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21
Jan

When did Apple become the boring one?


Steve Jobs at the Apple iPhone keynote, 2007

In less than a decade, Apple completely changed the world of personal computing, and the music industry in the process. First came the iPod and the iTunes Store; then the iPhone and App Store; and then the iPad. The Apple of the 2000s was an exciting company to follow. It’s just not that company anymore. Instead, it’s spent the past few years slowly improving its admittedly great cash cows, iterating and iterating and iterating. It’s made cheaper iPhones, bigger iPhones and even gave in and made a phablet. It’s made cheaper iPads, smaller iPads and is apparently planning a bigger iPad. It’s made cheaper MacBooks, smaller MacBooks… you get the point. Its latest project, the Apple Watch, sure looks like a smartwatch, and it might be very successful, but is it doing anything totally unique? Is it really exciting? No.

The 2000s Microsoft, on the other hand, spent its years trying to fix Vista, Internet Explorer and Windows Mobile — playing catch-up. Apart from the success of the Xbox 360, it had a pretty torrid time, even if it was never in trouble financially. But let’s briefly summarize what Microsoft, energized by the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO almost a year ago, just showed us. An operating system that runs universal apps across PC, tablet, phone and Xbox One. Streaming games from your home console to any Windows PC or tablet. A voice assistant for your PC that seems like a prequel to Scarlett Johansson’s AI in Her. HoloLens. I mean, HoloLens! Microsoft is promising to make the distant dream of functional AR a reality very soon. It even held people’s attention while showing off a new enterprise PC.

Google, the final company in the fabled “big three,” has always been the upstart. It’s fresh, exciting and full of ideas. Some of them are good, and completely change their industry; some of them are bad, and fizzle out. But they’re always something. Project Ara”s modular smartphones are truly exciting, and progressing well; Project Loon — the idea of beaming internet down to developing or rural areas from balloons in the stratosphere — is pretty incredible; and sure, Glass might be leaving us temporarily, but with the creator of the Nest onboard and Google’s massive investment in augmented reality company Magic Leap, you can be certain it’ll be back. So what about Apple?

Apple is the mid-2000s Microsoft. Its revenues are as healthy as ever, but it’s become a company that seems to make things just because it has to, that doesn’t take risks, that plays catch-up. The closest it’s come to a really exciting announcement in recent years was the launch of a niche pro desktop PC.

Microsoft just showed the world some crazy exciting stuff. Holographic computing might not be all it’s chalked up to be. HoloLens might never take off. Maybe people don’t want to talk to their computers. We’ll see. But Microsoft is trying to excite, or, to borrow an Apple buzzword, “delight” us all. If you’re a huge tech company, you should be trying to do that every day. Apple might be trying, but it’s not succeeding.

Filed under: Misc, Internet, Apple, Microsoft, Google

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21
Jan

MetroPCS promotion offers unlimited 4G LTE for $50 (Update)




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MetroPCS on Wednesday introduced a new, limited time rate plan promotion which offers unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data for $50 per month. The deal, which begins immediately, runs through April 5 and stays put for an indefinite period. Customers must purchase a MetroPCS-branded LTE smartphone in order to qualify for the rate plan; no bring your own device  or CDMA subscribers this time around. UPDATE: Consumers do not need to buy a new device to be eligible for the $50 promotion, but the device must have originally been purchased from MetroPCS.

In addition to the promotional rate plan MetroPCS has improved its other offerings by bumping up the allotted data 1GB. The $40 rate plan now offers 2GB of data with unlimited talk and text. The $50 plan allows for 4GB of data while the $60 plan gives unlimited data.

MetroPCS is now selling the Samsung Galaxy Light for $49 and the LG Optimus F60 for $59.

MetroPCS is a prepaid brand that operates on T-Mobile’s network.

MetroPCS


The post MetroPCS promotion offers unlimited 4G LTE for $50 (Update) appeared first on AndroidGuys.

21
Jan

Best Verizon prepaid Android phones


Verizon logo ces [aa] (2)

Verizon Wireless isn’t necessarily known for their massive selection of prepaid devices, but there are a few Android phones out there that stand above the rest. While there are many high-end offerings, most of them aren’t cheap. So with this in mind, we’ll look at the top two best Verizon prepaid devices, followed by the top three best ‘budget’ prepaid devices.

Editors note – we will be updating this list as more devices hit the market.


Best high-end prepaid devices

#1 – Samsung Galaxy S5

The follow up to last year’s immensely popular S4, the Galaxy S5 from Samsung doesn’t disappoint. This time around, Samsung has added a slew of new health tracking features and a fingerprint sensor, all while still offering top of the line specifications in their most popular handset. With it’s 5.1-inch 1080p display, 16MP rear-facing camera, big 2800mAh battery, and the added ruggedness thanks to its water and dust resistance, we think you’ll be happy with the S5.

The Galaxy S5 can be found directly through Verizon’s website for $599.99.

Specs

  • 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display with 1080 x 1920 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 16MP rear cam, 2MP front cam
  • Removable 2800mAh battery
  • 142 x 72.5 x 8.1 mm, 145g
  • Shimmery White, Charcoal Black
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat (Lollipop update coming down the pipeline)

Read more

Buy now for $599.99


#2 – HTC One M8

Dozens of good Android phones came out last year, across budgets and niches. At the top, where competition is fiercest, we were spoiled with more choices than ever. One of the best devices released last year was the HTC One M8. With killer looks, a premium build, and HTC’s unique additions to the Android game, the M8 is definitely worth of your attention. While the 4MP UltraPixel camera isn’t for everyone, it offers a slew of interesting camera features and a secondary depth sensor. Thanks to its 5-inch 1080p screen, Snapdragon 801 processor, decent battery life and expandable memory, the HTC One M8 still remains one of the best and most reliable Android devices to date.

You can grab the HTC One M8 directly through Verizon for $599.99.

Specs

  • 5-inch Super LCD3 display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16/32GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 4MP rear cam, 5MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2,600 mAh battery
  • 146.4 x 70.6 x 9.4 mm, 160 g
  • Gray, Silver, Gold
  • Android 4.4 KitKat (Lollipop update coming down the pipeline)

Read more

Buy now for $599.99


Best budget-friendly prepaid devices

#1 – Motorola Moto G (1st Generation)

The Motorola Moto G is Moto’s first real attempt at a budget-friendly smartphone. The original Moto G was one of our favorite smartphones of 2013. It offered an insanely low price without sacrificing too much when it came to software or hardware. It boasts a 4.5-inch 720p display, great battery life and a stock Android experience. It fits great in the hand and doesn’t feel like a budget phone by any means.

You can find the Motorola Moto G directly through Verizon for $99.99, though Amazon is currently offering it for around $70. For one of 2013’s best smartphones, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal than this. Honestly unless you have some personal reason for not choosing Motorola, this is by far the best deal on this list.

Specs

  • 4.5-inch IPS LCD with 720 x 1280 resolution
  • 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm A7 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, no microSD card support
  • 5MP rear cam, 1.3MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2070mAh battery
  • 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm, 143g
  • Black
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat (Lollipop update rolling out now)

Read more

Buy now for $67.88


#2 – HTC Desire 612

htc-desire-612

HTC has been very successful in the mid-range market for quite some time, and the Desire 612 is no exception. It has a perfectly-sized 4.7-inch display, 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2040mAh battery that should last you the entire day on a shingle charge. While it only has 8GB of on-board storage, it is microSD compatible for up to 128GB of extra storage. This device is small, sleek and should offer a great Android experience, especially when the device gets its Android 5.0 Lollipop update.

The prepaid HTC Desire 612 can be found on Verizon’s website for $199.99.

Specs

  •  4.7-inch LCD2 display with 540 x 960 resolution
  • 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 128GB
  • 8MP rear cam, 1.3MP front cam
  • Non-removable 2040mAh battery
  • 143.8 x 70.4 x 9.4 mm, 146g
  • Black
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat (Lollipop update coming down the pipeline)

Buy now for $199.99


#3 – LG Transpyre

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LG has a number of great low-cost options on Verizon, but we’re partial to the LG Transpyre. The display is a bit small at only 4.5-inches, but it keeps the phone compact and easy to handle. While there’s only 8GB of internal storage on the device, you can use up to a 32GB microSD card to store music, movies and more. Also, the removable 2100mAh battery should be enough to get through the day on a single charge. If you’re not a fan of the Motorola Moto G (listed above), this may be your next best option.

You can pick up your own LG Transpyre through Verizon’s website for $99.99.

Specs

  • 4.5-inch LCD display with 480 x 800 resolution
  • 1.2GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 8GB of on-board storage, microSD expansion up to 32GB
  • 5MP rear cam, 1.3MP front cam
  • Removable 2100mAh battery
  • 127.5 x 67.8 x 10.7 mm, 142g
  • Black
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Buy now for $99.99


How do like our list? Is there any device you’d add or remove when it comes to pricing categories? Let us know your opinions in the comments!



21
Jan

Rdio update highlights new music, helps you share your favorite tunes with friends


Music service Rdio has updated its app for iPhone and iPad to version 3.1, adding a new radio station for new music and smarter sharing. There are also a number of UI improvements and bug fixes in this update.

Now under the New Releases section in the app, you’ll find New Music Weekly. The station features the new music of the week, curated by Rdio. If you like what you hear there, you can now easily share with the app’s new sharing options. When listening to any album, track, playlist, or station, you can press and hold to share with other Rdio users that are following you.

You can download Rdio 3.1 from the App Store now.

21
Jan

The Microsoft Surface Hub gets its own video showing off its huge screen


The newly revealed Microsoft Surface Hub, shown off as part of the company’s Windows 10 press event today, is the subject of a new video that shows how the device, with its huge 84-inch 4K Windows 10 display, can be used in an office setting.

21
Jan

WhatsApp launches web-based client, currently only works with Chrome


WhatsApp is an extremely popular app, with the Play Store listing between 500 thousand and 1 million installs. While it servers a major part in people’s lives, and offers a slew of features, it lacked one thing that many users desired, a web-based client. That is all about to change though as WhatsApp is now […]

The post WhatsApp launches web-based client, currently only works with Chrome appeared first on AndroidSPIN.

21
Jan

Amazon Wallet shut down after six months of activity


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When Amazon Wallet launched in July, its purpose was to be a digital wallet that stored gift cards and loyalty cards from various retailers. It could not, however, be used as a mobile payments solution because of the inability to store debit and credit cards. The amount of installs for Amazon Wallet was presumably low even with the Fire Phone having it pre-installed.

The Amazon Wallet app appeared in the Play Store’s search results this afternoon:

amazon_wallet_search_result

But selecting it leads nowhere:

amazon_wallet_item_not_found

Amazon Wallet is gone.

Existing users of Amazon Wallet can continue using the app in a limited capacity. The app will not allow any additional cards to be stored and balances will not be updated. There are plenty of options available in the Play Store that match Amazon Wallet’s functionality and can store debit and credit cards.

Source: CNET

Come comment on this article: Amazon Wallet shut down after six months of activity

21
Jan

One of the First Apple Watch Games Shown off in Mockups from NimbleBit


Though developers have had access to the WatchKit API for the upcoming Apple Watch since the debut of iOS 8.2 in November, we’ve still learned very little about what apps will be able to do and what kind of apps we can expect to see when the device launches.

We know that common Apple apps like Messages, Mail, and others will be available on the Apple Watch based on what Apple shared in the keynote and on its dedicated Apple Watch website, but third-party developers have not divulged much about their plans for the device, though hundreds of innovative apps and experiences are undoubtedly in the works.

One major game developer, NimbleBit, is working on a new game that will be playable on the Apple Watch. Shared by our sister site TouchArcade, Letterpad is a simple word game that will be available on both iOS and the Apple Watch. The object of the game is to make words related to a specified topic from a grid of nine letters, and a mockup of what the game might look like is below.

letterpadapplewatch
Games may not seem conducive to the Apple Watch given its rumored limited battery life (the device will need to be charged on a daily basis) and its small screen, but simple games like Letterpad will translate well to the device. As we’ve learned from the WatchKit API, the first apps coming out for the Apple Watch will be entirely reliant on the iPhone, powered by the phone itself and projected to the Apple Watch to conserve battery.

This is just a first glimpse of one simple game that will be playable on the wrist thanks to the Apple Watch, and developers likely have a range of unique game experiences in mind. The Apple Watch’s Taptic Engine and Force Touch capabilities, to determine between taps and presses and deliver subtle alerts, may enable all new types of games and apps that we haven’t even considered yet, and over the course of the next few months, we’ll likely get a much clearer picture of what developers are planning to create for the device.

The most recent rumors have suggested that the Apple Watch could see a March debut, and while pricing remains largely unknown, we do know that the entry-level Apple Watch will be priced at $349.



21
Jan

Twitter is ready to replace your apps’ web passwords with phone numbers


Twitter offices

Ready to ditch old-fashioned passwords on the web? Twitter is, too. It just released a developer kit that lets mobile apps’ companion websites use Digits phone number logins. While you still have to create an account on your phone to get things started, you’ll have the option of using your number to sign in on the web from then on. About the only additional hassle is having to enter a confirmation code (sent to your handset) the first time you use the new method. It’s going to take a while before developers add Digits to their sites and let you use it in the real world, but the framework is in place.

Twitter Digits login on the web

Filed under: Cellphones, Internet, Mobile

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Via: The Next Web

Source: Twitter Developer Blog

21
Jan

What We Know: Samsung Galaxy S6 rumors and leaks thus far


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Rather than passing along every single rumor that comes across our plate we’ve opted to cover only those devices that we find most relevant. To that end, the “What We Know” column aims to highlight the flagship smartphone models that are looming on the horizon.

What you’ll find below is a list of rumors, leaks, speculation, images, and other stuff that pertains to the Samsung Galaxy S6. We’ve done our best to gather up the juiciest stuff floating around, even if it conflicts with other reports. Unless otherwise noted, this is all to be considered unofficial and unconfirmed.

Note: this post will be updated continually until such time that the device is announced by Samsung.

Display

According to a BGR source, the screen will be 5.1-inches and will have a Quad HD Super AMOLED display with 557 pixels per inch. Like other recent models from different manufacturers, the screen should be protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

Skip below to the “Edge” section to learn about a potential variation that includes additional display space.

Camera

A tipster close to BGR says we should look for a 20-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and 5-megapixel (f/1.8) front-facing camera with real-time HDR.

Internal Hardware

Details passed along to BGR suggest a 64-bit octa-core CPU is in order however it’s not clear as to who manufacturers the chip. According to a separate Bloomberg report, Samsung will not tap Qualcomm for its processors, citing overheating as an issue.

Storage capacities are alleged to include 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB options, up from the previous generation’s offerings.

Battery, according to BGR, is listed at 2550mAh, and will include built-in wireless charging. What’s more, Quick connect charging should allow for four hours of usage of a simple ten-minute charge.

OS

We should expect Android 5.0 Lollipop with Samsung’s custom software touches, commonly referred to as TouchWiz.

Other Details

A source close to Korean outfit DDaily says the Samsung Galaxy S6 will feature glass on both the front and back, connected by a metal rim. Long-held rumors have suggested we could see a metallic design not unlike the Galaxy Alpha and Galaxy Note 4.

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S5, the next-gen model is not expected to be waterproof. Instead, we might look for the waterproof feature to be included in a variant; perhaps the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is in order. Other features tossed about the rumor mill include Cat 6 LTE support as well as Samsung Pay.

Galaxy S6 “Edge” Variant

Details stemming from SamMobile indicate Samsung will offer a variation of the Galaxy S6 that offers dual edge displays. Like the Galaxy Note Edge, these extra bits of screen will bleed over to the side of the device and allow for extra functionality.

Glance Lighting… will light up the Edge area when you receive a call or notifications, when you turn your device over… option to choose favorite contacts and an ability to assign specific colours to them… Calls and notifications… show designated color lighting…

Launch

As was the case with last year’s flagship release, the Galaxy S6 could be introduced at a Samsung Unpacked event. According to Chinese outlet The Chosun Ilbo, March 2 could be a possible launch date.

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