Hello fans, here are the biggest news in the world of Android this week. In typical Samsung fashion, we’ve been treated with a slew of mouthwatering teasers for the upcoming Galaxy S6 – Samsung is strongly hinting to a metal and glass design, and the company also alluded to built-in wireless charging. HTC went easier on the teasers, but the surprise may be spoiled anyway by a listing of the M9 on a German’s retailer website. In non-flagship news, the Pebble team announced a major update, new chips were unveiled by Samsung and Qualcomm, and LG introduced the elegant Watch Urbane.
Inside AA HQ
Our Friday Debate podcast is at its fifth installment, and we think we’re finally starting to hit our groove with it. And by “we” I mean Josh, Joe, Andrew and Jon, who all agree that edition #5 (listen to it below) was the nicest and funnest yet. Apparently, at least some of you guys agree, since our little podcast made it to the Trending 100 of Pocket Casts. We thank you and we hope that’s just the beginning.
This Tuesday we finally released Ash’s magnificent History of Nexus video. A production of epic proportions and quality, as well as one of the longest videos we ever put out, the video walks your through all the key moments of the glorious Nexus series. Check it out.
Next week, we’re heading out to MWC, the biggest mobile event in the world. Josh and Lanh will be on video duty, Darcy will be leading us fearlessly, while yours truly will try not to get into anyone’s way. Technically, MWC starts next Monday, but all the really good stuff (M9, S6, mmm!) will be out on Sunday. We can’t wait to be there and share it with you!
Real phones have curves, thinks LG, and we agree. That’s why we’re giving away a curvaceous G Flex 2 in our beloved Sunday Giveaway. Head over here to get your raffle tickets, and good luck!
The Friday Debate Podcast
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
Here are some interesting posts for your Sunday reading:
- Epic: Check out this awesome video on the history of Nexus from our very own Ash Tailor
- Feature: Andrew looks at some of the nicest smartphones you probably never heard of
- Versus: Josh finds out how the bendy G Flex 2 stands up against the LG G3
- Feature: Despite the appearance, Xiaomi isn’t unstoppable – here’s what could throw it off tracks
- Editorial: Mark delves into the paradox of Android – most OEMs don’t make any money
- Review: The new Raspberry Pi is here – Gary takes a look
- Tech talk: From Tegra to MediaTek, and everything in between – check out our latest SoC guide
Top news of the week
And here are the top news in the Android world this week:
Pebble is back in the news
- Pebble updated to support Android Wear apps
- New Pebble watch will reportedly feature a thinner design and a colored e-paper display
- Samsung announces Exynos 7 Octa SoC based on 14nm FinFET process
- Qualcomm announces four new mid-tier SoCs with high-end performance and features
- Samsung announces faster eMMC 5.1 flash memory chips
LG: G4 and Urbane
- LG is bringing a stylish new smartwatch to MWC, the LG G Watch Urbane
- LG G4 will launch around mid-April – sources
Galaxy S6 teaser bonanza
- Samsung releases second Galaxy S6 teaser video
- Samsung hints that Galaxy S6 could support multiple wireless charging standards
- Another clue that the Galaxy S6 will feature a 2,600-mAh battery
- New Galaxy S6 teaser alludes to curves, metal, and glass
- Here are the first brief glimpses of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge
- Samsung Galaxy S6 will reportedly feature Sony’s IMX240 camera sensor
One M9: getting closer
- HTC begins teasing the ‘new HTC One’
- One M9 won’t be Quad HD, but the HTC Butterfly 3 probably will
- Something “HUGE” is coming, says HTC
- Seemingly official One M9 press shots and specs found on German retailer site
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The big update for BlackBerry 10 smartphones started rolling out on February 19th, 2015. It brings a lot of new features such as endless folders, Quick Settings from anywhere, more icons on the homescreen, BlackBerry Blend and much, much more. We’ve know about a lot of the new features for a long time now and as always there’s lots to discover.
Google has two distinctly different apps — Maps and Earth — that can handle similar tasks but are used in very different ways.
Whereas on the desktop you can quickly switch between the informative Maps interface and detailed full-blown satellite Earth view, the experience is a bit choppier when you’re juggling Maps and Earth apps on Android. Google Maps contains all of the navigation, lightweight mapping power and points of interest with just a small hint of satellite imagery, while Google Earth has complete 3D satellite data and just a small subset of information on places, without any point-to-point navigation. In the end there are pretty clear roles for when to use each one — let us explain.
Dell made a big splash at January’s CES as it unveiled the latest in its XPS line, the 2015 edition of the XPS 13. For anyone looking for a compact Ultrabook, the new XPS 13 has to be at the top of the list of considerations, with a 22% smaller footprint than comparable 13-inch notebooks.
With prices starting at $799 and specs going all the way up to a 5th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and a QHD+ touchscreen display, there’s an XPS 13 out there for you depending on your priorities. It’s going to be one of the hottest Windows Ultrabooks of 2015, and we’re going to spend a fair while talking about it. Everything you’ll need to know can be found at our dedicated page at the link below.
Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday.
A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Nexus 9 Trevor A. (Canada).
This week we are giving away the new LG G Flex 2!
The LG G Flex 2 features the latest and greatest processing package available, an upgraded 1080p P-OLED curved display, and a fantastic camera experience all in an extremely comfortable form factor that is a delight to hold.
What makes the device unique is that it demonstrates LG’s clear leadership in OLED displays. It’s an absolute stunner with bottomless blacks, and an extremely robust color palette, and features 1080p resolution too. Plus, it’s curved! Under the hood is an octa-core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor clocked at 2 GHz, backed by the Adreno 430 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM. It screams through benchmarks and had us all saying it was going to be our next phone.
Other great LG G Flex 2 content!
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You can earn entry tickets into the giveaway by completing the following tasks in the RaffleCopter widget located below.
- [1 Ticket] Follow AA on Twitter.
- [1 Ticket] Tweet about the giveaway on Twitter.
- [1 Ticket] Join the AA Community Forums.
- [1 Ticket] Subscribe to one of the AA newsletters.
- [1 Ticket] Download the AA App.
- [10 Tickets] Refer friends to the giveaway. You will be given a unique URL to share with your friends or social networks. You will receive 1 bonus entry (up to 10 max) for every person who you refer to the giveaway using your unique URL.
Terms & Conditions
- The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
- If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
- We are not responsible for lost shipments.
- You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
- We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
- Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
- We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
- The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.
The BrydgeAir keyboard case for iPad Air 2 boasts a full size, backlit keyboard, a built-in Bluetooth speaker system, and comes in high-end gold, silver, and space gray. But how does it perform?
Compatible with both generations of the iPad Air, the BrydgeAir keyboard provides hinges with removable rubber gaskets to fit each model. If you have an iPad Air 2, you’ll just remove the iPad Air ones and replace them with the iPad Air 2 ones.
Sliding your iPad Air into the BrydgeAir’s hinges is easy enough. You can then adjust for multiple viewing angles and close the hinge completely to transport your iPad and to protect the screen.
Around the front of the BrydgeAir keyboard case is the power, keyboard pair, and speaker button. The back of the BrydgeAir case has dedicated speakers you can use built right into the case. As nice of an idea as that is, the iPad Air 2’s built-in speakers offer much better sound quality. The BrydgeAir’s speakers sound very flat to me. In other words, I wouldn’t consider the speakers a selling point.
The keyboard layout on the BrydgeAir is similar to what you’d find on a MacBook Air. The main difference is the top row of keys that are specific to iOS functions. There are dedicated buttons to turn the volume up and down, lock your iPad, use the Home button, adjust brightness, control music, and more. In the bottom row of keys you also have a dedicated button for Siri too.
As far as battery life goes, I’ve been running on a full charge for about a week now with about 1 to 2 hours of use a day. BrydgeAir claims up to three months of battery life on a single charge, depending on how much you utilize the backlit key and speaker features.
The backslash key on the keyboard will flash blue slowly if the battery is running low. When plugged in the key will show solid red to indicate charging. While that’s sufficient, I do wish there was a way to check battery percentage more specifically. Most keyboard cases do this by integrating a dedicated battery button which pulses a set number of times to indicate a battery range. It isn’t a deal breaker for me but anyone who uses keyboard cases heavily may get nervous not knowing where they stand battery wise at any given time.
- Thin profile when closed
- Feels extremely high quality
- Easy enough to remove and replace iPad
- Great keyboard layout similar to what you’d find on a Mac keyboard
- Backlit keys
- Dedicated row of iOS specific buttons
- Internal speaker is not great quality
- Hinges sit a little closer to the actual screen than I would like
- No rear protection for the iPad
- Not the best battery monitoring system
- Higher price tag than many competing keyboards
The bottom line
I’ve been typing for a few days on the BrydgeAir keyboard case, including this review, and I type just as fast as I can on my Mac’s keyboard. The layout really is one of the best I’ve used to date. I do however wish the internal speaker and battery monitoring system were better.
These two issues aside, the backlit keyboard and high quality construction makes the BrydgeAir feel much more substantial than many other cover type cases, which can often feel cheap and flimsy. So if you want a case that matches the build quality of your iPad Air 2, the BrydgeAir keyboard case is a solid choice.
- $169 – $189 – Buy now
Sluggish page loading, redirected web searches, popups you can’t explain? Your Mac may be infected with adware, says a retail Mac expert.
I’ve had some choice things to say about “adware,” software that redirects your web searches, and how to get rid of it. Annie Hayes (@abazoe on Twitter) is a Mac expert at iCape Solutions, the Apple Specialist reseller I work at. She has some more info for you. She was kind enough to link back to one of my pieces in her article. If you’re in Hyannis, MA and need Mac help, Annie knows more than me. She’s nicer, too.
Additionally, while Macs are resistant to viruses, we’ve seen a rise of adware/malware like Genio and Installmac. In our experience these are coming from downloading things like Adobe Flash from places other than Adobe’s website (in fact, the best link is get.adobe.com/flashplayer). They’re sneaky programs that in some cases can’t be uninstalled with a simple drag and drop to the trash.
Every day our customers come in with problems with their Macs that they can’t explain — web browsers redirecting to places they’ve never seen before, pop-ups appearing out of nowhere, slow and sluggish page loading in Safari and other web browsers. If this has happened to you, you may have an adware infection on your Mac. AdwareMedic and other apps can help:
According to new documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the NSA and its UK counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), hacked into the computers of Gemalto, a company that manufactures SIM cards for a large number of carriers around the world. In doing so, the intelligence agencies acquired encryption keys that would allow them to intercept communications from customers of all four major U.S. carriers, along with 450 others around the world.
Digging through the CrackBerry Forums there’s a lot of questions surrounding whether or not unlocked BlackBerry 10 devices will be able to get the BlackBerry 10.3.1 update directly from BlackBerry. Thankfully, that question was asked directly to BlackBerry Product Manager, Michael Clewley, who noted ShopBlackBerry devices would get the update direct. We followed up with Michael on that to ask about Amazon devices as well and to ensure that the information was indeed correct before posting and now, both ShopBlackBerry and Amazon purchased devices globally will get the update directly.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere said today the wireless carrier is “having discussions” with BlackBerry about selling its handsets again. The two companies famously ended their partnership in April 2014, a couple of months after BlackBerry objected to a T-Mobile campaign that urged BlackBerry smartphone owners to switch to Apple’s iPhone.