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The Galaxy Note 4 screen gap is a required design feature


Reports have surfaced about the Note 4 after it has launched in Korea that surround a gap that seems to be between the screen and the metal trim, large enough to be noticeable.

Whilst it seems that the issue is only affecting a few devices at the moment, Samsung actually addresses the issue in the manual for the Galaxy Note 4 under the troubleshooting section.

A small gap appears around the outside of the device case

  • This gap is a necessary manufacturing feature and some minor rocking or vibration of parts may occur.
  • Over time, friction between parts may cause this gap to expand slightly.

So whilst it seems only a few devices are reported to be problematic, it seems that it is actually a required manufacturing feature, and is actually a characteristic of the device.

Are you bothered by the gap? Drop us a comment below.


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Baidu Browser review


When I think about browsing from a mobile device, my main concerns are reliability and speed. Can I access all of the content that I’ll come across given my traditional browsing routines? Trusting that I’ll be able to click links and know that my browser is capable of interpreting the content without having to go to a PC or open an alternate app is a real point of importance. How fast will I be able to access the content? I don’t want to wait around for standard pages and videos to load, forcing me to miss precious moments or bottle-necking my day. If a browser handles speed and reliability with competence, I’m a buyer. I recently tried Baidu Browser and can assure you that it delivers on both fronts.

Installation was relatively simple. There were a few added steps in the process that I felt could have been streamlined, such as installing its T5 engine on top of the initial application installation. It only added another 60 seconds to the process, including the required restart, so nothing to be too turned off by. The user interface is soft, clean, and easy on the eyes. It felt “fresh”, if an app could ever be visually described in such a way. Browsing was easy and intuitive. I was impressed with the integrated security which warned of malicious websites and content. I could really see this hitting home for folks with past experiences of identity theft or fraud.

Thanks to its built-in T5 engine, I did notice a slight speed advantage over my stock Android browser. I wouldn’t say it was anything, on its own, to cause you to convert but, given the other benefits, definitely starts the conversation. The quick links and most visited sections made accessing common pages very simple and could come in handy for users who have a browsing pattern. Privacy mode works much like incognito mode and is equally adept at hiding your history. One thing I loved was the night-mode which makes it easier to read or browse in the dark and conserves battery life. While it may seem trivial, I also really grew to appreciate and rely upon the integrated weather reporting. I found it to be a nice touch to the browsing experience and the devil, as they say, is in the details.

This browser does a lot of things right and very few, if any, things wrong. Over a half-million positive reviews on Google Play certainly back up that claim. If you’ve outgrown your stock browser, want more functionality, or simply want to breathe new life into your browsing experience, Baidu Browser is a safe, reliable, and speedy solution.

Check out Baidu Broswer for FREE on Google Play.

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In-app purchase price ranges start appearing in mobile version of the Play Store

Part of the Google movement to keep themselves out of potential trouble, and to make life better for consumers, was to start putting price ranges on app that offered in-app purchases. That change is set to start taking effect today and Google has delivered on it. At least to some degree.

Google Play StoreGoogle Play StoreAny app that is listed as offering in-app purchase will now show you the per item price or price range. It will be listed in the bottom after you click the “read more” button. In the instances above you can see the two are pretty broad, ranging from $0.99 to $99.99. Where apps that offer a single in-app purchase will list that price as a per-item with out the price range. The addition doesn’t go into any details on what you are able to buy though. In most cases in-app purchases are geared towards in-game currency to buy other items, levels or mods. Where as some are to remove ads, unlock the full version of the app or additional features. You would still need to install the app to find out what the price tags refer too. It is still nice to see a little bit of transparency and warning as to what you might be getting yourself into.

The changes are appearing on the mobile version of the Play Store, but I am not seeing them on the desktop version as of yet. I assume it is rolling out and will make its way there in due time. I certainly hope this is just a first step and that there will be more drilled down information in tow soon. Like, exactly what you will be buying, is it a bag of gems or access to 30 new levels? Mainstream users are pretty smart and we tend to know what to expect, but new users could find themselves confused or distance themselves from great apps simply because it looks like it will cost a ton of money to use it.

Was this first step the right step? Are you even more off put when you see an app with in-app purchases and then see the price ranges listed?

Side note: You can see developer addresses are starting to make their appearance as well.

Via Android Police

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The post In-app purchase price ranges start appearing in mobile version of the Play Store appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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Some Owners of Older iOS Devices Receiving Up to $300 in Liquid Damage Indicator Settlement

Back in April 2013, it was announced that Apple had agreed to a $53 million settlement in a class action lawsuit involving iPhone and iPod touch units that may have been improperly denied warranty coverage due to liquid damage indicators having been triggered in the devices.

The settlement, which covers iPhones denied warranty coverage on or before December 31, 2009 and iPod touches denied coverage on or before June 30, 2010, stems from Apple’s use of triggered liquid damage indicators as sufficient reason for denying warranty coverage. Given the timeframe for the issue, the settlement is limited to iPhone 3GS and earlier and third-generation iPod touch and earlier models.

With the indicators’ manufacturer, 3M, acknowledging the indicators could be at least partially triggered by humidity and not necessarily direct liquid contact, some owners pursued a case against Apple for improperly denying warranty coverage. Apple did later adjust its procedures to require additional visual inspection for liquid damage on devices where the indicators had been triggered, but for those who had already paid out of pocket to replace their devices, the case continued.

As outlined on the settlement home page, administrators finally began sending out settlement checks to eligible claimants last week, and a number of MacRumors readers have reported receiving their checks over the past few days.

Owners of several different iPhone models have reported receiving checks for $251.55, with some reporting amounts as high as $300 while others have received smaller amounts for affected iPod touch units. Users receiving checks have until January 21 to cash or deposit them.

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Pebble Drops Prices on Its Watches, Pokes Fun at Jony Ive

Pebble is dealing with the threat of Apple’s upcoming Apple Watch by making jokes about the enthusiasm Apple employees have shown for the device. On its website, Pebble has a graphic of a gleeful Pebble, which says “Chill.” Above that, are the words “Breathe, Jony. It’s just a watch.”

Further down, Pebble advertises the seven day battery life of its smart watches. “Why measure battery life in days? ‘Cuz we can.” This is a reference to the poor battery life seen in other smart watches, including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and the Moto 360, both of which last less than a day before requiring a charge.

Though Apple has not announced battery life of the Apple Watch, rumors have suggested that it will last for about a day, requiring nightly charging. It is likely, however, that the company is continuing to make tweaks to improve battery as much as it can, which is why no specific information on battery has been released.

Pebble also touts its customizability and its relatively low cost while poking a bit of fun at some of Apple’s Apple Watch statements. “Overpriced trophy watch wasn’t on our to-do list,” reads the site. “Pebble is made by real people, for real people keeping it real,” it says, wrapping up with the following statement: “Just to recap, we made a watch. We didn’t solve global warming.”

In addition to highlighting the capabilities of the product with sly references to the Apple Watch, Pebble has also announced plans to cut the prices of both the Pebble and the Pebble Steel. The standard Pebble watch now retails for $99, while the more recently introduced Pebble Steel retails for $199. Both options are quite a bit more affordable than the Apple Watch, which is said to start at a price of $349.

Pebble has also introduced new health and fitness capabilities for Pebble devices. Following an update, Pebble users are now able to track activity non-stop and monitor their sleep habits. Additionally, Pebble watches will be available in more retail locations, including Sam’s Club, Fry’s Electronics, and more.

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Path now lets you text businesses so you don’t have to wait on hold


About three months ago, Path announced that not only was it rolling out a dedicated messaging app, it was also acquiring a company called TalkTo whose service allowed you to communicate with businesses via text. Today, Path is finally integrating the two together with a new feature called Places. Now in addition to messaging your friends on Path Talk, you’re also able to send a text to any business or place, and no, you don’t need to know the phone number to do so.

To use the feature, just head to the Places tab in the updated Path Talk app. From there, you can either select one of the nearby locations on the map or enter in the name of the desired business in the search field. Then type in your question or request, like “Do you have any reservations tonight?” or “Is there a time slot for a mani pedi today?” Path will then automatically assign an agent — a real-life human being — to act as a broker and make the call on your behalf. And in about five minutes, you’ll get your answer.

“The idea here is that you don’t have to worry about it,” says Cynthia Samanian, Path’s product manager. “We’ll take care of it. Just go about your day. This app is about making your life simpler.”

And just in case you’re not quite sure yet on the sort of question to ask, the app will show a list of suggestions to help get you started. Samanian tells us that since TalkTo is an established company of over three years, these suggestions are actual questions that have been asked of these venues. She also wanted to be clear that you can use Places with any business, even if they’re not in the map. “You’re not at all limited to what you can see here,” she says.

Additionally, the agent isn’t just there to answer your questions; often he or she acts as a personal assistant by actually making the reservations for you. Since Path already knows your name and number, that’s pretty easy for them to do. You’re also able to cancel the reservation or change it to a different time within the same conversation thread. The agent is also often mindful enough to find out more information than you asked for. So for example, if you asked for the availability of a certain shoe at the local Nike store, the agent would respond not just with a Yes or No answer, but also the store hours, the sizes available and how much a pair would cost.

Stuart Levinson, who’s the CEO and co-founder of TalkTo, explains that this is to avoid you having to make multiple calls. “It’s about getting you the answer you need more quickly, before you even need to ask.”

In a brief test of the app, I tried asking if I could get dinner reservations in a particular restaurant in downtown San Francisco. I searched for the name, tapped on the result and it showed me a green dot next to it, indicating that the restaurant was open (a closed restaurant would have a purple dot). A few minutes after I sent my question, an agent replied, “Sorry, but the restaurant is totally bought out for the night.” So not only did I get my answer, but I was given a reason why I couldn’t get the reservation.

“It’s the sort of thing you can’t get with OpenTable,” says Levinson. In fact, he mentions that sometimes Path Talk is better than OpenTable, because restaurants often don’t give OpenTable their entire inventory, like seats at the bar or an outdoor patio. “We’re actually taking you to the person that’s standing there in the restaurant, getting that up-to-date information.”

I was curious about the number of Path agents they had, but Levinson wouldn’t spill the details. He did say that they’ve scaled significantly in the past couple of months and that it’s a global team that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This, Levinson says, allows you to ask a question the night before when you happen to remember it, instead of putting it on your to-do list. “That’s when it feels the most magical. You forget you even asked it, and the next morning, your phone beeps with the answer.”

The Places feature, which is only for US and Canada for now, will be part of the new Path Talk app update. It should be out for both iOS and Android starting today.

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Source: Path Talk, Path

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Philips’ new LED light strap lets you treat skin disease at home

Philips BlueControl

A skin disease like psoriasis is bad enough by itself, but it’s made worse by the frequent need to visit your physician just to alleviate the pain and all-too-visible symptoms. Thankfully, Philips has just unveiled a wearable device that will let most psoriasis sufferers treat themselves. Its new BlueControl strap uses its namesake blue LED lights to slow down cell division (and thus painful inflammation) on your arms and legs; in tests, it cut the severity of symptoms in half without any side effects. The light therapy equipment will require a prescription when it reaches Germany, the Netherlands and the UK this October, but it will likely be worth the effort if it helps you avoid the doctor’s office and get on with your life.

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Source: Philips

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Researchers want to make tech more accessible for animals, too

Orangutans Use I Pads At Jungle Island

Studying human-computer interaction is certainly nothing new. With a growing trend of using gadgets to work with animals though, a new conference aims to further research into our furry (and not so furry) friends’ tech tendencies. In November, scientists will attend the International Congress on Animal Human Computer Interaction for presentations on how the use of cellphones, tablets and more can further research, becoming more useful for creatures of all kinds. As Popular Science points out, many of the uses we’ve seen so far are touch-based, so it’ll be interesting to see what new methods of interaction attendees can devise. For now, here’s an orangutan using an iPad to decide on lunch.

[Photo credit: Aaron Davidson/Getty Images]

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Source: Popular Science

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Rejoice! TiVo comes to Android

TiVo Logo

TiVo announced today that they are releasing an Android app with streaming video playback.  This has been a longtime coming to Android users.  The new TiVo app brings a huge amount of functionality to your Android device.  For starters, you can start watching a program at home, then continue to watch on your mobile device when you get to another location.  Like a late night infomercial, that’s not all:  You can also stream programing from your mobile device to a big screen; pull up background information on your favorite shows; and, use your mobile device as a next-gen remote control.  The TiVo app should be available today in the Google Play store.

Source TiVo 


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Moto Nexus 6 leaks with slew of details

Moto Nexus 6

A few days ago we reported about some details of the upcoming Motorola Nexus 6 from 9to5Google. This morning we reported on a leaked picture of the Nexus 6 next to a LG G3. Now, we have details confirming some of the specs we had before, while also learning some new ones from Android Police.

Android Police says they can confirm that the next device from Google will be a 5.9″ screen device called the Nexus 6. It will have a 3,200 mAh battery, with a QHD screen bringing a whopping 496 ppi, a 13 MP camera with OIS and the dual-flash ring that’s on the new Moto X, and a 2 MP camera on the front, as we reported before.

What’s new, however, is confirmation of a few things. It will indeed be a larger Moto X (2014) confirming the leaked photo from this morning. It will have an aluminum frame as well, and will have the new Moto X’s fast charging capabilities (15 minutes of charging gives 8 hours battery life). Also, it will have front facing stereo speakers. The version of Android will be 5.0 (if there was still any doubt), and it seems there will be some refreshed icons, along with a different messaging app icon (different from hangouts?), and new Wi-Fi, battery, and signal icons at the top that are now solid rather than with breaks.

They give this rumor a 9/10, which is solid for a rumor from Android Police. Along with these details, they can’t necessarily confirm the existence of another, smaller Nexus device.

What do you think? Sound like some great specs, or still too large to even consider?

via Android Police

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