It’s not like it was a huge surprise, what with all the not-so-subtle teasers, but the Oppo N3 is now official and puts its unique spin on the selfie revolution that is sweeping the smartphone world. As expected, the Oppo N3 employs the use of a motorized swivel camera, an upgrade over its predecessor’s fragile, manual swiveled one. What Oppo did announce alongside the Oppo N3 was the O-Click Bluetooth remote, which is primarily used to remotely take photos with the phone, but will also let you remotely change the facing of the camera with its nifty buttons. You can briefly see the remote in the launch video below:
Unlike our previous predictions, the Oppo N3 will not employ a monstrous display like the Oppo N1 did, opting instead for a very normal 5.5-inch display which will be powered by a Snapdragon 801, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage and a 3,000mAh battery. If you’re into gimmicks, the rear of the Oppo N3 also features a fingerprint reader, which works similarly to the Apple iPhone version which requires you to tap your finger on it to use. I particularly like the fact that Oppo has kept the thin “Skyline” notification light at the bottom of the device which it first debuted on its Oppo Find 7. The Oppo N3 is going to be available in December for $649.
What do you think about the Oppo N3 now that it has been officially announced? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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Google customers can now use their Play Store balance to purchase subscriptions for Play Music All Access and Play Newsstand. According to Google’s Support page, the ability to use credit to purchase memberships is being restricted to just those two platforms for now, but compatibility will be added for other services in the not-too-distant future.
If you are one of the few that took advantage of the Google Play Music All Access’ special introductory rate of $8, don’t worry. You should be able to cancel your current payment method and reinstate the membership using your Play Store balance for the same, reduced rate, but you will need to renew your membership within thirty days of cancelling your old one — otherwise the price will bump up to $9.99.
It’s possible that both these services may not be available in your country, so be sure to head on over to the Google Play Support page to see exactly what you can access in you area.
Source: Google Play Support
Come comment on this article: Google now lets you use your Play balance to pay for subscriptions
Apparently Mayor Giuliani’s defense worked: Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega’s case against Activision for including his likeness in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has been dismissed by a California judge. As Kotaku spotted, Activision issued a press release stating that this was an important win for not just video games, but historical fiction in general.”This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we’re gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn’t win,” Giuliani says. So there’s that! Anyone who wants to bend the history books a bit to suit their narrative needs should be pretty much in the clear from here on out.
Source: Activision Blizzard
Think your completely isolated, internet-disconnected “air gap” computer network is secure from wireless infiltration? Think again — security researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have found a way to lift data from closed networks using little more than a standard computer monitor and FM radio waves. It’s a pretty clever trick: researchers have created a keylogging app called AirHopper that can transmit radio frequencies by exploiting the PC’s display. A companion app on an FM-equipped smartphone can decode those transmissions and record the host machine’s keystrokes in real-time.
It’s not the first time FM radio waves have been used to smuggle data out of an air gap network, but this method can be done without PC connected speakers and without either device being connected to an outside network. Like previous methods, it doesn’t it has a fairly short range (about 7 meters) and can’t transmit more than a few bytes a second, but that’s more than enough to nab passwords or other sensitive text data. The group has already released a short video of the exploit in action, and intends to publish a more detailed paper on the subject at Malcon 2014 later this week.
[Image credit: Dimitri Otis]
Source: Ben Gurion University
When CVS and Rite-Aid shut off their NFC-based payments to prevent customers from using Apple Pay, we heard it was because they’re part of a large group developing rival technology CurrentC. Now, The New York Times has shed more light on the issue, and it turns out they did it not just to stifle the competition, but also because they’re contractually obligated not to offer Apple Pay in their stores. The whole Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) group, including these two drug stores and big-box retailers Walmart and Best Buy, signed a contract years ago that binds them to Current C. That contract, signed way before anyone knew if Apple Pay was ever going to materialize, prevents them from supporting rival technologies, as doing so will earn them outrageous fines.
CurrentC’s the ideal payment method for MCX retailers, because it connects directly to people’s bank accounts, eliminating the need to pay credit card fees. Also, it allows stores to track customers’ spending habits themselves. Problem is, it won’t be ready until 2015, and by then customers might already be too attached to Apple Pay to consider anything else and demand its use in MCX members’ outlets. Of course, it’s always possible for Apple Pay not to catch on in the end, but — bad news for this bunch of companies — it’s doing really well thus far.
Source: The New York Times
There’s a new sheriff in town: The Oppo R5 claims the title of world’s thinnest smartphone at 4.85mm
We thought it would be impossible for a phone to get thinner than the 5.1mm thick Gionee Elife S5.1 which has up till now held the title for the world’s thinnest smartphone. Well, that record has today been eclipsed by the Oppo R5, a new device the Chinese manufacturer announced today alongside its new flagship device, the Oppo N3, and measures just 4.85mm thick. We had an inkling that Oppo would be announcing an ultra thin device today in Singapore, but it never occured to us that it would actually be the thinnest smartphone in the world.
Predictably, due to the slim profile of the device, the specs are geared more towards the mid range. the Oppo R5 carries a 5.2-inch display, octocore 64-bit Snapdragon 615, 2GB RAM, 5MP front camera, 13MP rear camera and 2,000mAh battery. That’s definitely nothing to scoff at, but the ultra-thin design of the phone has lead to some key omissions. For instance, the Oppo R5 won’t have a 3.5mm audio output, relying on microUSB and Bluetooth for audio output. As expected from Oppo, the OS on the Oppo R5 will be Color OS 2.0, a modified version of Android 4.4. If anyone is interested, the Oppo R5 will become available globally in December and will set you back $499 and comes in silver, gold and grey.
What do you think about the Oppo R5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
The post There’s a new sheriff in town: The Oppo R5 claims the title of world’s thinnest smartphone at 4.85mm appeared first on AndroidSPIN.
Sprint has today expanded its Spark LTE service to include 17 new locations, which now makes a total of 46 markets across the US where the enhanced coverage is currently available. Spark is an optimized version of the operator’s LTE network, which is designed to deliver peak wireless speeds of between 50-60 Mbps on a number of capable device, including the HTC One (M8), Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z3, and many more.
“With its unique combination of network technologies, spectrum capacity and tri-band devices, Sprint Spark is designed to greatly improve the performance of video and other bandwidth-intensive applications,’ says Sprint.
The newly announced locations to receive the super fast Spark service starting today are as follows:
- Bay City, MI
- Cleveland, OH
- Columbus, OH
- Denver, CO
- Flint, MI
- Henderson, NC
- Midland, MI
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
- Mount Vernon, OH
- New Philadelphia, OH
- Ogden, UT
- Sacramento, CA
- Saginaw, MI
- Seattle, WA
- Sheboygen, WI
- Tffin, OH
- Youngstown, OH
If you’re a Sprint customer in one of the locations where you have the ability to access the Spark network, why give the operator a call today to upgrade to one of its competitive 4G plans?
Come comment on this article: Sprint expands its super-fast network to 17 new locations
In addition to expanding its enhanced 4G LTE service today, Sprint has also started rolling out a rather hefty over-the-air update to all its carrier-branded variants of HTC’s flagship smartphone, the One (M8), currently located in the United States.
Weighing in at 250MB, the upgrade transports the Taiwanese company’s recently-announced Eye Experience camera software, together with a bunch of bug fixes, stability improvements and speed optimizations.
Hit the break to see the full changelog.
- Android KitKat 4.4.4
- EYE Experience
- Face Tracking
- Split Capture
- Face Fusion
- Voice Selfie
- Live Makeup
- Photo Booth
To initiate the upgrade manually, make sure you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network. Then, from the home screen, press the Menu key, followed by Settings. Scroll to the bottom and tap ‘About Device’, followed by ‘Software Update and ‘Update Now’.
Come comment on this article: Sprint-branded HTC One now receiving Eye Experience update
Huawei’s Honor series of smartphones are designed to pack a punch without punching a hole in your wallet, but these devices typically don’t see the light of day outside of China and other select markets. Today, that changes, with the announcement of the European launch of the Honor 6, a high-powered Android phone with an attractively low price tag. The handset may look like a relatively generic square with rounded corners, but the spec sheet tells a different story. A 5-inch, 1080p display adorns the front of the device, while a 3,100mAh battery allegedly keeps the thing going for more than two days with normal usage. It also packs in 3GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel primary camera with f/2.0 aperture, and a 5MP front-facing shooter with wide-angle lens. The real star of the show, though, is Huawei’s Kirin 920 octa-core chip, which also includes a Cat 6 4G radio capable of tapping into LTE-Advanced networks that support maximum download speeds of 300 Mbps (Vodafone has one of those in the UK, by the way). The Honor 6 will be available on Amazon’s regional portals from 9AM GMT tomorrow for £229 in the UK and €269 elsewhere in Europe.
While Huawei manufacturers the handset, it’s doing its best to keep that fact hushed up. The company’s always tried to dissociate itself somewhat from the Honor brand, and the same is true in Europe, where it’s essentially being introduced as a new company in its own right. The only visible evidence of the affiliation can be found on the new Honor website, where Huawei’s named as the copyright holder. The Chinese manufacturer isn’t exactly a household name in Europe, but by concealing its connection with Honor as much as possible, it’s hoping to create a distinct identity for the brand. It wants Honor to be seen as a new, disruptive player that sells great smartphones for affordable prices, in the same way OnePlus has managed to manufacture a persistent buzz around itself and its One flagship. The only difference with the Honor 6, though, is that you’ll actually be able to buy it.
You’d think that YouTube would launch a subscription video service ahead of its rivals given its love of original content, but someone might just beat it to the punch. Vimeo’s Kerry Trainor tells Recode that his company already has a subscription option in development. He’s not providing details of how it will work, but it would be a logical extension of Vimeo’s successful On Demand option. Viewers want to pay for a “whole world of content” that wouldn’t reach them any other way, he says. However it pans out, Vimeo might want to hurry — YouTube is openly toying with the idea of its own subscription service, and it could easily steal the thunder from competitors if it’s first out of the gate.
[Image credit: Brian Crano, Vimeo]