dark and advanced algorithms for head continuous tracking.

Accelerometers enable navigation through tilt gestures, demonstrated within a maps app that brought up Yelp when the phone was tilted slightly. Tilting and Dynamic Perspective can also be used in apps and for web browsing — scrolling through items, zooming in, pulling up menus, and more. There’s an autoscroll feature that will scroll through web pages and books automatically, which Jeff Bezos called “incredibly natural.” Amazon is releasing a Dynamic Perspective SDK for developers today.

Also included with the phone is a new flagship feature called Firefly, a virtual recognition program able to recognize QR codes, barcodes, objects, and more, which facilitates the discovery and purchase of various items. Firefly is built directly into the Fire Phone with a dedicated button on the side.

On stage, Amazon demoed Firefly scanning barcodes, URLs, and products like games, keeping a record of what was scanned and allowing the info to be used to make purchases, phone calls, and more. Firefly is also able to listen to music and recognize audio like TV shows, much like Siri can now do with Shazam, and it’s also able to recognize art, pulling up a Wikipedia page for a painting.

It’s a fully featured recognition system that can even read street signs and phone numbers from a distance. According to Amazon, it recognizes a hundred million different items in real world situations, and provides a button so users can buy most of them on the spot. There’s also a Firefly SDK that developers can utilize to build Firefly into apps.

As for the phone’s UI, it includes an app grid that lets users pin content like books, apps, magazines, and more, and there’s also a scrollable carousel of apps at the top of the screen and four common apps on the bottom of the phone’s interface. The phone also includes active widgets that can be used when opening a full app is unnecessary.

Both the Kindle Fire’s Second Screen and X-Ray feature work on the Fire phone, and users are able to “fling” video from the phone to the Amazon TV, while X-Ray gives details on whatever is being watched. HBO Go, Netflix, YouTube, ESPN, and more are all supposed in addition to Amazon’s own video services.

The Fire Phone will also support Amazon’s new Prime music service, which the company launched last week, as well as music from Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartMusic, and it will include Kindle and Audible support. Much like the latest Fire tablets, it supports MayDay, a free service that lets users contact customer support representatives for free.

Amazon’s Fire Phone is exclusive to AT&T and will be priced at $199/$299 for 32/64GB of storage with a standard contract or carrier agreement. The price includes the phone, stay-flat cables, and premium magnetic earbuds. It can be pre-ordered from and is expected to begin shipping in July.

(Images courtesy of CNET)


Amazon’s Fire Phone will come with free, unlimited cloud storage for photos

Amazon just announced the much-anticipated Fire Phone, and along with some solid display and camera specs, the handset offers unlimited photo storage via Cloud Drive. In an on-stage comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 5s, the Fire Phone’s 13-megapixel rear-facing camera looked pretty capable — especially with low-light performance — and Amazon clearly thinks you’ll be snapping up plenty of pictures. Free, unlimited photo storage definitely sets Amazon apart from Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s OneDrive, among other services, though Google also offers unlimited storage. Follow our liveblog for more news from the event in Seattle.

Amazon’s Fire Phone. Will you get one?

Filed under: Amazon



Amazon’s Firefly recognizes everything you see and hear, then lets you buy it

So yes, Amazon’s phone is a real thing… and it’s turning out to be quite a sales tool, too. Jeff Bezos just pulled back the curtain on the device’s Firefly feature, which scans music, art and even products you have laying around in the real world. Why? So you buy can it all from Amazon, of course.

Here’s how it works: you’ll be able to use the phone’s Firefly app (which you can invoke with a dedicated button) to snap images of DVDs, books, QR codes, CDs, bar codes, and more. From there, the app chews on that data to recognizes it and finds them in its massive database. Music and video are no match for Firefly either, as the app can listen in on content of both types — you’ll get a more detailed view, along with the ability to buy that stuff directly from Amazon (or, you know, play it through iHeartRadio).

The initial impression Firefly gave off made it seem like an app tailor-made to drive more sales on Amazon, but there’s a little more to it than that. With the ability to recognize street addresses and phone numbers, Amazon wants to make Firefly a part of your everyday life — Bezos probably doesn’t want you to scribble down another address ever again. And here’s the really big bit: Amazon is making a Firefly SDK available to developers, so they can bake those audio, visual, and text recognition smarts into their own apps. Want to add your lunch to MyFitnessPal? Snap a photo of it, and let Firefly do all the heavy lifting in the backend; that corresponding nutritional data should be where it should before long.

Amazon’s Fire Phone. Will you get one?



Amazon’s Fire Phone has a multi-perspective display that moves with you

After weeks and weeks of being rumored, Amazon’s finally unveiled its first smartphone: the Fire Phone. And, as expected, there are 3D-like features onboard, with something the company’s calling Dynamic Perspective. Thanks to this, Amazon’s Fire Phone will be able to do a number of neat things across different apps; for example, if you’re looking at a picture, the view of it will change as you move the device around. To show off the effect, Amazon CEO used a 3D aerial view of the Empire State, which made the iconic building look as if it were popping out of the Fire Phone’s screen. The web browser can also take advantage of the Dynamic Perspective feature, allowing you to easily scroll through pages by simply tilting the phone.

Bezos said during the presentation that getting Dynamic Perspective to be ready for every-day users wasn’t easy. “The key is knowing where the user’s head is at all times,” he stated, citing the need to have multiple cameras (remember those?) on the Fire Phone to make the feature work properly. In total, the device has six cameras — four of which have a 120-degree field-of-view and are used specifically for Dynamic Perspective, plus your usual front and rear cameras. Better yet, Amazon’s making it easy for third-party developers to make their apps friendly with this feature: “The API was easy to plug into our device. We already had it running on a ton of Android devices … If you have an Android app up and running, it doesn’t take much at all.”

Filed under: Amazon



Bitcoin gets its first big sports sponsorship

Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl

Bitcoin is about to hit the big leagues in a very literal sense — it just got its first major sports sponsorship. BitPay has struck a deal with ESPN Events that will rename one post-season NCAA football game as the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl through 2016. When the Bowl next kicks off, on December 26th, you’ll see the digital currency’s signature “B” plastered all over TV broadcasts, the field and the inevitable glut of merchandise. It’s hard to say if the marketing blitz will translate to greater adoption, but it’s well-timed. When Dish, Expedia and have all started taking Bitcoin, anyone who’s swayed by the promotion will have at least a few places to spend their virtual cash.

Filed under: Internet


Via: Wall Street Journal

Source: BitPay


Google Hangouts v2.1.311 Update Rolling Out [APK Download]

Google hangouts Icon

It is that happy time of the week where we all expect Google to push out updates to a wide range of their apps that we all use and love. So far this morning we have seen a small bug fix and performance update go out for Google Drive and an update for Google Hangouts. The new Hangouts update moves it v2.1.311 from v2.1.224. It isn’t a milestone update with a ton of new features, at least not that I can tell. The only significant visual change that I noticed is a drop down menu to change which account you are using.

Seems to me that this used to be there before, but as you can see in the screenshots above it wasn’t present in the previous version of the app. Also the settings for your accounts has changed. Now it gives you all your accounts in one list to change the settings for each. (as seen below. New on the left, old on the right.)

I did notice one other minor change, one Emoji got a color change from orange to white. Not a big deal really.

Head to the Play Store and check and see if the update is waiting for you and pick it up. If it isn’t and you just can’t wait, then hit the link below to pick up the APK and install it on your own.

[Update] Well, that didn’t work out so well now did it. I didn’t notice the change account on the previous version that was on my other phone because I just flashed it and only signed in with one email address.

Google Hangouts v2.1.311 APK download

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Pelican Announces Rugged Case for the Already Rugged Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is the tougher variant of the Samsung Galaxy S5 with all the same specs minus the finger print scanner and adds a tough shell plus three physical buttons. Even the most rugged of devices can’t always stand up to the tests the most rugged users out there can put it through. One of the roughest and toughest case manufacturers out there agrees and have produced a new case for the Galaxy S5 Active, meet the Pelican ProGear Voyager.

Pelican ProGear Voyager Galaxy S5 Active

“By its nature, the Galaxy S® 5 Active smart phone finds itself with those living a more adventurous lifestyle,” said David Becker, Vice President of Sales, Consumer Electronics, at Pelican Products. “The Pelican ProGear™ Voyager case is built to protect your smart phone from whatever adventure life throws at you.”

The case is built with 360 degrees of protecting in mind and is engineered to military (mil-spec) standards. It is a 4 piece case made with polycarbonate, energy-absorbing Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR) and polyurethane rubber. The case also comes with a scratch resistant screen protector that fits over the screen and under the front part of the case. As an added bonus, it also comes with a spring-loaded belt clip holster that doubles as a multi-position stand for watching flicks.

Pelican ProGear Voyager Galaxy S5 Active ExplodedThe Pelican ProGear Voyager is available for purchase in grey/black and white/grey color combos for $50 through AT&T’s webstore.

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