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10
Mar

Multi-window support could soon be coming to Android




multiwindow

One of the best features that has been on the Samsung Galaxy Note series for a while is the ability to put apps into a window, allowing you to view multiple apps at once. This is otherwise known as “multi-window” support. It seems with the latest code commit of AOSP after the announcement of Android 5.1 yesterday, there is a line of code that suggests multi-window support could be coming to stock Android.

Phandroid reports this line of code, and mentions that the feature is almost mentioned in passing, and that’s it. You can see the full commit below.

commit ed7698c8ed66b959d723caa7bfe01530d306fb8d
Author: Craig Mautner cmautner@google.com
Date: Tue Jan 27 11:44:59 2015 -0800

 

Defer tap outside stack until multiwindows

 

Taps outside of the stack boundary were causing the current app to

lose focus. This led to timeouts waiting for the app to respond.

 

Disabling the tap recognition keeps the focus from changing. It will
be reenabled for multiwindows.

There is no other mention of this found elsewhere, and there is no knowing when this feature could be implemented, if even at all. However, with Google I/O coming up, anything is possible, and if nothing else we could get an announcement that the feature is in the works.


The post Multi-window support could soon be coming to Android appeared first on AndroidGuys.

10
Mar

Asus announces new flash accessories for the Zenfone 2


Taking top notch pictures is important to many, and Asus hopes their new flash accessories will help do just that.

The smartphone camera is something that many people are concerned with, and manufacturers are getting more serious about putting quality cameras in their devices. Asus has just announced some new accessories for the Zenfone 2 which are sure to enhance the quality of photographs when paired with the device’s 13MP PixelMaster camera.

10
Mar

Google CFO Patrick Pichette announces his retirement


Google CFO Patrick Pichette announced today that he is retiring from the company after 7 years with the company.

10
Mar

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4 quick look


Samsung’s Galaxy Note line has grown from a niche product at the time of its introduction, to its latest member, the Galaxy Note 4, being dubbed as “Samsung’s true flagship.” That said, the company’s original S series flagship line has been going strong as well, and while faltering a bit in 2014, with the latest addition to this lineup, the Galaxy S6, Samsung has come back as strong as ever. So how do these two very distinct flagship devices fare against each other? We find out, as we take a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Galaxy Note 4!

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 18

For the first time in a comparison involving two flagship Samsung devices, we’re looking at both smartphones featuring metal frames, a design element that was first introduced with the Galaxy Alpha, and has become the standard since. In the case of the Galaxy Note 4, plastic in the form of a faux leather back is still to be found, which is also removable, allowing for access to the microSD card slot and replaceable battery. The signature tactile home button up front is integrated with a fingerprint scanner, and 2.5D glass over the display adds some visual flair to the front of the device. As this is a Note device, you will also find an S-Pen stylus nestled into the bottom corner.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 19

The Samsung Galaxy S6 may retain a lot of the design language of its sibling flagships, but introduces a complete overhaul with regards to build quality and material, with the device boasting a premium metal and glass unibody design. The metal frame keeps the tapered, raised look on the top and bottom corners that we also see with the Note 4, and is really nice. The curved sides do result in a more rounded look, compared to the rigid lines of the Galaxy Note 4, and the Galaxy S6 is as thin and sleek and you’d expect to see from a Samsung flagship. This design choice is not without its compromises though, with the battery now not being removable, and with the microSD expansion being given a miss as well. The camera module also tends to protrude quite a bit, which could be problem when sliding or placing the phone on its back on a flat surface.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 5

Things are quite even on the display front, with both smartphones featuring Super AMOLED displays with Quad HD resolutions. The difference in size, 5.7-inches for the Galaxy Note 4 and 5.1-inches for the Galaxy S6, results in a higher pixel density count for the latter, but the difference isn’t significant enough to be particularly noticeable. Samsung is well-known for its display prowess, and that really shines through with both devices. Deep blacks, vivid colors, great viewing angles and fantastic brightness are all features of either display, and you’ll have a great viewing experience on both. While the Galaxy S6 gets the edge for its higher pixel density and more manageable size, the larger display of the Galaxy Note 4 is the better choice from a media-consumption and gaming standpoint.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 4

In performance, we see Samsung setting a bit of a precedent going from the Galaxy Note 4 to the Galaxy S6, as former packs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, backed by the Adreno 420 GPU and 3 GB of RAM, with another version coming with the Exynos 5 Octa, also with 3 GB of RAM. As expected, the performance with either iteration is pretty great. But, with the Galaxy S6, Samsung has decided to give Qualcomm a pass this time, in favor of getting fully behind its in-house octa-core Exynos 7420 processor, also backed by 3 GB of RAM. The Galaxy S6 just oozes power, and it cannot be emphasized enough how smooth the performance was in the short time I got to spend with it, with the more streamlined version of TouchWiz certainly a contributing factor as well.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 10

Things remain largely identical in terms of other hardware, with both smartphones featuring fingerprint scanners integrated into the home button, but in different implementations, with the touch type iteration definitely better than the swipe version of the Galaxy Note 4. Both also have heart rate monitors on the back, positioned slightly differently, but still in proximity to the rear camera. The Galaxy Note 4 does come with expandable storage and a removable battery though, and of course, the big selling point of the Note series is the availability of the S-Pen stylus and everything that it entails.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 16

On the camera side of things, both smartphones feature similar setups when it comes to the rear camera, with its 16 MP shooters, and as such, we can expect the quality to be about the same, but of course, a more thorough testing of the Galaxy S6 camera is required before making any final judgments. There are some improvements in the case of the Galaxy S6 though, with the front-facing camera being upgraded to a 5 MP unit, and both the front and back cameras featuring f 1.9 apertures with auto HDR, which should allow for some great shots in low light.

samsung galaxy s6 vs note 4 aa 17

When it comes to software, it has been quite easy to compare the overall experience between device iterations because TouchWiz is TouchWiz, a feature packed user interface, even more so in the case of the Galaxy Note 4, which features a slew of applications and features to take advantage of the S-Pen stylus and the larger screen real estate. That story has somewhat changed with the Galaxy S6 though. Even if things remain quite similar aesthetically, apart from any Lollipop-related changes that will make their way to the Note 4 a well, the number of pre-installed applications have been reduced, with users given the option to choose what they want. The experience on the Galaxy S6 is very fluid in its transitions, and the complete package doesn’t seem to be as overwhelming as previous versions.

Specs Comparison

  Samsung Galaxy S6 Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Display 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
577 ppi
5.7-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display
515 ppi
Processor 2.1 GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor
Mali-T760
2.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor
Adreno 420 GPU
RAM 3 GB 3 GB
Storage 32/64/128 GB
not expandable
32/64/128 GB, expandable up to 128 GB
Network 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps 4G / LTE / HSPA+ 21/42 Mbps
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth Smart Ready (Apt-X) 4.1, NFC
SlimPort, A-GPS / Glonass, USB 2.0
Software Android 5.0 Lollipop Android 4.4 Kitkat
Camera Rear 16 MP with OIS.
Front 5 MP wide angle lens
Rear 16 MP with OIS.
Front 3.7 MP
Battery 2,550 mAh 3,220 mAh
Dimensions 143.4 x 70.5 x 6.8 mm
138 grams
153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm
176 grams

Gallery

So there you have it for this quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Galaxy S6! These are the two giants of the Samsung ecosystem currently, and are certainly worthy of the term “flagship.” What matters here is what features you need to get the most out of your daily smartphone usage, and if that includes an S-Pen and a large display, the Note 4 is the way to go. The Galaxy S6 features a beautiful design and a sleek body, but isn’t without its compromises in terms of the expandable storage and replaceable battery, and those are two more factors that may lead to some favoring the Note series over the latest addition to the Galaxy S lineup.



10
Mar

HTC’s bigger, flatter One E9 smartphone poses for the camera


HTC One E9

If you thought HTC’s One M9 was just too small or too bulky, you’ll be glad to hear that the company has something bigger in store… yes, literally. Chinese regulators recently spoiled the surprise for the One E9, a 5.5-inch cousin to the 5-inch M9 that ditches the curved metal back for a flatter (and somewhat Desire Eye-like) body. This isn’t just a re-skin à la the One E8, folks. There may be big changes under the hood, too. Well-known tipster Upleaks claims that the E9 will switch from a Snapdragon 810 processor to a 64-bit octa-core MediaTek chip, and that you’ll get a super-sharp Quad HD screen instead of the M9’s 1080p display. A “standard” version could also ship with a regular 13-megapixel front camera, while a “high” version would carry the M9’s low light friendly 4MP UltraPixel cam.

Whether or not you get the One E9 in your corner of the globe is up in the air. The E8 made it to the US through Sprint, but there’s no guarantees that its successor will make the same leap. Also, it’s not certain just when HTC will pull the trigger. The company recently teased more big news in mid-to-late March, but there’s no guarantee that it was referring to the E9.

Filed under: Cellphones, Mobile, HTC

Comments

Via: Engadget Chinese (translated), Tech Times

Source: TENAA (translated)

10
Mar

USB-C in 12-Inch MacBook Adds Limitations but Opens Up Possibilities


Apple’s newest MacBook is one of the first computers to take advantage of the USB Type-C specification, which was finalized in August of 2014. USB-C uses a small reversible connector that’s similar in size to a Lightning connector, but slightly larger.

In addition to delivering power to the Apple MacBook (it’s capable of delivering up to 100 watts at 20 volts), USB-C has a DisplayPort alternate mode for connecting monitors, cables, docking stations, and more, plus it supports USB 3.1 data transfers up to 10Gbps, and it also has support for VGA and HDMI connections. It’s able to deliver bi-directional power, meaning it lets the MacBook be charged and through the same port, it lets the MacBook charge other devices.

usbtypecports
USB-C is an upgrade from USB-A, the standard USB ports that many of us are used to on our computers, and USB-B, which we know best as Micro-USB, the ports built into many phones and portable electronic devices. In addition to its impressive data and power transfer rates, USB-C has the benefit of being easy to plug into devices, like the Lightning cable.

Apple’s adoption of USB-C might seem like something of an annoyance because it requires users to buy expensive adapters and adjust to an all new connection, but it’s actually a huge step forward for the company that opens up the possibility of a whole range of new Apple-compatible accessories and devices.

retinamacbookusbcport
USB-C is the first non-proprietary charging system that Apple has introduced. MacBooks use MagSafe and iOS devices use Lightning connectors, both of which were designed by Apple, giving Apple strict control over how they’re used.

Apple lets product developers incorporate Lightning connectors and ports through its MFi (Made for iPhone) certification program, but the company does not have a MagSafe licensing program and has not allowed hardware manufacturers to create products that use the MagSafe connection in MacBooks.

This forces manufacturers who create items like MacBook backup batteries to use the actual connectors from Apple’s AC adapters, grafted onto their products. Apple has not looked kindly on this practice in the past, and has levied a lawsuit against at least one company using this method to create hardware for the MacBook.

usbtypecretinamacbook
With the USB-C port in the MacBook, Apple will not have control over the products that are developed for it, paving the way for a whole range of accessories that were not possible before, like backup batteries.

The future of USB-C is bright, but for early adopters, the USB-C experience might be somewhat frustrating because the notebook has a single USB-C port. Apple sells adapters, but the adapters only include one USB-C port, meaning it’s not going to be possible for MacBook buyers to charge their devices and use a product like LaCie’s new USB-C Porsche Design Mobile Drive at the same time using a USB-C port.

USB-C adapterOne of Apple’s new USB-C adapters
Presumably manufacturers are already at work creating hubs that will include multiple USB-C ports for use with the myriad products that are going to use the new specification, but currently, someone wanting to use a USB-C storage drive would have to decide between charging and accessing data or using the older USB-A port for data transfers.

USB-C is a brand new technology, but with Apple embracing it, it won’t be long before we see tons of companies racing to produce USB-C compatible products. Apple will also undoubtedly spur its competitors to adopt the standard as well. It may not be long before we’re able to charge a whole range of our devices with a single cable, ending the days of having to carry around MagSafe chargers, USB cables, Micro-USB cables, Lightning cables, and more.



10
Mar

Add some March Madness to your keyboard with new SwiftKey themes


swiftkey_march_madness_themes

On Sunday, college basketball programs throughout the United States will find out whether or not they will be playing in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. Fans, too, will be awaiting the results of Selection Sunday as they need to plan out their March Madness schedule. For extra support, fans of select teams can have their keyboard reflect their allegiance. SwiftKey, one of the most popular keyboard apps available, has launched new themes for nine of the teams that are essentially guaranteed to be entering the Big Dance.

The nine teams supported with SwiftKey themes are the Michigan Wolverines, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio State Buckeyes, Iowa Hawkeyes, Texas A&M Aggies, Wisconsin Badgers, Virginia Cavaliers, Kentucky Wildcats, and Florida Gators. The keyboard also changes the suggestion bar’s highlights to team colors.

SwiftKey understands the love for college basketball so well that it invites fans to participate in a bracket of its own:

We’re running our own bracket with the 9 teams and measuring which themes are getting the most downloads. Teams will move on based on which themes are being shown the most love, so make sure your friends and fellow fans are supporting your favorite team too! The last team standing gets the glory of being the winner… and maybe it’s also a sign that they’ll do well in the real tournament, too!

Source: SwiftKey

Come comment on this article: Add some March Madness to your keyboard with new SwiftKey themes

10
Mar

Contest: Win a Spigen Capsule Ultra Rugged case for the Samsung Galaxy S6 from Talk Android!


spigen_case_capsule_ultra_rugged_black_samsung_galaxy_s6

The Samsung Galaxy S6 will be one of the hottest devices on the market when it launches around the world next month. Millions of consumers will rush to purchase the device that takes Samsung in a new direction. The Galaxy S6 features a metal and glass body, two materials that just scream high-end. With that high-end look, however, comes concerns with how durable the device is. That is why protecting the Galaxy S6 will be important for many consumers.

Among the various cases that are capable of protecting the Galaxy S6 is the Spigen Capsule Ultra Rugged. The accessory maker, which is known for its stylish and quality products, designed the Capsule Ultra Rugged case with a few different materials. It has glossy accents and carbon fiber textures. The entire case is a flexible TPU and covers the power and volume buttons. There is also a slightly raised lip so the display will not sit on a surface and risk scratching. In all, this case feels and looks great.

We want to make sure that your Galaxy S6 is protected, too, and that is why we are giving away the Spigen Capsule Ultra Rugged case. The exact case we are giving away comes in black (pictured above) and usually retails for $14.99.

Here’s how the contest works:

  1. Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite Android device of all-time is. Make sure your account is using a valid email address since that is how we will contact you.
  2. Comments can be posted until Sunday, March 15, at 11:59PM EST
  3. On Monday, March 16, we will select a winner at random and contact them
  4. Another winner will be selected if we do not hear from the initial winner within the first day or two

We will update this post once a winner has been selected, so check here often on March 16. Good luck!

[Capsule Ultra Rugged for Galaxy S6 – Spigen]

Come comment on this article: Contest: Win a Spigen Capsule Ultra Rugged case for the Samsung Galaxy S6 from Talk Android!

10
Mar

Nova Launcher updated to full Material Design



One of the most popular homescreen launcgers on Google Play has been updated for a full Material Design makeover, complete with some new animations, options and modern looks. Top features for the update include

  • All settings screens/dialogs
  • More animations
  • Edit shortcut dialog tinted based on color of icon
  • New Lollipop icons
  • Support for Android for Work
  • Widget search
  • Max icon size boosted to 150%
  • Google search bar animation based on Google Now Launcher

The update comes with a bold warning that this update is not fully stable and will come with bugs. However, many users will appreciate the sweet new look and feel of the highly customizable launcher.

 

Nova Launcher on Google Play

 


The post Nova Launcher updated to full Material Design appeared first on AndroidGuys.

10
Mar

Moto E LTE making its way to Cricket Wireless on March 13th for $130


MOto-e-2nd-gen

Cricket Wireless has just announced that it will carry the new Motorola Moto E LTE from Friday, March 13th for just $129.99. The device will come preloaded with Cricket’s Wi-Fi app, which the carrier hopes will keep data costs down by connecting to millions of free and open Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation. Additionally, for a limited time, customers switching to Cricket Wireless from T-Mobile, Sprint, Metro-PCS or Boost Mobile or switch to a $50 or $60 rate plan will be eligible for one free month of service after completing two months of service on Smart, Pro or Advanced plans.

The Moto E LTE is a decent step up from last year’s model, featuring a 4.5-inch LCD display and a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor backed by 1GB of RAM. It also has 8GB of on-board storage, MicroSD expansion up to 32GB, a 5MP rear-facing camera and a VGA front-facing camera. The battery has also gotten a nice upgrade to 2390mAh, up from 1980mAh. The device also runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, and features a number of great Motorola software enhancements, including Moto Display, Moto Assist and Moto Migrate.

For those looking to save a few bucks and pick up their first smartphone, the Moto E LTE seems like a great option so far. The 2015 model is a huge step up from last year’s, and the price point is extremely difficult to beat.



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