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Apple Asking Some Developers to Have Apple Watch Apps Ready by Mid-February

applewatch2Apple appears to be asking some high profile app developers and partners to have their Apple Watch-compatible iPhone apps prepared and ready to launch in the App Store in mid-February. According to a source that spoke to MacRumors, Apple has asked its one of its biggest Apple Pay partners to prepare an iOS application with WatchKit support that’s ready to launch in the App Store by February 12.

It is unclear if Apple asking the same of other developers, but it is possible the company is hoping to test some third-party Apple Watch apps with employees ahead of the device’s launch to get a better feel for battery life when using non-Apple apps. As we detailed earlier today, thousands of Apple employees in the Cupertino area are wearing and testing the device on a daily basis to work out final kinks ahead of an April launch.

It’s also possible that Apple could use this high-profile partner’s app in an upcoming demonstration or launch event to show off how Apple Pay works on the Apple Watch. Apple Pay will be a key function of the Apple Watch, letting users authorize credit card payments right from their wrists. As has been outlined in the past, the Apple Watch will authenticate payments biometrically, requiring a passcode when the device is first placed on a wrist and again if it loses skin contact.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that Apple Watch development is on track and that the device will launch at some point in April. Pricing for the Apple Watch is largely unknown, but will start at $349 for the least expensive option.


ROCKI finally gets Spotify Connect support

After a long wait, Spotify support has finally come to ROCKI, but not quite how you would have expected. The tiny device that turns your ordinary speakers into DLNA compatible outputs launched with the promise of Spotify integration but it failed to appear in the app.

It appears that the reason for this is that they were instead working towards ROCKI to become a Spotify Connect endpoint, meaning you don’t even have to leave the Spotify app to send music to the ROCKI connected speakers.

The functionality is delivered to your ROCKI by an OTA firmware update, which if you’re device is plugged in constantly like mine then it’s probably already updated. Simply fire up Spotify and click the Connect button to see your ROCKI as an endpoint.

The full press release is down below:

Boston – (January 26, 2015) – ROCKI, whose 3-ounce device allows mobile phone users to wirelessly play music they love on speakers they already have, has announced a partnership with Spotify, the number one digital music service in the world, to let Spotify subscribers play music wirelessly to ROCKI-connected speakers from within the Spotify app.

Spotify Premium subscribers can select their ROCKI device under the Spotify Connect icon to stream Spotify through their ROCKI connected speakers.

“We could not be more thrilled to work with Spotify Connect,” says Nick Yap, Founder and CEO of ROCKI. “Spotify’s 60 million active users (including 15m paid subscribers) want the freedom to play music on speakers wherever they are – in different rooms at home, at friends, or on vacation. Now Spotify subscribers don’t have to replace existing speakers or lug a wireless speaker with them to enjoy Spotify wherever and whenever they want.”

ROCKI is a compact and lightweight portable Wi-Fi device that plugs in to any speaker to Wi-Fi enable it. Using Wi-Fi, ROCKI receives audio from smartphones, tablets or PCs, at a greater fidelity and over greater distances than Bluetooth. The free downloadable ROCKI app, available for Android and iOS, allows users to access their saved music, a growing number of cloud music services and now online music streaming service Spotify.

With consumers increasingly relying on mobile devices to source their music wherever they go, they need an easy way to get music from their devices to existing speakers. Demand for ROCKI is driving sales globally, with distribution partners already in 12 countries and 10-fold annual growth rate. ROCKI is available on Amazon, Grommet, as well as for $49.

All current and future ROCKI devices will work with Spotify Connect.

The post ROCKI finally gets Spotify Connect support appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Google Now to start showing updates and notifications from 40 apps


Google Now is quite limited as far as notifications are concerned. While it can manage sports scores, weather, stocks, flight timings etc, it had no third party app support. That changes today with Google officially bringing support for 40 new applications such as Pandora, Trip Advisor, Zillow, eBay, Shazam, Ford, Instacart, Airbnb and a whole lot more.

These apps will be supported with a new update to the Google app, which should be rolling out any minute now. Bear in mind that you will only be notified for apps that you choose, which will save you the trouble of clearing out unnecessary cards on Google Now.

It does take us a little by surprise that Google waited this long to introduce this feature, but it’s here nonetheless. You can find the complete list of apps now supported by Google Now in this page here.

Do you like the new changes made by Google? Make sure you let us know.

Source: Google Search

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40 third-party apps pick up Google Now cards support

Google Now and the associated cards that come along with it is one very handy little addition to the Android world. Google is now integrating more apps into the Google Now experience and will be delivering context aware cards from 40 various apps and services that might already be installed on your device. The list […]

The post 40 third-party apps pick up Google Now cards support appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


Google Now will soon offer card integration with 3rd party apps


While Google Now cards can be very useful, don’t you wish they extended outside of Google’s own apps and services in a bigger way? In a new post from Google in their Inside Search blog, it seems that such integration is finally on its way!

Google Now has teamed up with “30+ developers” to bring 3rd party Google Now cards that retrieve information from many of our favorite apps including Pandora, Runtastic, the Guardian, Ebay and Kayak. A full list of the 40 currently supported apps can be found here. In typical Google fashion, these new cards won’t go live today, though Google says they should be rolling out over the next few weeks.

While Google’s post explains a bit on what to expect, some details are still unknown, such as how interested developers can get in on the action and whether or not users will have the same level of control over 3rd party Now cards as they do with standard ones. At the very least, we imagine Google will make it easy to switch off cards from apps we aren’t interested in.

So what’s the advantage of getting Google Now cards for things like news, music recommendations and other similar types of cards? As Google puts it, it helps alleviate the need for constantly opening up apps for basic information or having to rely on notifications, which can often arrive at the wrong time or become a cluttered mess.

For more details on what to expect be sure to check out the official post from Google.


AT&T and Dish were the big spenders in the FCC’s wireless auction

AT&T store

There’s no doubt that companies spent a ton of money in the FCC’s latest wireless auction — $44.9 billion of it, to be precise. But who was it that was so eager to part with their cash? You don’t have to wonder for much longer. The FCC has revealed the winning bidders, and there’s little doubt as to who the frontrunners are. AT&T was by far the biggest spender. It shelled out almost $18.2 billion for 251 licenses to use that coveted AWS-3 spectrum, or nearly three times what it spent on 700MHz frequencies back in 2008. Dish, meanwhile, made its broadband ambitions pretty clear by snapping up a sizable $13.3 billion in airwaves.

As for the others involved? Verizon certainly wasn’t conservative, having bid $10.4 billion, but that’s not a big leap versus the $9.3 billion it spent acquiring 700MHz spectrum years ago. Also, smaller carriers didn’t have much of a stake in this auction. T-Mobile ponied up a ‘modest’ $1.7 billion, and Sprint already said that it would sit things out in favor of the 600MHz auction coming in 2016. All told, most of the newly available wireless bandwidth is headed to just a handful of companies, only one of which is a relative newcomer. That’s good to hear if you’re one of their subscribers (especially if you regularly deal with congested networks), but it’s lousy if you were hoping for an abundance of fresh competition.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan]

Filed under: Cellphones, Wireless, Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile


Via: The Verge

Source: FCC, Dish, AT&T (BusinessWire)


Antivirus for Android — do you need it?

Do any of us really need antivirus software on our Android phones and tablets?

In a past life I worked basic tech support at both Best Buy’s Geek Squad and Staples’ Easy Tech programs. I have heard every possible explanation for why a computer might have been infected with something, and happily collected a paycheck while fixing the same things over and over again. Most of the time, when someone asked me what antivirus software I used I would be perfectly honest with them and explain that I didn’t use any third-party software antivirus software on my Windows machine. I’d explain that I was very aware of where I was browsing and what I was clicking, and keeping my system up to date handled the rest. I didn’t recommend this experience to most, because computer viruses wouldn’t exist if their success rates were zero and there are absolutely people who need those tools, but it’s a strategy that has kept me safe so far.

Much like computers, you can’t go too far on the Internet without stumbling across an article trying to scare you into believing your Android device is under constant threat from the countless nasty things on the Internet today. Where things differ for the average user is just how far out of your way most folks have to go in order to be in any real danger on an Android device. But you wouldn’t know it by the sheer number of security and antivirus apps available to mobile devices today.

We get asked all the time whether our mobile devices need antivirus software, and while the answer isn’t as clear cut as we’d like it’s time to explain things as clearly as possible.


Nokia’s Z Launcher adds new features, including support icon pack

Nokia has released an update for its Z Launcher Beta on the Google Play Store. The launcher adapts to the user’s usage throughout the day. By learning how he or she uses it, the app promotes his or her favorite apps.

Another feature known as Scribble allows you to draw a letter in order to find things related to it. Launch is a tool used for Apps, contacts, and websites, and Adapt “learns to promote the right stuff at the right time.” Still, the most exciting news probably is its preliminary support for icon packs.

You can check the Z Launcher out either in the link above or the widget below.


The post Nokia’s Z Launcher adds new features, including support icon pack appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Apple Watch Sightings Picking Up Ahead of Official Launch

With just three months to go until the Apple Watch’s April release, Apple is hard at work field testing the device, and hundreds of Apple engineers, employees, and testers are wearing the Apple Watch on a regular basis to help Apple iron out last minute bugs and issues.

Due to the large number of employees testing the device, Apple Watch sightings in the wild have become more common over the course of the last few weeks. On the MacRumors forums, readers are aggregating photos and stories of device sightings, giving us an in-use look at the device that will be attached to many of our wrists in just a few short months.

One of the first major Apple Watch sightings occurred several weeks ago, when Vogue Editor Suzy Menkes snapped a photo of someone wearing the device. Rumors and speculation have suggested the arm in the photo could belong to Marc Newson, the designer who now works at Apple part time alongside Jony Ive.

applewatchwild1Image via Suzy Menkes
A second less-clear image of what is likely an Apple Watch was shared on Twitter earlier this week, with the photo being snapped in San Francisco’s Marina area.

applewatchwild2Image via RaceJohnson
If you happen to live in the Cupertino area, it’s quite possible you might run into an Apple employee who is wearing one of the watches. VentureBeat‘s Mark Sullivan recently shared a story of an Apple Watch he spotted while commuting on Caltrain. Sullivan got a bit more than a glimpse — he had the opportunity to see the Apple Watch in action for several minutes and his account on how it was used is a great read for those who want to learn a bit about how it integrates into daily life.

According to Sullivan, the man’s Apple Watch “looked proportionate” to his wrist and had a traditional look that didn’t “scream for attention.” Sullivan saw a text reminder pop up on the screen, accompanied by a map, and he got the impression that the Apple Watch had become an essential part of this person’s life.

I want one, and I didn’t even really see much of what the thing could do. But I got the distinct impression that the Watch has already become integrated into the daily life of this user. I could see it as a powerful personal assistant that’s always just an arm’s lift away to help you make sense of the minutiae of daily life: the schedules and reminders and appointments and social media and everything else we all have to process every minute of every day.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this week that the Apple Watch is on track to launch in April, but he did not offer a narrower timeframe that would hit at when the release could come during the month. As we creep closer to April, though, we can expect to see a lot more of the Apple Watch in the wild as employees continue testing the device.


Three Sony Xperia model numbers appear online, one likely belongs to the Xperia Z4


Things are not great at Sony. The company has been reevaluating its divisions and just announced it would cut jobs from the mobile division. Despite all of this, the company must continue doing business. And, since the mobile division remains in Sony’s hands, the Xperia Z4 is coming. Three model numbers belonging to Sony Xperia handsets have appeared on the Indonesian Postel Regulatory site and one of them seems to be the flagship phone.


The three model numbers (as seen above) are E5333, E6533, and E2353. The second model number listed is believed to be the Xperia Z4 because of how it aligns with last year’s Xperia Z3. The Xperia Z3 had D65XX. Clearly, the only difference between the two is the first letter and “E” comes after “D” in the alphabet.

The E5333 could be a mid-range handset as it is similar to the Xperia T2 Ultra (D53XX). And the E2363 seems to be a revamped version of the Xperia M2 (D23XX).

A launch for all of these devices is possible at MWC 2015.

Source: Xperia Blog

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