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22
Apr

WatchAware Now Cataloging All 2,143 Approved Apps With Previews, Screenshots [iOS Blog]


Apple Watch-focused site WatchAware has seen some major improvements since its launch earlier this year, and its Apple Watch apps section now houses screenshots and details from all 2,143 Apple Watch apps that have been approved by Apple to date.

It’s the most comprehensive resource for Apple Watch app discovery, displaying all Apple Watch apps in a grid-like view. App screenshots and videos are positioned on top of Apple Watch casings to give a clear picture of what each app will look like on when it’s actually being run on your wrist.

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Apps on the site have varying levels of interactivity. Some apps just cycle through available App Store screenshots, but others include videos or more interactive elements that let you switch between the app itself, Glances, and Notifications, the three types of experiences developers can create on the watch.



WatchAware now organizes available apps into categories to make it easier to find the type of app you want to see, and deeper category lists are going to be implemented later today. A search tool will be added to the site this afternoon, and there are also curated lists that highlight some of the best available apps for the Apple Watch.



Each of WatchAware‘s Apple Watch listings have detail pages accessible with a click, offering more information on the app and tools for sharing on social networks. In this detail page for the new Apple Watch game Letterpad, for example, it includes screenshots, an app description, a download link, and sharing tools.

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It’s also possible to embed apps into blog posts with fully customizable options for choosing bands, casing materials, the amount of band shown, and the portion of the app that’s displayed first.

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We’re just days away from the 4/24 Apple Watch launch date, which will see the first customers receiving their watches. Checking out WatchAware for a list of available apps could be a useful way to figure out what you might want to download when you have your watch in hand.



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22
Apr

Google’s wireless service is official, dubbed Project Fi


Just as the Wall Street Journal predicted, Google has now launched its new wireless service, Project Fi. We’ve been hearing rumors about the new service and what features it might bring for a while now and, as it turns out, the rumor mill was pretty spot on about a lot of things.

Project Fi is the first wireless service to seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and LTE, always choosing the connection that’s currently the strongest. Two different LTE networks are supported at the moment, T-Mobile and Sprint. The catch here is that only one phone has been designed to work with the special SIM required for Project Fi, the Google Nexus 6. The good news is that Google hints this is just the first of many devices, and so hopefully it’s only a matter of time before other popular Android devices gain support.

While you need a Nexus 6 for the service, those with Project Fi will be able to use their number even when not near their phone, utilizing any device with Google Hangouts installed.

While you need a Nexus 6 for the service, those with Project Fi will be able to use their number even when not near their phone, utilizing any device with Google Hangouts installed for calls, texts, and checking voicemail. That means laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, and so forth.

Pricing is pretty straightforward with Project Fi. You pay $20 a month for unlimited talk, text, and Wi-Fi tethering. Data is separate, and billed at a reasonable $10 for every 1GB of data you use. While this is prepaid and you pay for data in advance, any unused data will be credited back to you. It won’t be rounded up either, if you use 1.9 GB of data, you’ll get refunded for the .1GB you didn’t use. For those that travel, you’ll be happy to know that the service extends to 120+ countries while traveling abroad at no extra cost for data or texts. The only restriction is that speeds are limited down to just 256kbps while abroad. International calls are a separate charge at 20 cents a minute.

Interested in signing up for Project Fi? Not so fast. Similar to Inbox for Gmail, this is an invite only program, though you can request an invite. The only requirement is a Gmail account and a Nexus 6. The service isn’t quite up and ready, but Google says that invitees should be able to jump in with service sometime next week. Google will be sending out batches of invites each week, but don’t be shocked if it takes a while to get an invitation.

To see if you’re in an area that Project Fi currently covers, be sure to check our Google’s official coverage map. We’ll be sure to update you with even more details as they hit. What do you think, excited or not?

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22
Apr

Facebook releases ‘Hello’ dialer app to the Google Play Store


Facebook has just announced a new Android application that aims to make your communication experiences much easier. The app is called Hello, and it’s a dialer app that pulls information from Facebook so you can see who’s calling you without even having the phone number saved on your device. You can also block unwanted calls, start a Messenger chat with a friend and open someone’s profile with just one tap. The dialer, which requires a Facebook login to use, will also auto-update contacts as they change on Facebook’s servers, so you’ll always have the most recent contact information available.

At first glance, this seems like any old dialer app that you could find in the Play Store. But with the app tying in so closely with Facebook, we’re sure fans of the social network will find some functionality here.

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Here is the full list of features you’ll get with Hello:

  • See who’s calling you, even if you don’t have that phone number saved in your phone.
  • Easily block unwanted calls.
  • Automatically block calls from numbers that have been blocked by a lot of other people.
  • Search your phone contacts and people and places on Facebook, without switching between apps.
  • Always have the latest info about your contacts, including their profile pictures and birthdays.
  • Open a Facebook profile or Page with just one tap.
  • Call and text for free with Messenger.
  • Call, add and edit contacts — just like you do on your phone.

You can now download Hello for free in the Google Play Store.

Get it on Google Play

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22
Apr

T-Mobile CEO John Legere formally announces partnership with Google for Project Fi


T-Mobile Smartphone Equality

For those who haven’t heard the news, Google has officially unveiled Project Fi – the company’s foray into the U.S. wireless industry. Offering its users a cheap and simple alternative to the other mobile carriers out there, Project Fi will be able to switch between Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks and Wi-Fi connections around the nation, automatically connecting your Nexus 6 to the network with the strongest signal at that time.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has just formally announced the company’s partnership with Google to help create Project Fi, offering up a few insights on the companies’ collaboration:

Project Fi is going to make people think differently about wireless—and I love that. Anything that shakes up the industry status quo is a good thing—for both US wireless customers and T-Mobile.

Google has well established their brand as a technology innovator that has benefited customers in a ton of fantastic ways. So, when our friends in Mountain View approached us with their ideas for changing up wireless, it was a no-brainer to team up with them again.

T-Mobile and Google’s partnership goes way back to the early days of Android. The carrier launched the first ever Android smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, and has since held close ties with Google. In classic Legere fashion, here are a few other tidbits the CEO had to say:

Disruption is what the Un-carrier does. Our mission is to change the wireless industry for the better on behalf of all wireless consumers and business customers…. So if you’re looking for a partner who lives and breathes innovation − and has a network built for today’s data-centric world and data-hungry customers − it’s easy!  You’re going to want to come to the Un-carrier. And we’re glad Google did just that.

He also comments that while Project Fi doesn’t offer all of the same features that T-Mobile does like HD Voice or Wi-Fi Calling, he’s still confident that Project Fi will be a great value to many users around the States.

To read Legere’s full announcement, check out the source link below. Otherwise, you can head here to learn more about Google’s Project Fi service.

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22
Apr

Google’s Project Fi service turns multiple phone networks into one


Got a Nexus 6? Itching to dump your traditional wireless service provider for something a bit more ambitious? Google’s got you covered. After months of speculation and a not-so-subtle nod from Sundar Pichai at Mobile World Congress, the search giant’s new mobile phone service — Project Fi — is finally official. We’re still sifting through the details, but the company’s plan is both as savvy and as unorthodox as we’d expect: Instead of trying to build out and maintain its own nationwide network of cell towers and repeaters, Google’s instead combining Sprint and T-Mobile’s coverage footprints with millions of pre-vetted WiFi hotspots to provide users with the fastest, most seamless mobile experience it can in real-time.

Well, that’s the plan anyway. You’re probably just clamoring for the invite link at this point (here you go), but it’s important to note that Google created Fi to fill in the gaps that already exist in our more-mobile-by-the-day lives.

Google says that if you initiate a phone call while you’re connected to WiFi, for instance, the service will automatically hand it off to whichever cellular network is strongest where you are. Speaking of WiFi, that secure connection feature spotted in a new build of Android is indeed part of the mix here too, with Google acting as a gatekeeper for your device’s data when it’s connected to one of those verified hotspots. Naturally, most Android phones out there won’t play nice with that sort extensive, prolonged network hopping, which means only Nexus 6 owners with a special Fi SIM card can join in on the fun for the time beingGoogle Hangouts can be used to check your voicemail and fire off your daily load of banal text messages too; it’s almost like a fully realized version of Google Voice, itself a grand experiment in mobile that eventually grew outdated and devalued as the companies priorities shifted.

Hopefully, Google stays committed this time. So, what’ll Fi cost you? To answer that question, we’ve got to dig into the basics of the Fi plan first. Everyone who signs up for the service gets the same core features — unlimited domestic calls, unlimited US and international texting, WiFi tethering and free data coverage in over 120 countries — for a base price of $20. From there, all you’re really adding are data costs, and each gigabyte of high-speed access will set you back an additional $10. Yep, that means you can get started on Google’s own mobile network (or “network of networks,” as it’s calling it) for as little as $30 a month if you can skate by on 1GB of LTE data. Oh, and the icing on the cake: You’ll get a refund each month for whatever data you haven’t burned through. Given Google’s general distaste for selling things with contracts, it shouldn’t shock you to hear that you won’t be inking any multi-year deals to use Fi either.

It’s a little too early to call Project Fi a “game-changer,” but I don’t think it’s quite fair for Google to keep likening it to the long-running Nexus device program. For the most part, Nexus phones and tablets aren’t designed to be adored by the masses — they’re meant to be proofs of concept, heralds for what Android could and should be. Fi arguably falls into that mold too as a semi-Utopian network concept that pairs two bitter rivals like Sprint and T-Mobile under a single umbrella of seamlessness, but everything else? The dead simple pricing and the monthly refunds and consumer-first network hopping? That just might be enough to get people thinking about what their carriers should be doing for them.

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Source: Project Fi

22
Apr

Facebook Hello shows who’s calling your Android phone


Facebook Hello

As helpful as it is, caller ID doesn’t really tell you everything about who’s ringing your phone or why. Is it an acquaintance? A best friend’s birthday? Or a robocaller? Facebook might have a better solution. It’s rolling out Hello, the previously leaked Android caller ID app. The software shows all the Facebook information that a caller is willing to share, whether it’s public or between friends — you may know who someone works for even if it’s the first time you’re speaking together. You can also find out how many times a number has been blocked, automatically block the worst offenders and search for people or places. Facebook is only offering Hello in Brazil, Nigeria and the US right now, but it won’t be surprising if the app spreads elsewhere before long.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/125628290?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0

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Via: TechCrunch

Source: Facebook Newsroom, Google Play

22
Apr

Mini’s weird-looking AR goggles are actually useful


Augmented reality is supposed to be the future, but its current usefulness is pretty fuzzy. Sony’s SmartEyeglass is reminiscent of your old monochrome monitors, Microsoft’s HoloLens‘ games look intriguing, but who knows when that’s coming out and Google Glass, well, we’re not sure what the future holds for Glass. BMW’s vision of augmented reality is still a ways off as well, but it’s recently partnered with Qualcomm to announce something rather unexpected: a pair of AR glasses meant specifically for, of all things, driving a Mini. It looks and sounds ridiculous. But the thing is: It’s actually pretty damn impressive.

The Mini Augmented Vision AR glasses essentially take the HUD technology currently found in some cars and place it on your face, but with features far beyond what can be projected on your windshield. A collaboration involving BMW, Qualcomm and Osterhout Design Group (ODG), the eyewear is based on ODG’s R-6 Smart Glasses and uses Qualcomm’s Vuforia AR tech to bring BMW’s vision of in-car displays to life.

“When we heard from the BMW group in September of 2013, our first reaction was, ‘Is this an app for Glass? What is this?’” Jay Wright, vice president of Qualcomm’s Vuforia division, told Engadget at a media event. BMW has been working for decades on enhancing the driving experience, crafting a solution that works with AR. It wasn’t until recently that technology caught up with that vision.

Right off the bat, the Mini glasses strike me as larger and heavier than the typical eyewear you’ll find from Oakley or Warby Parker. They’re fine for a cross-town jaunt, but I wouldn’t want to wear them for much longer than an hour at a time even though they do look cooler than your average AR headset (which doesn’t say much). But even with the fashion elements added to them, Wright made an observation: “Maybe if I’m sitting in my car, I’m a little less concerned about how I look than sitting in a restaurant with my friends.”

The one-time setup process takes about a minute. With one eye closed, you align a frame in the display with a frame on a poster, and then repeat the process with the other eye. If you’re outside of the vehicle, you can manipulate the display via a button on the right temple — swipe up and down to navigate and press to select. As part of the demo, I’m told to look at two event posters with the glasses on. The first poster shows an overlay that informs me that particular event is sold out. (Even in the virtual world, I’m unable to score tickets to cool shows.) The second event poster, however, says that seats are still available and I could attend if I wanted. It even gives me walking directions to my car and driving directions to the event.

In the car, the demo consists of a virtual drive through a virtual world. I see my current speed and upcoming street names hovering before me. Animated arrows show where I would have turned had I actually been driving. An errant basketball unexpectedly rolls onto the street, but using the glasses’ X-Ray feature, I look through the passenger side of the vehicle to see it bouncing along. While I don’t imagine encountering too many wayward basketballs in San Francisco, I can see how the X-Ray feature could be useful in navigating the narrow and hectic streets of the city.

As I approach my destination, parking spots and garages are highlighted; BMW says that these pop-ups will only occur at the end of a route. That same X-Ray feature shows how close I am to a curb while the car virtually parallel parks. As the car portion of the demo ends, I am given walking directions with the same animated arrows to my final destination.

By the end of the demo, I’m surprised to find that I rather like the idea of the Mini AR glasses. Sure the glasses are bulky and I would never wear them while walking down the street no matter how much they help me find my destination (I have a phone for that). But in the car, the information is presented in a way that doesn’t distract me from the task at hand. All the visual elements are fixed, so if I look left or right, I don’t have to worry about a virtual arrow or speedometer blocking my view of an oncoming vehicle.

Of course, a true test would involve using the glasses in a real-world driving situation to see if the visual noise would distract me. That, unfortunately, won’t happen for a while; hell, there’s not even a production date yet for the glasses. Just like most concept cars, the glasses I tried are still strictly a prototype.

While “driving” in my virtual demo, I receive a text message. Because the glasses are integrated into the car, I don’t have to swipe anything or yell out commands. I did something I’ve been doing in cars for years — I hit a button on a steering wheel to have the message read to me. These goofy Mini-branded glasses might be able to help me see through doors, but in the end, they’re also there for safety. “Anything we can do to keep eyes up,” Mini’s Head of Product Planning and Events Patrick McKenna said. “Don’t look away from the road ever. That’s the key of it.”

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Source: Mini

22
Apr

New Samsung Galaxy S6 ad highlights the vivid display


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Samsung consistently produces advertisements between commercials and high-profile displays to promote its flagship devices. It certainly helps that Samsung has massively deep pockets to do so. So the new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge are going to receive plenty of Samsung’s attention through the rest of 2015 and into next year. The latest ad focuses on the vivid 5.5-inch display that has 2560×1440 resolution. Those numbers translate to the Galaxy S6 having nearly six hundred pixels per inch.

Hit the break to see the ad.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Come comment on this article: New Samsung Galaxy S6 ad highlights the vivid display

22
Apr

Google becomes a wireless carrier with Project Fi


google_project_fi_banner

Today, Google announced that it would become a wireless carrier with the introduction of Project Fi. Rather than going through the very expensive and exhausting process of building a network, Google opted to utilize two existing networks. Project Fi takes advantage of service provided by T-Mobile and Sprint whenever a WiFi connection is not available. Project Fi also supports calls and texts over a WiFi connection in the absence of LTE service.

The focus, though, is for Project Fi customers to connect to Google’s more than one million free WiFi hotspots. Project Fi customers can travel about and connect to these WiFi hotspots automatically. Data remains secured through encryption despite automatically connecting to these WiFi hotspots without notice.

Having a WiFi connection will greatly benefit Project Fi customers as Google will credit them for unused data. The base price of $20 per month covers talk, text, WiFi tethering, and international coverage. For access to T-Mobile and Sprint networks, customers pay $10 for each gigabyte that they feel is needed. Google then returns funds to the customer if there is any unused data. For example, using 1.4GB on a 3GB plan credits the customer with $16. Project Fi customers only pay for exactly what they use.

Project Fi, as expected, starts with the Nexus 6 being the only device supported through its Early Access Program.

You can request an invite for Project Fi by clicking here.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: Google

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22
Apr

Facebook officially introduces dialer app, aptly named “Hello”


facebookhello

Facebook has just launched a new app for Android called “Hello” which essentially works as caller ID for your smartphone. This was said to be in the making for quite some time, but it’s good to see that the company has finally launched the app.

The app essentially tells you who’s calling, thanks to the myriad of numbers on their database. This is done by taking the users’ consent, so only those who wish their numbers to be shared with Facebook will have their names pop up when they call somebody.

The app is Android only for the time being with no word on whether iOS users will be able to get their hands on the app anytime soon.

Using Hello, you will be able to block unwanted callers and also learn who is on the other end. This is something that apps like Truecaller have already achieved, so it’s nothing new to the Android users.

But having the large numbers on their database courtesy of Facebook will certainly help in making Hello a popular app among Android users. Make sure you give the app a try from the link below.

Source: Google Play Store, Facebook Newsroom

Come comment on this article: Facebook officially introduces dialer app, aptly named “Hello”

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