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14
Apr

‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft’ Launches on iPhone [iOS Blog]


Blizzard Entertainment’s popular card battling game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft today finally launched on iPhone, after becoming available on tablets, including iPad, nearly one year ago. The new support comes as a universal update to the existing iOS app.

HS Now On Phones
The game made the leap to Android and iOS tablets following its initial Mac and PC launch in March of 2014, with MacRumors‘ sister site TouchArcade reporting numerous stories throughout the year regarding the game’s much-rumored launch on iPhone.

Hearthstone is free-to-play, but users can opt in to purchase card packs when their personal bank of in-game gold is sufficiently lacking. The game tasks players with collecting and organizing a constantly shifting array of card types for each one of its drastically different nine classes, aiming for an opponent’s weaknesses in a battle to whittle down each others’ 30-point health system to zero.

HS on Phone 2-1
As with all versions of the game, iPhone users with previous experience in the Hearthstone world will be able to sync all of their custom decks, gold count, and experience to the new iPhone app by signing into their Battle.net accounts. Though some die-hard fans remain skeptical about the game’s proper transition to such a small screen, the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last year can undoubtedly provide a more comfortable Hearthstone experience while still maintaining a bit more portability over its tablet-focused counterparts.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]



14
Apr

Apple Acquires Israeli Camera Tech Company LinX Imaging for ~$20 Million


Apple has purchased Israeli camera technology company LinX Imaging for approximately $20 million, reports Dow Jones via CNBC. The company specializes in creating multi-aperture camera equipment for mobile devices and it’s possible that Apple will use the company’s technology in upcoming iOS devices.

Last year, LinX announced the launch of miniature multi-aperture cameras half the height of standard mobile cameras with the ability to create “stunning color images and high accuracy depth maps.”

linx_cameras

The image quality of mobile cameras has reached a dead end. Device makers are striving to differentiate using imaging capabilities but the pixel size race has ended and next generation cameras do not reveal any dramatic improvements. LinX cameras revolutionize mobile photography and broaden the usability span and user experience, allowing us to leave our SLRs at home.

The engineers at LinX have solved all problems associated with combining multiple images captured from different points in space such as registration errors and occlusion related artifacts which are seen on competing technologies.

LinX’s technology uses software to extract depth information for each pixel to create a depth map for that can also be used for 3D image reconstruction. LinX’s website is now defunct, but the company offered products with two, three, and four camera arrays in multiple configurations and sizes. Its most recent technology was downscaled enough to be ready for use in mobile devices.

LinX technology includes several other improvements Apple could potentially take advantage of, including multiple sensors for a smaller size, better sensitivity to light, and greatly improved image quality in low light.

There have been rumors suggesting Apple’s iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus will offer much improved dual-lens camera technology with image quality on par with DSLR cameras, which could be made possible through mobile camera advancements like those LinX Imaging has worked on.

Camera improvements and iPhone photography have always been important to Apple, and its iOS devices routinely offer highly competitive picture taking capabilities that often outclass devices from competing companies. In the past, major improvements to camera technology have come in “S” release years, so it is likely we will see at least some boost in picture quality in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.



14
Apr

Inateck is running a plethora of deals for the month of April






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Our great friends over at Inateck are running a series of deals for many of their great products starting now until the end of April (except for the Hi-Fi Bluetooth speaker, that deal ends this week). As you might remember, we have reviews many of their products before here at AG and have found them to be awesome due to their budget price and great quality.

If you have been needing to buy some new speakers, maybe a keyboard, or even a Bluetooth adapter, then now would be the time to snag one up. The deals are listed below with the promo codes needed to get the discount.

 

 

 


The post Inateck is running a plethora of deals for the month of April appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Apr

Avid’s Sibelius music composing app to be optimized for Surface Pro 3


Microsoft and Avid have teamed up to help develop a new version of Avid’s Sibelius music composing app that will be optimized for the Surface Pro 3 tablet.

14
Apr

Try out Samsung’s newest software features with the Galaxy S6 Experience app


samsung galaxy s6 41

Samsung has just released it’s new Galaxy S6 Experience app in the Google Play Store, which lets users demo the handset’s best software features without the need to have the phone. The app, which is free to download, will give users a good look at GS6’s new camera sensor, revamped S Health application, design changes and Samsung’s new theming engine.

The app even shows off a few official Samsung accessories that you can purchase if you decide to buy the phone. And if you can’t decide on which accessories are right for you, the Experience app will quiz you to help you decide which ones best fit your lifestyle.

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We’re sure you’ve heard in our full review that the software on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge has been revamped to provide a smoother, more simplistic experience to it’s users. The Galaxy S6 Experience app won’t install Touchwiz on your phone, but it will give you a good look at the company’s new design language with Android 5.0 Lollipop.

More on the Galaxy S6 experience

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If you’re on the fence about whether to buy one of Samsung’s newest flagships, this app may help you reach a decision. If you’re interested in checking it out, head to the Play Store link below.

Get it on Google Play



14
Apr

Apple finally realized that audiobooks aren’t music


An audiobook in iOS 8.4

Have you scratched your head wondering why Apple would put audiobooks in iOS’ music player, rather than… y’know, a book app? So has Apple. Besides a redesigned music app, the early iOS 8.4 beta also moves audiobooks into iBooks, where they arguably should have been all along. You’ll also get must-have playback features like chapter selection and a sleep timer. It’s not certain when 8.4 will be ready for the public (WWDC, perhaps?), but it’s already obvious that this is much more than a simple bug fix.

Filed under: Cellphones, Tablets, Software, Mobile, Apple

Comments

Source: 9to5Mac

14
Apr

Synology Launches New DiskStation DS1515 and RackStation RS815 Storage Solutions [Mac Blog]


Synology, known for its Network Attached Storage (NAS) solutions, today announced the addition of two new devices to its existing DiskStation and RackStation product lineup: the DiskStation DS1515 and the RackStation RS815.

The DiskStation DS1515 is the first 5-bay solution in Synology’s Value series lineup that offers a quad-core CPU. Along with a 1.4GHz AL-314 quad-core CPU from Annapurna Labs, it has 2GB of RAM and four Gigabit LAN ports with link aggregation support. The DS1515 is able to offer read/write speeds of up to 403.7MB/s and 421.8MB/s, respectively, using a RAID 5 configuration with Windows. With its hardware encryption engine, it offers encrypted data transmission speeds of 296.54MB/s (read) and 150.04 MB/s (write).

ds1515
Like all of Synology’s products, the DS1515 runs Synology’s DiskStation Manager software, and it’s scalable up to 15 drives with two Synology DX513 expansion units for up to 90TB of total storage 30TB maximum without the expansion units). Synology’s DS1515 is designed to be energy efficient, with hard drive hibernation and two 80 x 80 mm fans to keep it running cool, and it has a noise dampening design that lets it run quieter than PCs.

“The DS1515 and RS815 offer excellent value for growing companies that need easy scalability, with on-the-fly plug and play expansions,” said Synology Product Marketing Manager Jason Bonoan. “Plus, work groups can use these NAS with Cloud Station and sync their files when they are on the go.”

Synology’s RackStation RS815 is a 4-bay rackmount NAS that’s designed to be compact and able to fit easily in smaller server rooms. Aimed at businesses that need to store large amounts of data, the RackStation RS815 is 12-inches deep and smaller than its predecessor.

rackstationsynology

Synology RackStation RS815 is a compact and scalable 4-bay rackmount NAS, which is designed to help businesses effectively store, protect and share data. In terms of size, RS815 is nearly half the depth compared to its predecessor. Running on Synology’s award-winning DiskStation Manager, RS815 enjoys rich features and stability in situations with limited space and budget.

The RS815 includes a dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. It’s able to deliver speeds of up to 111.5MB/s (read) and 108.7MB/s (write) in a RAID 5 configuration. It’s got dual LAN failover support to keep it connected to the network at all times, plus two USB 3.0 ports and support for an optional storage expansion unit (up to 48TB of space). As with the DS1515, the RS815 runs the DiskStation Manager Software.

The Synology DS1515 and RS815 are available for purchase today for $649.99 and $599.99, respectively.



14
Apr

With great power comes great cost for Samsung Galaxy S6 edge


samsung_galaxy_s6_edge_exploded

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge brings a lot of new innovation to the smartphone market and a new breakdown of the cost to produce the phone by research firm IHS reveals that innovation comes at relatively high cost. IHS recently took a look at the 64GB Verizon variant of the Galaxy S6 edge and estimated the cost for parts and assembly was about $290. That puts the Galaxy S6 edge about $34 per unit more than last year’s Galaxy S 5 and much higher than Apple’s iPhone 6 which is estimated to cost $247 to produce. The Galaxy S6 edge is currently retailing for $699 off contract. “This phone costs less than an iPhone to buy, but it costs Samsung more to build,” says IHS analyst Andrew Rassweiler.

Almost a third of the cost of the Galaxy S6 edge comes from the curved touchscreen display. IHS estimates the display and touchscreen elements cost $85. The next most expensive part is the Exynos 7 processor with a price tag of $29.50. Part of that high cost is likely due to the fact that the Exynos 7 is Samsung’s first chip that uses 14-nanometer technology in its production. The use of the new Exynos 7 cpu pushed Samsung to also produce new high-end DDR4 memory at a cost of $27 to pack in 3GB worth. The DDR4 memory is another first for a smartphone on the market.

Although the Galaxy S6 edge is expensive for Samsung to produce, their investment in new technologies and getting them to market first should help position them for future success. The fact that Samsung is selling the device at such a low price point relative to its cost to produce is also a sign of how serious Samsung is about regaining their market share momentum after the 2014 dip.

source: Re/code

Come comment on this article: With great power comes great cost for Samsung Galaxy S6 edge

14
Apr

Google Play intros “Designed for Families” program that will make finding family friendly apps easier.




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The Play store has thousands of apps that range from all sorts of categories; games, photography, educational, shooters, the list goes on and on. While it is great to have such a great assortment of apps to choose from, it does make it difficult to find those that are appropriate for kids (we wouldn’t want a toddler to be going around shooting zombies now would we). Google today has announced a new program for developers that will allow them to designate their apps to be kid friendly where soon after Google will approve them or deny them. We personally find Designed for Families to be a great idea, as it would allow finding appropriate apps for kids to be a much smoother process.

Designed for Families is definitely going to make finding apps for kids a much smoother process.

 

Developers can go ahead and submit their apps for review starting today, with Google reviewing them to make sure they meet the Designed for Families guidelines. They are also planning on adding some new ways to promote these approved apps, perhaps a new tab in the Play Store? Either way, I am sure many a parent or guardian will find this news to be a quite welcome.

Source: Google



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The post Google Play intros “Designed for Families” program that will make finding family friendly apps easier. appeared first on AndroidGuys.

14
Apr

New Google Play program will make it easier to find high-quality, family-friendly apps


06 Google Play Store watermarked

Although I’ve personally never had any major finding the apps I want on Google Play, a number of critics over the years have claimed that Google’s app store experience pales in comparison with what you’d find over at Camp Apple. While the number of apps offered have quickly caught up to the rival platform over the last few years, Google’s automatic app approval process has been criticized for being a less efficient way of vetting apps and as result a number of inappropriate, malicious, or simply low-quality apps have continued to make their way into Google’s app store.

Last month, Google decided to raise the bar several notches, switching to a manual app approval process that should lay some of these previous complaints to rest. Going a step further, Google wants to upgrade its kid-friendly app experience as well. Today Google announced to developers a brand new program called “Designed For Families” which lets app makers voluntarily submit their apps for additional review in order to be labeled “Designed for Families”.

Google will be adding more ways to promote family content to users on Google Play ‘in the coming weeks’.

The purpose of this designation is to make high-quality, family-friendly apps stand out in a sea full of apps aimed at kids, but that honestly provide low-quality experiences and often inappropriate ads, in-app purchases, and even content that isn’t as age-friendly as an app claims by its title or description. Google has yet to clarify exactly how it will make these stand-out apps discoverable, but their official blog post says they’ll be adding more ways to promote family content to users on Google Play “in the coming weeks”.

As a parent, I am excited by this news. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve downloaded an app for my five-year-old daughter only to find that what looked like a semi-decent app turned out to be full of pop-ads, a poor and confusing UI, and the list goes on. Thankfully I always check out the apps in detail before handing them over to my child, but a “Designed for Families” program would make it that much easier to find good stuff for my kids.

As for what kind of apps will qualify into the program? Google’s approval process is based on a set of in-house specifications, but they are based industry standards, such as content must be ESRB or Everyone 10+ and ads have to meet certain guidelines to ensure they are age appropriate. For those wondering what would happen if a company with a low-quality app submits and manages to get past the approval process, Google says an app that breaks any of its program rules won’t just be removed from the “Designed for Families” category, but from the Google Play store entirely.



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