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9
Nov

‘Pangu’ Jailbreak for iOS 8.x Now Available for Mac, Compatible with Newer Apple Devices


The Pangu development team today updated its jailbreak for iOS 8 and 8.1, bringing full support for the Mac. The update comes a week after the program saw an update for Windows that brought an automatic installation of Cydia and support for the English language.

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Pangu’s jailbreak tool for iOS 8 is the first that is compatible with any device running iOS 8.0 to iOS 8.1, including newer devices such as the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3. The jailbreak method allows users to install content like themes, tweaks, and apps from other sources than the App Store. The Pangu development team recommends that users backup their iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches before using the tool, and notes that devices upgraded over-the-air may need to be restored before being jailbroken.

Cydia administrator Jay Freeman noted on his Twitter that the Pangu jailbreak is “stable enough” and said that developers on Cydia are now able to mark their own apps as iOS 8 compatible. Members on our forums are also maintaining an active list of which Cydia apps are compatible with iOS 8 and Pangu’s jailbreak, and interested users should look there for more specific information.

Pangu can be downloaded for OS X and Windows as an untethered jailbreak, meaning that users only have to apply the method once. The release of the tool follows an announcement by the Electronic Frontier Foundation yesterday stating that a new petition was filed with the Librarian of Congress to extend an exemption that allows jailbreaking to be legal. The exemption was last renewed in 2012 and created by the U.S. Congress in 2010.



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9
Nov

MC10 takes the guesswork out of fitness with wearable sensors


There’s no denying that the wearable craze is upon us, whether we like it or not. MC10 is quite familiar with employing sensors to deliver info on training and athlete performance, and it’s looking to do even more. If you’ll recall, the outfit was behind the Checklight — developed alongside Reebok — for monitoring blows to the head and the potential for concussions. Now the company is working on a sticker that collects data, and more importantly, isn’t confined to a specific location — like your wrist. So, just what’s the advantage to compiling the loads of info that your body generates? Well, there are quite a few really.

First, there’s the unobtrusiveness of wearing a Biostamp sticker rather than a bulkier gadget on your wrist or clipped elsewhere. This sensor can be worn 24 hours a day, collecting all of data that your body gives off, from how well you slept to hydration levels and more. There’s also the potential for dialing in the perfect amount of training. Athletes, and us regular folks too, struggle with knowing when things have gone too far on a run or at the gym, and wearable tech is poised to help get that part of the equation just right. Until now, recovering from an injury was mostly determined by how you felt, but there’s potential to know when you’re 100 percent based on numbers from pre-injury performance. Hitting the court again when fully recovered will certainly cut down on the potential for re-injury, too.

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“The consumer is going to expect that if you say a device can do something, that it does it accurately,” says MC10’s Isaiah Kacyvenski. He hits on a key stumbling block for a lot of existing devices: the ability to provide accurate measurement. Once that hurdle has been conquered and durability is put to the test, taking the guesswork out of all aspects of training is the goal across the board for MC10. What’s more, think about the potential uses for all of the data. Scenarios like contract negotiations and boosting real-time viewing for fans or fantasy football addicts with detailed metrics posted instantly alongside the regular in-game numbers. It may sound a bit far fetched, but the NFL is already using RFIDs to track speed and other quite specific metrics.

Tons of super high-tech equipment exists to measure aspects of performance, but it’s about bringing the ability to learn from the data to everyone, not just athletes with access to a facility full of expensive machines. “What we want to do is democratize the lab,” Kacyvenski explains. And he’s getting insight from the likes of Grant Hill and Andrew Luck to gauge what’s useful. In the end, that likely means we’ll all be able to fine-tune our fitness regimens with a lot fewer injuries thanks to a lot more insight.

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9
Nov

The Apple years while Steve Jobs was away


As one of the founders of Apple Computer Inc., Steve Jobs became synonymous with the brand. But his relationship with the company wasn’t always so hallowed and harmonious. After internal disputes with Apple’s board of directors in 1985, Jobs left the company to pursue other projects, including NeXT Inc. and Pixar. Although he’d piloted the Apple brand from the start, the company carried on without him until his return in 1997 during which time he rebooted the company and turned out “world-changing” products. Join us in the gallery below as we look at some of the hardware that Apple made while Jobs was away.

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9
Nov

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: Innovation, experiment or gimmick?


Just because you can do something, should you? Samsung thinks so. Its second experimentally screened phone taps into its hardware R&D and production clout to offer something not many other companies can make, let alone bring to the public outside of a fuzzy proof of concept. And so, following the Galaxy Round, here’s the Galaxy Edge. If you take the basic shape and concept, it’s the spitting image of the curved-screen Youm prototype spied at CES a little less than two years ago. Now, though, it’s a for-real smartphone you can buy. I’ve been testing it out in Japan, where it launched instead of the Note 4, although both the Note 4 and the Note Edge will eventually be available in the US. Fortunately, despite the unusual, (addictively stroke-able) curved screen, it still packs all of the good things that made the Note 4 such a strong choice. But bragging rights aside, is there enough of an argument for a curved screen? Should you just get the Note 4 anyway?

Hardware

The Galaxy Note Edge grabs your attention. Its curves are subjective and divisive; my friends and colleagues have offered up reactions ranging from outright bemusement to adoration. The screen looks great, with the punchy contrast and sharpness that’s been a Samsung flagship mainstay for years. We’ll get back to that edge, but it’s the headline part of a 5.6-inch Quad-HD+ display. (“Plus” here, in comparison to the Note 4, means an additional 160 rows of pixels.) This means a little chunk of extra screen makes the phone just less than 4mm wider, and around 2mm shorter, than the Note 4.

The screen is marginally smaller than the Note 4, despite the cranked-up pixel count. Like the Note 4, text pops a little more, and pictures you take with the 16MP camera are obviously better replicated on the Note Edge’s screen. Color purists: Yep, the shades are still a little overdone, but you can choose from a few custom color palettes if you’re not a fan of high-contrast menus and photos.

Regardless, you get the feeling that this is the bleeding edge of Samsung’s phone-making skills, right here in your hand, and that’s because of the curve. Samsung’s explained, officially, that it put the curve to the right to replicate how we read books. Lefties aren’t going to be too happy, but the one-sided design is what gives the phone a kick. (For the 10 percent of our readers that are left-handed, you can flip the phone around and the screen will follow, but the physical home button, ports and volume controls (let alone the mic for voice calls), will all be in nonsensical places. We drafted in lefties to compare it with the Note 4 and the latter was deemed much more comfortable. (What’s the use in a curved screen if it’s in the wrong place?)

The company was able to curve the display using the same technology it featured on the Galaxy Round, but there’s more emphasis here on giving purpose to the uniqueness of the Edge. Samsung’s crafted what’s best described as a special kind of edge “widget,” but I’ll explain what sort of value it adds in the software section. There’s some purpose to it — but perhaps not quite enough.

One of the best things about the Galaxy Note Edge is how much it resembles the Note 4. In fact, barring that giveaway right edge, from nearly all angles it looks like the Note 4, and that’s a good thing. It has nearly all the same design touches and material finishes as the Note 4. As my colleague Brad mentioned in his review, the leather-like backing on Samsung’s phones this year is much improved: It looks and feels much classier, and the fake stitches are gone too.

There are also machined-aluminum buttons to match the sides, an IR remote and headphone socket up top, and a USB charger, a downgrade from the Note 3, at the base. This means slower transfers, but I can cope for the aesthetics. In time-honored Samsung style, there’s also a physical home button with capacitive multitasking and back buttons balancing out the lower bezel. Lastly, there’s a built-in heart rate monitor nestled alongside the flash, while a single speaker grille sits in the lower-left corner, ready to be obscured by your hand when you hold it. Whoops.

There’s been no corners cut with regards to specifications — fantastically, it goes toe to toe with the Note 4. It’s the same high-resolution (2,560 × 1,600) screen — we’re certain a mere 1080p “Plus” curved display would have been cheaper to make — as well as a 2.7GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage (and a 64GB option), with a microSD slot for expansion. On paper, the only place that’s been limited is the battery: a smaller 3,000mAh pack powers this special edition Note, compared to 3,220mAh in Note number four.

The stylus is another product of Samsung’s collaboration with Montblanc: Multiple sensitivity levels and a nice grippy surface are the highlights. I’d point you to our Note 4 review for a closer look, but suffice to say that the stylus has turned into a real selling point for the Note series, with one caveat: There’s a steep learning curve to using it. After using the Galaxy Note 2 for some time, the extra features and changes meant I came often unstuck at the start. My personal favorite, which I used a surprising number of times, was Image Clip, which allows you to copy and paste parts of your screen — maps, parts of an image — and save it for reference or use later. Combining my scraps with a messaging app was simplicity. The new pen even lets you batch select parts of text or even files and pictures — yes, a real productivity tool!

One-handed use

Disclaimer: Your hand is different from mine, but it seems only fair to do the same comparison we did for the Note 4. The Note Edge is wider than the Note 4, and although I’ve only spent a brief time with the latter, the curved, tapered side of the Note Edge seemed to fit rather snugly into the corner of my palm. I never found it uncomfortable, but please don’t forget it remains a big phone. Both come with software tricks like shrinkable keyboards as well as a new, tiny floating menu that can be stuck to the outer edge of the screen. This duplicates the capacitive button row, which could be a solution of sorts for lefties. I can even make this secondary menu transparent, allowing me to maintain all that screen space. The ability to shrink the likes of Chrome and Google Maps to a popup window and layer it on top of other apps is also useful; I’d love to see something similar on the iPhone 6 Plus.

And how does Apple’s biggest phone compare to the Note Edge? Well, both remain unwieldy to grip, and the Note Edge is wider. However, the edged screen nuzzles into my hand better and those software tweaks mentioned above give it the advantage. However, just like the stylus, there’s a while before you get the knack of all the little provisions Samsung’s made to ease users into this screen size.

Software

If you’re looking to learn more about the stylus’ uses, I’d advise a quick read of Brad’s Galaxy Note 4 review, because the setup is identical here. Yes, there are TouchWiz bits running on Android 4.4 KitKat, but Samsung continues to clear away unnecessary bloat and options. It’s still a work in progress, though, and I feel the settings menus are particularly obtuse compared to other Android phones — and especially iOS. It takes some getting used to.

But let’s focus on what’s different here: that edge. There are two display modes you can flit between: a slender, unassuming bar that can display a customized message and a more substantial column that attempts to offer extra functionality, notifications or context-dependent menus for certain apps, like the camera. When it’s expanded, the UI is a basic row of icons, which you can navigate with a little swipe. This may look a little unusual, but swishing through the various mini-screens (you can configure what it shows, and even install third-party “edges”), is immensely satisfying.

While you can cycle through up to seven edges (why the limit?), each can also be toggled off, so you could strip it down to simply a notification and app shortcut bar. Or you could keep seven different things there: weather, stocks, bizarre memory-matching game, your pedometer stats or a Japan-only navigation bar that’ll offer traffic alerts and your nearest train station. Predictably, there’s a way to go on these edge apps — did Samsung not learn from those early wearables? The edge could be so much more useful with Spotify controls or a Gmail notification bar that offers more than just a number of unread emails.

The edge of the screen also comes into its own when Samsung went to the effort to add dedicated menus. For the camera, this means your viewfinder isn’t obscured, which is nice. Similarly, when playing video, you get the fullscreen playback, and tapping the screen brings up controls along the curved edge. Notifications will also appear here, which is a nice touch. However, app-dependent edge functions stop there, and the camera and video player both seem like the most useful scenarios for it.

I ended up using the edge screen differently. I felt like my apps belong better on the side, and customized the favorites edge to include all my regular apps like Chrome and Maps. Rather than squeeze as many of these vital apps onto a home screen (or two), I can house them on that swipeable side. The screen can then showcase wallpaper, or suitably pretty widgets. Apps are then not a button press, but a swish away. Samsung (and Apple) might not like it, but it reminds me very much of my Mac setup.

You can also turn the edge into a centimetered ruler. Not sure how much you’re going to use that function — I didn’t use it once. Something I did like was the night clock setting, which, when it hits a certain prescribed time, will light up the edge with a simple clock readout.

These might be the best parts, but the marvel remains the technical accomplishment of the curved screen. The applications for it don’t quite amount to enough — at least right now. What does the edge lack? What do I want? I’m not even sure, but when text scrolls down the edge and you’re facing the right side, the edge, of the phone, it’s upside-down. If Samsung were to reverse it, then it’d be upside-down when you’re using the thing. It’s particularly frustrating for the Twitter widget, which scrolls through highlights.

Camera

Again, Samsung didn’t cut any corners when it came to the phone’s imaging prowess. The Note Edge packs a 16-megapixel camera, with Samsung’s “smart OIS” intended to eke the light (and detail) in tougher lighting. The front-facing camera is also a top-end sensor compared to the competition, 3.7 megapixels with an f/1.9 lens. There’s also a (bizarre-sounding) selfie mode that stitches a trio of pictures together for widescreen, “best friends!” capture — when you have more than two BFFs.

While I’m not a huge selfie taker, you’ll have to ask our Senior Selfie Editor, but I do take a whole lot of photos with my smartphone, so I was interested to see how Samsung’s newest smartphone camera handled (yup, it’s in the Note 4, too). Fortunately, I spent time with the Note Edge in Tokyo and New York: two places where sample photos can be done pretty much everywhere.

All told, it’s an excellent camera. The image stabilizing works well on all the neon lights that pepper Tokyo, while even people were neatly captured. There’s some noise, but it compares favorably against older Galaxy phones. Daylight meant effortless captures and some really nice shots, if I say so myself. Focus was swift, and auto white balance seemed to gauge scenes perfectly. If you have a proclivity for HDR, rest assured the Edge does an excellent job there.

Performance and battery life

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Samsung Galaxy S5 iPhone 6 Plus
Quadrant 2.0 23,861 24,425 24,714 N/A
Vellamo 3.0 1,882 1,808 1,656 N/A
3DMark IS Unlimited 19,912 20,692 17,954 17,902
SunSpider 1.0 (ms) 788 793 820 388
GFXBench 3.0 Manhattan Offscreen (fps) 18.4 18.8 11.5 18.2
CF-Bench 40,143 43,234 33,351 N/A
SunSpider: Lower scores are better.

It bears repeating: Samsung’s treated the Galaxy Edge buyer to some of the best components underneath that curved display: 3GB of RAM to ensure multitask windowing runs smoothly, and a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor to back it up. Like the Note 4, lag and slowdown simply didn’t happen. However, there were the occasional hiccups where the edge widget would refuse to cycle to the next page. The only fix I found was to reset the phone. It’s a shame, as it’s a minor issue that stops the phone getting full performance marks.

The Edge goes toe to toe with the Note 4, because well, it’s pretty much the same phone. But how about the smaller battery, one of the only hardware differences? With a little more screen resolution and less capacity on the cell, we feared the worse. Well, in our battery of… battery tests, it lies somewhere between the Note and Galaxy S series. It’s not quite as good as the former, but better than the latter: A very heavy day of use (lots of maps, lots of photos) will tucker out the phone before bedtime. That said, in our video-loop battery test at half brightness, the Note Edge’s 3,000mAh cell ran out after just over 10 hours. With more moderate use, the phone would arrive back at my house with around 20 percent left, enough to notify me that I needed to charge. The fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone is more sensitive and accurate than preceding Galaxy devices, although the heart rate sensor on the back of my Note Edge didn’t seem to pick up my pulse at all. I wasn’t dead, and a second Note Edge we picked up for testing did offer up readings swiftly inside the phone’s S Health app.

The competition

When it comes to big smartphones, we’ve never had quite as many strong options. What was once the domain of only Samsung and LG now has competition from Apple and even smaller upstarts like OnePlus. Samsung has launched the Note Edge mere months after its own Note 4, and the phones are identical in so many ways. The major difference isn’t that the battery’s smaller on the Edge, but the price: off-contract the Note 4 comes in at around $800. The Note Edge, meanwhile is priced at $950 — just shy of 200 bucks more. On-contract pricing on AT&T comes to around $400, while the Note 4 and the iPhone 6 Plus ring in at $300. Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus, lacking a stylus, but coming with the slicker iOS 8, starts at $750 off-contract for a 16GB model. Unlike both of this year’s Galaxy Notes, however, you can’t upgrade the storage — something worth bearing in mind. Then there’s the OnePlus One: a lower-resolution (but still gorgeous) 5.5-inch 1080p display, no stylus, no add-on storage, but you could buy three and have spare change for cases compared to the Galaxy Note Edge. It boils down to how much you want a stylus, and how much you’re willing to pay for a phone that’s not like anything else.

Wrap-up

Is the Note Edge a gimmick? It’s hard to say, but I don’t think the curved display is a bad thing. The best part is that even without the edge, you’ve still got, for all intents and purposes, a Galaxy Note 4, with a stylus, power, long battery life and a capable camera. The more I used the Note Edge, the less the edge part seemed to matter: I’d use the shortcuts to apps from the edge, but gradually disabled most of the widgets. Pervasive uses for the curve aren’t quite there. What did remain was how gosh-darn eye-catching the display was, augmented by that curved AMOLED glow. And if foldable smartphones and tablets are going to happen, if devices with more useful, innovative displays are to appear, phones like the Note Edge are the iterations that need to happen. If you liked any of the previous Galaxy Notes, or were at least intrigued by them, then the Galaxy Note Edge deserves the same amount of attention — even if, at $980 off-contract, you’re really paying for that progress.

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9
Nov

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: flying cars, solar paint and a needle-free vaccine


Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

In recent months Ebola has ravaged West Africa, and there are currently more than 13,000 confirmed cases around the world. But medical workers may soon have a new weapon in their arsenal: A needle-free vaccine has proven to be 100 percent effective at stopping the transmission of Ebola in animals. The vaccine, which is administered through a nasal spray, could help prevent further outbreaks of the virus. If you have a medical emergency, the time it takes for an ambulance to arrive can be the difference between life and death. That’s where The Ambulance Drone comes in. The small quadcopter, created by Delft University graduate Alec Momont, contains a defibrillator, CPR aids and various medicines, and it also contains a camera and communication device, enabling an emergency response team to communicate with people on the scene.

In other tech news, the world’s first 3D-printed laptop topped its crowdfunding campaign goal, raising more than $120,000. The design is completely open-source, and it’s community-supported. Soda and water are polar opposites — one is the foundation of life as we know it; the other is responsible for widespread obesity and diabetes. But sadly, many people have easier access to a bottle of cola than clean water. Commenting on that contradiction, Dutch artist Helmut Smits created a machine that transforms a bottle of Coke into fresh drinking water. Do you ever find yourself chanting, “There’s no place like home,” when you’re looking for a cab late at night? A new device lets you make like Dorothy and hail a ride home with a click of your heels.

Flying cars have long been a staple of science fiction movies and books, but are they finally getting closer to becoming a reality? AeroMobil recently unveiled the latest version of its flying car, the AeroMobil 3.0, in Vienna. Pricing and sales info haven’t been announced yet, but the vehicle is being tested in real flight conditions. In other green transportation news, General Motors released a few teasers of the 2016 Chevy Volt in advance of its official unveil at the Detroit Auto Show in January. The new model will feature a more efficient electric drive system and a larger four-cylinder engine. But Mercedes-Benz has something even more impressive — a hybrid car that’s powered by solar paint! In Rhode Island, a team of high schoolers built a solar-powered electric vehicle using just $1,500 worth of materials. The vehicle looks a bit like a go-cart, and it achieves a phenomenal 1,552 MPGe. Meanwhile, the Netherlands is boosting its cycling infrastructure with the world’s first solar bike path. The 70-meter-long road is clad with photovoltaic panels that will produce enough energy for three households.

In other renewable energy news, France just broke ground on the largest solar power plant in Europe, and Scotland generated 126 percent of its household energy needs with wind power last month. French-Dutch company Cloud Collective has installed an urban algae farm on an overpass in Geneva. The algae feeds on exhaust from cars on the highway below, transforming the CO2 into energy. As the world becomes more mobile, portable energy solutions are sure to be the next frontier in renewable energy production. The company Lightning Packs LLC has created an electricity-generating backpack that produces energy via kinetic movement. The energy-generating backpack is intended for soldiers and disaster-relief workers operating in remote regions. And communities around the world are kicking fossil fuels to the curb — the birthplace of fracking just banned fracking; a Wisconsin coal plant is being transformed into a green arts college; and the Danish government has announced plans to wean itself off of coal within 10 years. Previously, Denmark had set a target of 15 years, but a working group has been established to try to speed the transition.

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9
Nov

LG stakes claim as first to get Lollipop upgrade to the market


LG_G3_Leaked_Lollipop_Screenshots_01

LG has announced that they have Android 5.0 Lollipop ready to start rolling out to their flagship device, the LG G3, and in so doing they claim they are the first company to get the upgrade out the door to owners of their devices. The first location slated to get the upgrade will be Poland, where owners of the device should see the update start to hit their devices some time this week. LG is vague on when other global markets will start to see the update, only mentioning the new operating system will hit “key markets in the near future.” LG also indicated the will announce an upgrade schedule for other LG mobile devices, which is good news for LG fans.

LG president and CEO Dr. Jong-seok Park says “bringing Android Lollipop to G3 owners as soon as possible is a top priority” for the company. He also indicates the improvements that come with Lollipop will “bring a whole new user experience to the G3 and make it even better.” LG did not share details about what the upgrade includes, other than the standard language about Lollipop features, but we did see some leaked screenshots a few days ago showing some of the tweaks to the interface that LG made.

You can check out the press release below.

LG FIRST TO ROLL OUT ANDROID 5.0 LOLLIPOP UPGRADE

Flagship G3 to be the First LG Smartphone to Receive Newest and Smartest Features of Lollipop OS

SEOUL, Nov. 9, 2014 ― LG Electronics (LG) this week will begin rolling out the highly anticipated Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade for G3 smartphones starting in Poland this week, to be followed by other key markets in the near future. LG, the first global smartphone manufacturer to offer the Lollipop upgrade in 2014, will subsequently announce an upgrade schedule for other LG mobile devices.

This latest Android OS delivers a host of improvements including a new design language with added depth, shadows and animations. Notifications are improved with a new layout and color scheme and will be available on the new lock screen. A new security feature to strengthen the connectivity between devices will include enabling users to unlock their smartphone when it is physically near a pre-registered Bluetooth device such as the LG G Watch or G Watch R. Lollipop also introduces Android Runtime (ART) software to improve performance.

“LG is absolutely committed to giving our customers the best mobile experiences available and bringing Android Lollipop to G3 owners as soon as possible is a top priority,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The new features and improvements in Android 5.0 will bring a whole new user experience to the G3 and make it even better than it already is.”

Additional details related to LG devices will be announced in the near future as the Lollipop upgrade becomes available in local markets.

Come comment on this article: LG stakes claim as first to get Lollipop upgrade to the market

9
Nov

TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for November 03 – November 9, 2014


TalkAndroid_Weekly_Recap

In a remarkable turn of events, LG and Motorola are offering the Lollipop update before Google pushes to most Nexus devices. Word is that Google needed to squash a few bugs, but why don’t the other manufacturers need to address it? The DROID Turbo is now available outside the  U.S. under a different name. Amazon Instant Video finally comes to Chromecast. Um, no it hasn’t. Both the LG G Watch R and the ASUS ZenWatch are now available to purchase. With so many smartwatches available, is anyone buying them?  It’s time to get caught up and get ready for what is sure to be another exciting week in the world  of Android.

Reviews

LG G Watch R Review: The best Android Wear smartwatch to date

Motorola DROID Turbo review: What the Moto X could have been

Accessories

Gear Circle is Samsung’s new way for instant hands free communication

Google puts two Nexus 6 cases in the Play Store, labeled as “Coming soon”

Powermod releases chargers with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology

Android TV

Bringing an app to Android TV is pretty simple, Google shows how

Gameloft Releases Ten Games for Nexus Player

YouTube for Android TV listed in Google Play Store

Nexus Player factory image and binaries now available

NBA Game Time and MLB.TV launch Android TV apps

Nexus Player supports Ethernet through USB-OTG

Apps – New

Disney Movies Anywhere is your one stop cross-platform shop for Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies

HTC publishes companion app for its RE Camera

Runtastic’s new Sleep Better app is a powerful sleep tracker for your smartphone

Microsoft offering sign up for Office preview on Android tablets

HTC Weather app now available on Google Play Store

Apps – Updates

Starbucks planning to deliver coffee through updated mobile app

Update to Google Calendar app heralds a new day for users

PayPal Plans to Work with Burger King, GoDaddy, Authorize.net, and More

Microsoft and Dropbox team up to provide seamless integration across services

Amazon offering free unlimited cloud photo storage for Prime members

Pocket for Android gets Material Design update and Google Now integration

Google expands Play Movies and TV app to eight new countries

MMS messages through Google Voice finally working on Verizon

Material Design rolling out to Google Maps in coming days

Pushbullet update allows you to send texts from your computer

You can now make international voice calls with Google Hangouts in India

WhatsApp update now shows when messages have been read

Google rolls out Material Design update for Japanese Input application

Facebook is giving you better News Feed controls

Google Offers Free Books on Google Play Books app

Google opening Motorola’s Spotlight Story animated shorts for all Android devices

Cameras

The Desire Eye and the RE will join AT&T’s network Nov. 7

Carriers

AT&T to have the Note Edge on Nov. 7

The Desire Eye and the RE will join AT&T’s network Nov. 7

AT&T offers the Moto 360 for $199 with the purchase of a Moto X (2014)

LG G Watch R to hit AT&T’s online portal this Wednesday, November 5

Go long with new AT&T Next 24 program

AT&T announces deal to acquire Mexico provider Iusacell

MMS messages through Google Voice finally working on Verizon

Verizon launches its own Motorola DROID Turbo Employee Edition

Verizon will play the price-cutting wars conservatively

Verizon will carry the kid-friendly LG Kizon smartwatch

Verizon launches the Ellipsis 8: another low-end, self-branded tablet

Verizon Offers Football Leather Moto X

Chrome

Google Drive can launch desktop programs from Chrome

ShadowCrypt is a Chrome extension that encrypts tweets, status updates and emails

Chromeboxes

Dell selling Chromebox bundled with keyboard and mouse for only $199

Chromebooks

Acer Chromebook 13 on Sale at Amazon

Chromecast

Primecast app puts Amazon Prime Instant Video content on Chromecast

Primecast enjoys 36 hours of service before shutting down

Gaming

Gameloft Releases Ten Games for Nexus Player

Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet getting update for PS4 Remote Play

NVIDIA Shield Portable update brings latest Hub App, battery improvements and more!

Google

According to Strategy Analytics, Android’s global market share has peaked

KitKat now powers over 30% of all Android devices

Android Lollipop delayed until November 12 for most Nexus devices

Google and LG enter long-term patent cross-licensing agreement

Google bringing SD card support back to Android in 5.0 Lollipop

Google has a guide on how to achieve success with the Play Store

Google adds 7 additional countries to its list of supported Play Store Merchants

Google’s Barges Project Undone by Fire Concerns

Google Fit

RunKeeper gets Google Fit compatibility with latest update

Google Fit support sprints to Nike+ Running app

Google Glass

Google Glass being used in hospitals to treat stroke victims

Google Wallet

Google Wallet usage doubles on heels of Apple Pay arrival

Hardware

Rolling display could be portable large screen

Home Automation

Nest Thermostats getting software update this week

Phones – Amazon

Amazon commits to Fire Phone after acknowledging failure

Phones – HTC

HTC Desire 820s is now official

The Desire Eye and the RE will join AT&T’s network Nov. 7

Let the countdown begin for Lollipop on the HTC One (M8) and (M7)

Phones – LG

LG announces the G Prime and G2 Lite for Brazil

LG working on a G Flex Mini

LG ‘H Series’ with Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming

LG trademarks multiple names for possible future smart phones

Here’s what Lollipop will look like on the LG G3

Phones – Motorola

Motorola Solutions making phones for public safety employees

Motorola announces the Moto Maxx (aka DROID Turbo) for Brazil, Mexico, and other Latin American countries

Unannounced Motorola smartphone shows up in benchmark test with surprising specifications

Verizon launches its own Motorola DROID Turbo Employee Edition

AT&T offers the Moto 360 for $199 with the purchase of a Moto X (2014)

Verizon Offers Football Leather Moto X

Moto X 2014 gets Limited Lollipop Soak Test

Android 5.0 Lollipop shows up on a Moto X 2014

Phones – Nexus

Nexus 6 will be back in stock tomorrow and every Wednesday thereafter

Nexus 6 now listed on Flipkart, marks its entrance in India

Google’s Nexus 6 prepping for release in more countries

Phones – Nokia

Nokia rumored to be designing an Android-powered flagship

Phones – OnePlus

OnePlus One update now live with Wi-Fi fixes and more

Phones – Samsung

Samsung working on a 5.9-inch 4K Super AMOLED display for next year’s Galaxy Note 5

Galaxy S 6 could sport a curved dual-edged display

Samsung to launch new phone series after Galaxy A arrival

‘Project Zero’ is allegedly the codename for Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S6

Galaxy Grand 3 specs leaked in benchmarks

AT&T to have the Note Edge on Nov. 7

Samsung kicks off its Galaxy Gifts package for the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge

Samsung confirms Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Galaxy S4

Test build of Android 5.0 leaks for the Galaxy S 4

Phones – Sony

Unlocked Xperia Z3 hits the Sony online store, ships Nov. 10 for $679.99

Sony Xperia Z3, Z2, and Z3 get AOSP version of Lollipop

Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet getting update for PS4 Remote Play

Phones – Vivo

Alleged specifications for Vivo’s upcoming flagship phone surface

Project Ara

Vsenn enters the modular smartphone market

Set-top boxes

Amazon Fire TV software update ports tablet games

Smartwatches

ASUS Zenwatch to launch in the United States this Sunday, November 9

Verizon will carry the kid-friendly LG Kizon smartwatch

LG G Watch R to hit AT&T’s online portal this Wednesday, November 5

LG G Watch R now available through the Play Store

Motorola announces Champagne Gold Moto 360, new slim bands, new watch faces, Moto Body, and more

AT&T offers the Moto 360 for $199 with the purchase of a Moto X (2014)

Samsung will offer watch straps and bangle options for the Gear S

Sharp shows off extremely battery-friendly smartwatch

Streaming Sticks

Walmart to launch Chromecast competitor for VUDU video service

Tablets

HTC is planning their own line of premium tablets to launch in 2015

Get the Nexus 9 in your hands today through Best Buy

Nexus 9 teardown reveals that it won’t be easy to repair

Legendary developer Chainfire roots Nexus 9 mere hours after the source code is made public

LTE version of Nexus 9 shows up in FCC filing

[Deal] Staples has the Nexus 7 (2012) WiFi and 4G for $129

NVIDIA Shield Tablet set to receive Lollipop update before the end of November

Samsung to launch a 13-inch tablet by year’s end

Xperia Z2 and Z2 Tablet getting update for PS4 Remote Play

Verizon launches the Ellipsis 8: another low-end, self-branded tablet

Updates

Google adds Android 5.0 Lollipop to the AOSP

Amazon Fire TV software update ports tablet games

Let the countdown begin for Lollipop on the HTC One (M8) and (M7)

KitKat to Lollipop full changelog posted

NVIDIA Shield Tablet set to receive Lollipop update before the end of November

Nexus 9 factory image is now available with LRX21L build

Android Lollipop delayed until November 12 for most Nexus devices

Google bringing SD card support back to Android in 5.0 Lollipop

Binaries for the Nexus 9 are being included in factory image build

Nexus Player factory image and binaries now available

NVIDIA Shield Portable update brings latest Hub App, battery improvements and more!

No root needed for screen recordings in Android Lollipop

Test build of Android 5.0 leaks for the Galaxy S 4

Moto X 2014 gets Limited Lollipop Soak Test

Motorola Posts Release Notes about the Lollipop Update

OnePlus One update now live with Wi-Fi fixes and more

Wearables

Huawei TalkBand B1 coming to U.S. retailers on Nov. 14th

Miscellaneous

A phone and tablet in one? It’s not far off, with foldable displays

HTC issues apology for Hot Deal snags

See which apps and games are draining your phone battery and chewing up the most storage

Android sees market share growth in latest Comscore report

Digital assistant Amazon Echo announced

Come comment on this article: TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for November 03 – November 9, 2014

9
Nov

Recommended Reading: a brief history of female superheroes


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

Warner Bros. Pictures Panel And Presentation - Comic-Con International 2014

Suffering Sappho! The Tortured History of Female Superheroes
by Molly Lambert,
Grantland

With the truckload of recent comic book movie announcements, female superheroes are poised to make a big splash at the box office in the years to come — including Gal Gadot (above) as Wonder Woman. However, previous female-led efforts in the genre haven’t done well, and the biggest films continue to have dudes as the lead actors. Grantland takes a look at the troubled history of female superheroes as both Marvel and DC Comics prep to give the ladies another shot at Hollywood glory.

First Look: The George Lucas Museum is a Pyramid from the Future
by Mark Wilson, Fast Company

In case you haven’t heard, a $300 million George Lucas museum is in the works for Chicago. Fast Company has an early look at the project, including its futuristic architectural stylings.

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‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ review: House of CoDs
by Ludwig Kietzmann, Joystiq

The annual installment in the Call of Duty franchise is here, and our pals at Joystiq spent some time checking out warfare in the future and a rather diabolical Kevin Spacey.

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Journalism, Independent and Not
by David Carr, The New York Times

There’s a new tech site called SugarString. What’s interesting about another site joining the fray is that it’s run by Verizon. The wireless company hires the writers and controls the content, including avoiding topics like net neutrality. This piece takes a look at the state of journalism, and who’s funding the message.

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The Good (and the Bad) of Twitter’s New Bid to Stop Harassment
by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic

Twitter announced plans this week to combat the harassment of females on its social network. The Atlantic examines the heart of the effort for the good (and bad) parts of the effort that aims to crack down on threats like those communicated in the midst of the so-called Gamergate.

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[Photo credit: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images]

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9
Nov

Using Lego to either save or destroy Manhattan


There was plenty of fun stuff going on at Expand, but certainly one of the highlights was a competition put on by Lego. The toy giant challenged participants to create a machine that either saved or destroyed Manhattan. (Poor Manhattan is always in the crosshairs…) Six participants got up and demoed their creations, which ranged from remote controlled street sweepers, to soothing music-playing robots and a violent bot that smashed anyone or anything violating its personal space. Ultimately though, winners had to be selected (this is a competition after all). Louis Godinez took home the runner-up prize for his traffic-smashing, pedestrian shooting truck. The whole thing is controlled by the Mindstorm’s iOS app. But first place went to Cady Geer for her multi-purpose vehicle that combined a bus and a street sweeper. At the end of the night it turns into a shelter for those looking to get out of the elements. Her bot included all sorts of various robotic parts and an IR sensor. You can check out a gallery of all the competitors below and a video of the winners after the break.

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9
Nov

DARPA funds $11 million tool that will make coding a lot easier


businessman

DARPA is funding a new project by Rice University called PLINY, and it’s neither a killer robot nor a high-tech weapon. PLINY, named after Pliny the Elder who wrote one of the earliest encyclopedias ever, will actually be a tool that can automatically complete a programmer’s draft — and yes, it will work somewhat like the autocomplete on your smartphones. Its developers describe it as a repository of terabytes upon terabytes of all the open-source code they’ll find, which people will be able to query in order to easily create complex software or quickly finish a simple one. Rice University assistant professor Swarat Chaudhuri says he and his co-developers “envision a system where the programmer writes a few of lines of code, hits a button and the rest of the code appears.” Also, the parts PLINY conjures up “should work seamlessly with the code that’s already been written.”

In the video below, Chaudhuri used a sheet of paper with a hole in the middle to represent a programmer’s incomplete work. If he uses PLINY to fill that hole, the tool will look through the billions of lines of code in its collection to find possible solutions (represented by different shapes in the video). Once it finds the nearest fit, the tool will clip any unnecessary parts, polish the code further to come up with the best solution it can, and make sure the final product has no security flaws. More than a dozen Rice University researchers will be working on PLINY for the next four years, fueled by the $11 million funding from the Pentagon’s mad science division.

[Image credit: Shutterstock / Yellowj]

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Source: Rice University

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