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Verizon Galaxy S4 update on the way with Knox 2.0 and other improvements

An update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Verizon has been listed on the Verizon support page for the device. The update will  move the device to build number VRUFNG6. The list of improvements may or may not matter much to you, but for some it could be a saving grace. Among the list of things that have been improved is connectivity within messaging app, Bluetooth connectivity and Voicemail reliability. All three are pretty important functions.

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 Update

Along with the improvements you will want to be on the look out for an app name change as well. ISIS Wallet is getting changed over to Softcard. The ISIS team felt it was important to change the name in light of the ‘other’ ISIS out there that has nothing to do with mobile payments. There is also MVD which is My Verizon Diagnostic, Knox 2.0 for enterprise and a kids mode stud in the widget tray for parental controls.

Any one out there see the update hit thei device yet? Head into Settings > About Phone > Software Updates > Ceck for Updates to see if it is available for your device. Be sure to have a stable Wi-Fi connection, more than 50% battery and a little time to kill before you start the install.

Via Verizon 

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The post Verizon Galaxy S4 update on the way with Knox 2.0 and other improvements appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

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Nexus 9 due October 15, report says


As we get closer to the time Google announces Android L, more and more rumors and reports come out about the upcoming Nexus devices, or the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. Earlier this morning we reported about an article from WSJ confirming rumors of the Nexus 6. A couple of days ago, an HTC rep confirmed that the Nexus 9 exists and is coming. Now, we seem to have some details about a possible announcement and launch date for the Nexus 9 (and presumably the Nexus 6 and Android L as well).

Bright side of news on Thursday reported that their sources confirm that the Nexus 9 will be announced this month, available for pre-order on October 15th, and then available (and most likely shipped) on November 3. They also confirm (as previously thought) that it will be using a NVIDIA Tegra K1 SoC. However, it isn’t clear if they will use the regular chip seen in other devices, or if it will be a new 64-bit version.

They also confirm that it will cost $399, which they say makes it a more premium device since the Nexus 7 is cheaper at $229. However, if you recall the Nexus 10 released starting at $399, and was considered cheap for its size and features. Considering a Nexus 9 would be closer to that, it makes sense to me. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

The other interesting part of the report is it claims that the Nexus 9 will not be exclusive to the Play Store, but will be sold to many other retailers. This indeed would be an interesting move on Google’s part, and would mean they are more serious about selling devices this time around.

Stay tuned for more updates about the Nexus devices.

What do you think about a $399 price tag on a 9″ tablet? Too much for a Nexus device, or just about right?

via brightsideofnews

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Here’s what you need to know about Engadget Expand, so far

We’ve talked a lot about Engadget Expand so far (you know, that free event we’re holding at the Javits Center in NYC on November 7th and 8th). It’s time we got you caught up on who’s speaking (and when), who’s exhibiting on the show floor, what’s up with Insert Coin and finally, the winner of our ‘In The City’ sweepstakes. Let’s get started.

What’s happening when?

Our complete schedule of everything happening during our two-day Expand event is live and ready for your stalking. Find out who’s speaking when, what’s happening with workshops and what to expect from our Insert Coin competition. View the full schedule here.

Who’s showing off the latest in technology?

So far we’ve announced OnePlus, GizmoSphere and Suitable Technologies as some of the exhibitors doing demos on the show floor. Today, we’re adding a few more to the lineup:

  • Matterport will show off its 3D capture system, which lets anyone create 3D models of real-world spaces to share online. For example, a realtor can show off a home online in a much more immersive way.
  • Huawei was well represented at each of our Engadget Live events this year, so it’s no surprise we’ll see its line of Ascend smartphones at Expand!
  • GIROPTIC made the world’s first full HD 360-degree camera (after a successful Kickstarter campaign) and will let Expand attendees try it out.

Who’s coming to the Expand stage?

Musician and producer RJD2, Adafruit’s Becky Stern, Paul Eremenko of Google’s Project Ara, Mars One’s Bas Lansdorp and DARPA’s Arati Prabhakar are some of the amazing experts we’ve announced thus far. Our complete lineup of speakers can be found in the gallery above or on our Expand microsite.

What’s up with Insert Coin?

We need your help narrowing down our semi-finalists who will get a trip to NYC and a shot at the big prize — either our Judge’s Choice or Reader’s Choice awards at Expand. Meet our current contenders right here and be sure to cast your vote by 11:59PM ET on October 15th.

Who won our ‘In The City‘ sweepstakes?

Congratulations to Brady Lamb, who we’re flying from Ames, Iowa to NYC for the big event in November. We’re also sending Chromecasts to our 10 runner-ups. Congratulations, folks!

What’s next?

We’ll announce even more speakers, exhibitors and maybe even a contest real soon. Until then, if you’re going to be in the New York area November 7-8, get your tickets here. If not, keep it locked here on throughout that weekend so you don’t miss a thing.

[Photo: Getty]


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Blackphone to test new waters with privacy-minded tablet

After turning an ambitious plan into reality, the people behind the privacy-focused Blackphone are ready for a new adventure. During an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Jon Callas, co-founder of Silent Circle, which made the privacy-focused device in conjunction with Geeksphone, let it be known that the company will have a tablet in the near future. “Blackphone as it is, is our first device not our last device,” Callas said. While he didn’t reveal any more specific details, Callas did mention such tablet is already in the works and set to be coming “soon.” The bigger hardware would likely bring similar features to the $629 Android phone, most of which is done with user privacy in mind first and foremost. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be interesting to see what Blackphone does next.

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Source: BBC Newsbeat

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Beats and Bose agree to settle noise-cancellation lawsuit out of court

It’s almost a relieving thing to hear: two tech companies have decided not to pursue a long, drawn out patent lawsuit. Earlier this year, Bose accused Beats of taking noise-cancellation technology from a series of five Bose patents — but now the two audio groups have reached a settlement and asked the International Trade Commission to halt investigation of the issue. The terms of the agreement aren’t clear, but both sides will get to skip the hassle of going to court.

Beats may be off the hook for the alleged theft of Bose’s intellectual property, but that doesn’t mean Bose and Apple’s acquisition have buried the hatchet: the two companies are still fierce competitors. Bose’s exclusivity contract with the NFL, for instance, is already bearing fruit — slapping players with the wrong headgear with steep, $10,000 fines. Apple’s playing a little dirty, too: sources close to MacRumors say that the Cupertino company is planning to remove Bose products from Apple stores sometime next week. The two firms may have avoided a legal battle, but it seems that the war for public opinion has only just started.

[Photo credit: Glenn Asakawa/The Denver Post via Getty Images]

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Sony’s ‘PlayStation Experience’ is a two-day public gaming show in Las Vegas

Sony’s holding a two-day PlayStation event in the middle of the desert, and it wants you to attend. Okay, technically Las Vegas isn’t the middle of the desert, but it’s certainly out there. What will said event entail? PlayStation social media man Sid Shuman says you’ll, “Sit in on in-depth panels, meet the industry’s best developers, score hands-on gameplay with tons of upcoming PlayStation games, collect free swag, and get a chance to purchase rare collectibles directly from their favorite game studios.” It’s kind of like PAX, basically, but all PlayStation. One more similarity to PAX? It’ll cost ya. $50 for a one-day pass, $90 for both days. If those previous activities left you still sitting on the fence about attendance, Shuman also promises, “an exclusive first look at what’s coming next in 2015, which I am told you will not want to miss.” Project Morpheus details? Maybe a PlayStation helicopter? Who knows!

Hey, if nothing else, it’s an excuse to fly to Las Vegas in December, right?

[Image credit: Sony PlayStation]

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Source: Sony PlayStation

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MegaBots wants to make your giant battle mech dreams come true

Walk around New York Comic Con and you’ll see plenty of celebrities of the nerd world and more cosplay than is comfortable. You might not see too many robots, however. Thankfully MegaBots makes up for what previous years have lacked. Just outside the main exhibition hall on the third floor of the Jacob Javits Center looms the MegaBot Mark I — a 15-foot, 15,000-pound beast that looks every bit ready for war. The president won’t be airdropping the Mark I into Iraq anytime soon, but creators Andrew Stroup and Gui Cavalcanti intend to pit it against other over-sized mechanized creations in battle.

Unlike the duo’s previous giant robot project, the car-crushing hexabot Stompy, the Mark I will be almost humanoid. Eventually it’ll have arms, legs and a central body that’s home to a two seat cockpit. Right now, though, it’s just a torso with a right arm, but no legs. The final version will walk, and, instead of hands, have two weaponized arms capable of firing paint-filled foam shells. The chassis itself will also be covered in foam, but not for the protection of the pilots or spectators. Instead, it will shed the those pieces of its body as it absorbs damage from the non-lethal ammo flying its way. If Stroup and Cavalcanti have their way, entire body parts, like the arm may fly off if enough hits are taken. (Lets just ignore the danger involved in hundred of pounds of metal dropping 15 feet to the floor.) Even if they don’t get crushed by their mechs, the human pilots won’t go unscathed. The cockpit is covered with a metal grate, instead of a solid surface like Plexiglas, specifically to allow paint through when a shell hits, splattering the pilot.

Sadly, the prototype shown at New York Comic Con isn’t battle-ready just yet (we asked if we could take it out and fire at rush hour traffic, but were roundly rebuffed). Right now, the Mark I’s only opponent is a special turret armed with a 20-pack pneumatic missile launcher, but the intention is to have at least two robots that can duke it out in a traveling giant robot combat league. To make this happen, MegaBots is launching a Kickstarter at the end of October.

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TiVo Roamio OTA review: TiVo made a DVR for cord-cutters, but is it worth it?

TiVo Roamio OTA review: TiVo made a DVR for cord-cutters, but is it worth it?

Cable TV and TiVo go together like peanut butter and jelly, or at least they did until now. The company that, for all intents and purposes, invented the DVR has, after 14 years, released one specifically designed for people who don’t want to pay for a TV subscription. If you look past the marketing, the $50 TiVo Roamio OTA is actually the same as the standard-edition Roamio, but with a nonfunctional CableCARD slot and no option for Lifetime Service. So, is this the one box a cord-cutter needs? Just as important, is the price right?

Hardware and remote

On the outside, the TiVo Roamio OTA is identical to the standard edition. Same 3.7-pound, 14.3 x 7.4 x 1.9-inch box with an external power supply. Same recording indicator and power LEDs. The same WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n), Ethernet and port selection (USB, coax input, optical and analog audio out). It even requires the same $15 composite breakout cable if you prefer not to use HDMI. No HDMI-CEC either; again, just like other TiVos. It also comes with a 500GB hard drive, four tuners and the ability to expand via eSATA. Unlike its more expensive sibling, though, these tuners only capture over-the-air signals. The ability to tune into ATSC content is a strong suit here — I didn’t have any problem picking up broadcast channels in my area with a $15 RCA antenna or a more expensive one from Mohu Leaf.

The box itself is physically appealing, with its glossy piano-black plastic, faceless TiVo guy and textured gray material. I appreciated TiVo’s industrial design efforts when I first reviewed the Roamio Pro, and the fit and finish is just as welcome on the new OTA edition. I’ve always disliked external power supplies and while I’ve learned to live with them, I haven’t stopped complaining about the accompanying tangle of wires. Unlike the Pro, the OTA doesn’t feature MoCA, but that can be overcome with a $50 accessory adapter (with yet another external power supply). The OTA also doesn’t have an integrated TiVo Stream (like the Plus and Pro do), so streaming to your mobile devices will run you another $130.

The stubby peanut remote (as I like to call it) is the same as on the rest of the TiVo Roamio lineup. That means it’s RF instead of IR, doesn’t have a backlight and can only be programmed with IR codes of TVs and audio/video receivers from an included database. It can’t learn to control your TV and AVR using your existing remotes, though. I’m not still holding out hope that TiVo will release an accessory remote with a backlight and the ability to learn, but without a slide-out keyboard, like back in the Series3 era. One small, but very useful feature that the Plus and Pro have that the lower-end Roamio DVRs don’t is the remote finder. I can’t tell you how useful I’ve found it to press a button on my Roamio Pro DVR and listen for the TiVo theme music to help me locate my missing remote.


TiVo Default recording settings

The TiVo Roamio OTA is also identical to its big brothers when it comes to software. It’s every bit as fast, with the same features and the same third-party apps like Netflix and Hulu. Still, I’d like to take this opportunity to review the new features added to the Roamio lineup since I reviewed the Roamio Pro over a year ago. The two big additions are ones I’ve been complaining about as long as I can remember. The usefulness of the boring default Season Pass settings added in the spring 2014 release can’t be overstated. I only wish I could get back all the time I’ve spent over the years setting every single Season Pass to keep all my recordings and to only record new episodes.

Now, there’s no longer a need to do this manually every time. It works exactly as you’d expect, in fact, but is limited to a few essential settings: record new and reruns, new only or everything; keep at most a number of episodes or all; and start or stop recording on time or add up to five minutes on either end. I’m not sure why TiVo didn’t include the ability to choose a default “keep until” setting; maybe next year.

The more interesting new feature came this summer and was quite overdue. Now the “My Shows” view makes it easier to sort through terabytes of recordings. In particular, a customizable third column lets you filter by category, as well as find episodes you didn’t quite have time to finish. And the fact that it’s configurable to the point it can be disabled completely means it’s pretty much a complete win.

Still, TiVo hasn’t been successful at changing the way I find things to watch. The company has done some great things with What to Watch Now to help make the various viewing options slightly less overwhelming. This new third column in the UI improves things too, but I can’t help but think there’s more work to be done. It may be as simple as combining these two features into one. Perhaps a list view of What to Watch now (as opposed to icons) with the same configurable categories. I’m not sure, really, but the bottom line is: I like the direction TiVo is going in here and look forward to even more options for sifting through all that content.

My shows

I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the remaining standard-definition menus on the TiVo Roamio lineup. It seems some of the TiVo faithful are very upset that the time and care hasn’t been taken to redesign every single menu of the TiVo experience in HD. But as a self-proclaimed HD snob, I can’t say I agree. I understand it may annoy people when the UI switches back and forth, but at the same time, TiVo has to make difficult resource-allocation decisions; redesigning barely used UI elements is clearly not the best use of TiVo’s time. Every new feature and setting is designed with HD in mind and it’s surely just a matter of time before every menu gets the HD treatment — it’s only been four long years.

The cord-cutter proposition

The question TiVo hopes to answer is if the Roamio OTA will appeal to the estimated 7.6 million US households that don’t subscribe to cable. Netflix, Hulu and the like get lots of credit for enabling people to watch TV without paying big bucks for a premium cable or satellite subscription. That means, though, that the antenna remains your best friend if you’re a frugal TV fan. And just because you choose not to spend your hard-earned money subscribing to bunch of channels, that doesn’t mean you don’t want the 21st century luxury of a DVR.

There’s no shortage of startups attempting to fit this need, but unfortunately, when it comes to DVR functionality, most aren’t even as good as the original TiVo from almost 14 years ago. Simple.TV, Channel Master, Tablo and others are doing their best, but are mostly just realizing how difficult it is to create a robust DVR platform. In particular, reliability, fit, finish and usability are usually second to content — all areas where TiVo excels.

Then again, though TiVo was one of the first to offer Netflix streaming almost six years ago, the company has fallen behind in more recent years with many, many missing options like: WatchESPN, Vudu, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Epix, Crackle and CinemaNow. To be fair, not all of these will appeal to cord-cutters, as services likes WatchESPN and HBO GO require a cable subscription to watch (and who would ever borrow their friend’s sign-in info?!). But the absence of Vudu and Amazon Prime are pretty glaring; I can only hope the rumors of these services coming to TiVo are true. Until that happens, though, you might be unlikely to get down to one box; you might additionally need a Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV. Then there are all those network apps, which would offer a good backup, in the event that your OTA setup lets you down.

Even with the streaming options that TiVo does offer, there’s room for improvement. Some of the streaming apps on TiVo aren’t as good as the versions available on Roku and other boxes, with Pandora being one major example. Accessing these streaming services isn’t as easy as it is on other boxes, but that has a lot to do with the fact that TiVo is a DVR first and a streamer second. On top of that, the user experience isn’t as cohesive as the ones that the Xbox and Apple TV deliver since TiVo’s streaming apps aren’t customized to match the TiVo experience.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with TiVo is the price. At $699 with Lifetime Service, the standard TiVo Roamio isn’t exactly a low-cost solution and so TiVo hopes that it can entice cord-cutters with essentially the same box (for someone with no interest in paying for cable) for $50, plus $15 a month. The problem is the service charge, which almost no one believes is worth the price of a Netflix and Hulu subscription combined. The service, of course, is little more than a way for TiVo to subsidize the price of the hardware and provide people with a low upfront cost. But without a Lifetime Service option, you’d have to really be missing the big picture to go with the cord-cutter edition — it takes about three and a half years at $15 a month to catch up to the $699 price of the standard Roamio with Lifetime.


The TiVo Roamio OTA is interesting. Marketing a box to those who don’t want to pay for cable while at the same time selling boxes to cable companies, and to customers of cable companies, is like walking a tightrope — one I think is manageable. The real problem is that while I believe the TiVo Roamio is the best over-the-air DVR ever available, the low upfront cost isn’t worth the higher total cost of ownership (the standard Roamio works with OTA or cable and is cheaper after three and a half years when you buy Lifetime Service).

Then again, if you want a DVR without a cable subscription, the Roamio OTA is virtually your only option. What’s more, it’s not like you can completely replace it with a Roku or Apple TV; either way, you’re going to sacrifice some content. An OTA DVR, for example, has access to live NFL on CBS each Sunday, but TiVo doesn’t have nearly as many apps as either Roku or Apple. Given that, we’ll say this: If you’re interested in cutting the cord, but you’re not ready to shell out hundreds up front on a regular TiVo box with Lifetime Service, then $50 to get started (plus $15 per month) isn’t a terrible deal. But that’s not saying much.

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WSJ: 5.9-inch Nexus 6 to launch this month


Last week we reported on a leak of Nexus 6 details, which said it would have a 5.9″ QHD screen, a 3,200 mAh battery, a 13 MP camera with OIS, a 2 MP shooter on the front, fast-charging capabilities, and essentially be a stretched out Moto X (2014). We also reported on some alleged photos of the device spotted in the wild. Good news Googlers: the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has pretty much confirmed these rumors.

The WSJ says that “three people familiar with the situation” that Google expects to release the Nexus 6 this month. They also go on to talk about its screen, maker, and that the next version of Android will be released with it. Things we pretty much know at this point, but just confirming these things more than anything.

I’m still interested to see how people will accept such a massive phone. The phablet market has definitely grown, which WSJ talks about in their article, and was proven by Apple finally making the switch to a bigger screen. Nevertheless, even Samsung’s newest Note is 5.7″, but has software and a stylus to make it easier to use. It will be interesting to see what happens with the release of this device, because while Google has never had huge numbers in its Nexus sales (certainly not compared to Apple or Samsung), but they have sold out several times on their last couple of phones, and manufacturers have taken cues from Google on how to build their flagships based on Nexus phones. If nothings else, we can be excited for the release of the beautiful looking Android L.

What do you think of all this? Will the Nexus 6 sell well, or will its size just be overkill?

To check out all the photos (rendered and real) that we currently have of the Nexus 6, check out this post.

via WSJ

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Motorola tweets and deletes image of red Droid Turbo


Oops. Motorola’s Droid Landing twitter account on Friday jumped the gun in regards to the upcoming Droid Turbo. The picture you see here was tweeted without any accompanying text or details and then promptly deleted. Indeed, this looks to be the Verizon red take on the big, bad superphone.

With no expected launch date to share just yet we’re left to drool over the rumored specifications. If you’re like us then you can’t wait to get your hands on the 5.2-inch ultra high definition display, 21-megapixel rear camera, and 3900mAh battery!

Droid Landing (removed) via Droid Life

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