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Google working on new version of Android for virtual reality


Google’s efforts in virtual reality are moving much further than it would seem after taking a look at Cardboard. The company, according to The Wall Street Journal, has put together a team of engineers and other staff members to develop a new version of Android geared towards virtual reality.

The business model for this upcoming platform will be identical to Android because hardware manufacturers can use it at no cost. Google provides the software and relies upon sales in its online store while hardware manufacturers put the pieces together.

The leader in virtual reality right now is Oculus, which was purchased by Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion. Facebook has allowed Oculus to continue operating at its own pace but with the inclusion of additional funds. The competition between Google and Facebook can be seen in the poaching of one of the former’s executives. Mary Lou Jepsen, who now works for Oculus, specializes in display technology.

Oculus has an all-in-one approach to virtual reality while Google wants to mirror what he has going on with Android on other devices.

This month has made it quite clear that virtual reality is a field in which everyone wants involvement. Both Samsung and HTC (with Valve) introduced new virtual reality headsets to carry them into the next year. The Gear VR headset was adjusted for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge while a partnership between HTC and Valve bloomed the Vive. These products, as well as Oculus’ hardware, were put on display at MWC and GDC all week.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Pandora looking at a paid day-pass for its ad-free experience


While Pandora makes most of its money off its ad based streaming service, the company is looking to entice users into its paid service. The streaming company is looking to add a 24-hour day pass that you can purchase for a small price.

According to Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips, who showed off a slide to investors featuring the sign-up page for this new day pass, says that the $0.99 plan would make Pandora a good source of music for a summer BBQ with the idea that users don’t want to annoy their guests with a barrage of ad breaks. He also added that the company is toying with the idea making the day pass a three day pass.

A Pandora spokesman told Gigaom the following:

“Pandora is committed to delivering an effortless, personalized experience and we recognize some consumers may want an ad-free experience but don’t necessarily want to commit to a subscription. This offering will allow consumers to choose and explore what is right for them or suits a particular event or experience. Pricing and exact timing are yet to be determined but we expect it to be available later this year.”

 While users can get 192 kbps playback and a lot more skips per day, Pandora only makes $47.9 million from subscriptions versus the $220 million in revenue from ad-based streaming. Ad revenue also grew 36 percent where subscription based only grew by 24 percent.
That said, a 1-3 day ad-free option geared toward people who just need an ad-free experience every so often, may sway users to purchase the monthly sub. We’ll have to wait and see when the option is live.
source: Gigaom

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Matte vs. Glossy: The Lumia 640 and 640 XL colors

When the Lumia 640 and 640 XL were announced, I was excited to see a familiar color make a come back. I’m talking about Cyan blue. I fell in love with this color when Nokia introduced it in the Lumia 800, but it disappeared as a color option after the Lumia 1020 was released. Now, the color is back as an option for the Lumia 640 and 640 XL. To make things even more interesting, not only will you have to choose between a smaller and bigger phone, but you also have to decide between a glossy and a matte phone.

I compare the orange and blue Lumia 640 and Lumia 640 XL in matte and glossy finish, so you can see the difference. Go watch the video.


T-Mobile HTC One M7 to get Lollipop beginning March 10

HTC One M7 on T-Mobile owners will be able to get there hands on the latest major release of Android in just a few days.

The OTA rollout of Android 5.0 Lollipop to the T-Mobile One M7 will begin this Tuesday, March 10.


Is the LG-H818 the LG G4? Mysterious device gets spotted in multiple places with Android 5.1 and Quad HD display

LG is expected to release its 2015 flagship sometime soon, but as with most devices prior to release, it’s allegedly been spotted. The device in question, the LG-H818, was spotted on the html5test site running a benchmark, performing quite nicely, but crucially listing Android 5.1 as its operating system. Which begs the question: Is the […]

The post Is the LG-H818 the LG G4? Mysterious device gets spotted in multiple places with Android 5.1 and Quad HD display appeared first on AndroidSPIN.


T-Mobile customers with the HTC One (M7) to get Lollipop on March 10


This Tuesday, owners of the HTC One (M7) from T-Mobile will see a software update arrive on their handsets. Mo Versi, HTC Vice President of Product Management, announced on Twitter that the Lollipop update is coming on March 10. The over-the-air (OTA) update received technical approval from the carrier which allowed its rollout to be scheduled.

Source: @moversi (Twitter)

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PSA: Android Wear devices will automatically update for Daylight Saving Time


In regions that use Daylight Saving Time (DST), users of Android Wear devices have nothing special to do. The platform will automatically jump ahead at 2:00AM rather than requiring manual setup. Google says that it wants users to focus on updating their watch faces for the spring season.

Any specific watch faces you’ve been using? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Android (Google+)

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Missing Adobe Flash on 10.3.1? Here’s the best way to get it back!

When it was announced BlackBerry OS 10.3.1 would drop Adobe Flash support, some folks were upset but given the fact even Adobe doesn’t support Flash on mobile anymore it wasn’t entirely unexpected. Still, many folks rely on Adobe Flash and having it built into the native BlackBerry 10 browser was a bonus for those who needed it and since its removal, folks have been looking for the best way to get it back.

Sure, you can load the Android version of Adobe Flash and any Android browser that supports it such as FlashFox or Dolphin but now there’s a better way that skips the whole Android process and brings it back while keeping it as a native BlackBerry 10 experience thanks to FileArchiveHaven.

Read More »


What else do you want to see at Apple’s Spring Forward event?

If the Apple Watch shares the keynote stage on March 9, what could it share that stage with?

The 2007 iPhone keynote also hosted the re-introduction of Apple TV (née iTV). The 2012 iPad 3 event also hosted the introduction of the Apple TV 3 (1080p). Last year’s iPhones 6 event shared the stage with the Apple Watch, and the iPads with Touch ID shared the stage with the Retina 5K iMac. Apple has a history of double features.

For the last couple of years, spring has been a quiet time for Apple. It wasn’t until WWDC in June that the company took to the keynote stage. That made sense. Almost all their existing product lines were updated in the fall, leaving not much else to talk about until the summer and the new versions of iOS and OS X, and a few Macs.

This year, however, there’s a lot on deck.

  • Retina MacBook Air has apparently been in the works for a while. Now that Intel finally has it’s chipsets together, could Apple be ready to pull the trigger? The MacBook Air is currently the only Mac without a Retina option. Rumor has it that the newly redesigned, newly Retina 12-inch MacBook is in production, though, so could it also be on stage?

  • Apple TV has been without a hardware update since the aforementioned spring 2012 event. It’s hard not to imagine new hardware and software are ready, and maybe even a new platform. Content deals, if that’s what’s been holding it back, are harder to predict. Rumors has it that’s begun to change — HBO anyone? — so could the Apple TV 4 finally be ready for prime time?

  • iPad Pro was recently rumored for a fall rather than spring release. Whether or not there’s an Apple Pen to go with it, that makes it sound like the 12.9-inch version of the tablet — and the software needed to support it — is still a ways out. If the old rumors were better than the new rumors, though, who knows?

  • Apple Music, the rumored update that brings the best of iTunes and the best of Beats together, is supposedly tied to iOS 8.4 and we haven’t even gotten the Watch-friendly iOS 8.2 yet. Apple does sometimes pre-announce new services, but usually only by a month or so. Still, if Eddy Cue is going to talk Apple Pay, maybe he could talk Apple’s new play as well?

  • Apple Car. Hahaha. No. Not yet.

So, what’s your best guess? What’s going to be sharing the Spring Forward event stage on Monday?


Note 2 takes a bullet for a police officer, Samsung gives him a Galaxy S6


In a bizarre story that’s becoming a lot more common place, a smartphone protected a person from taking a bullet. According to a news item coming out of Thailand, a Galaxy Note 2 saved a police officer’s life.

According to the report, Pol Maj Gen Sophon Thonglorm of the Mae Rim police station Chiang Mai carried the phone at the left side of his waist, and was shot by a suspect earlier this week. The bullet, instead of hitting him, hit the phone first. While the bullet did make it through the phone and into Thonglorm, the Note 2 slowed the velocity of the bullet so much that the injury was not life threatening.

That said, the phone went from being usable to nothing than a story piece and a paper weight. That story, took off on social media in Thailand and the story caught the attention of Samsung Thailand. The company offered Thonglorm the new Galaxy S6 on top of paying for his travel to pick up the phone in Bangkok, to which, he accepted.

 “I am happy that Samsung will give me a new phone,” he said.

source: Thai Visa
via: SamMobile

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