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HTC doesn’t see a future in ‘mini’ smartphones (update: it might)

HTC One mini 2

We hope you weren’t pinning your hopes on a downsized version of HTC’s One M9 smartphone, as you probably won’t get it… or anything like it in the future, for that matter. HTC’s Jack Tong says that the company is ditching the One mini phone range because the “industry is moving” to phones with 5-inch and larger screens. Why build a cut-down version of a handset when most of your customers want something big? The move makes sense given that the One mini doesn’t really drive sales like its full-size sibling. Still, this is bad news if you like smaller smartphones — while there are certainly alternatives on the market, it’s good to have more options.

Update: HTC tells us that this was a misquote. As it explains to Phone Scoop, Tong did say that 5-inch and larger phones were the future, but he didn’t say the mini line was finished. This isn’t to say that you’ll see a One M9 mini — just that phones like it are still a possibility at some point.

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Via: Droid-Life

Source: Focus Taiwan


White House launches the Police Data Initiative

Holiday Shopping Begins In Ferguson As Protests Continue

Following the police-shooting death of Michael Brown and subsequent riots in Ferguson, MO, the Obama administration assembled a task force charged with somehow easing the adversarial relationship between law enforcement and the citizenry. The White House released those findings this morning and also announced that it is launching the Police Data Initiative, a 21-city pilot program designed to fast track solutions to the task force’s suggestions.

The program centers around participating departments releasing 101 data sets that have previously been unobtainable by the general public. These include uses of force, police vehicle stops and officer involved shootings. That data will then be loaded into a a public safety open data portal that the the Police Foundation and ESRI are currently building. Once that’s done, nonprofits Code for America and CI Technologies will develop an open-source software tool that will skim these data points from the IA Pro police integrity software that more than 500 departments already use nationwide.

But technology alone isn’t enough to overcome the issues that exist between police departments and minority communities. That’s why the PDI is also taking a long, hard look at getting problem officers off the street before they cause another Baltimore Uprising. Specifically, the PDI aims to reform so-called “early warning systems” — internal law enforcement systems that, according to the WH press statement “identify officers who may be having challenges in their interactions with the public and link them with training and other assistance”. Many police forces already have such systems in place, but nobody’s ever really figured out which “warning signs” are most dangerous. As such 12 of the participating departments have agreed to submit their data archives on police/citizen encounters to researchers for in-depth analysis. Similarly, Oakland PD, which is had a body camera program for more than four years now, has partnered with Stanford University to build a software tool that skim the audio of these camera recordings to uncover interactions that go either really well or really badly. Boom, instant learning opportunity.

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Source: White House


Amtrak installs automatic train controls before service resumes

Amtrak Resumes Service On Busy Northeast Corridor After Deadly Train Crash

Following the deadly accident last week near Philadelphia, Amtrak installed a braking system on the section of track that could’ve prevented the derailment. The automatic train control system (ATC) keeps tabs on a train’s speed as it heads toward curves, automatically adjusting it if the conductor fails to do so. ATC was already used for southbound trains in this spot, but not for those headed northbound like the one that derailed last Tuesday. In addition to the ATC, Amtrak is working to equip trains with a Positive Train Control system (PTC) which uses the ATC to further automate trains while avoiding collisions, maintaining safe speeds and providing safer conditions for work crews. Amtrak plans to have the PTC in place by the end of the year. The Federal Rail Administration announced today that Amtrak had completed all of its requirements to resume service along the Northeast Corridor between Washington, DC and Boston, and that the train company would continue to evaluate other curves along the route.

[Image credit: Mark Makela/Getty Images]

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Source: The Hill, Federal Rail Administration


‘Mass Effect’ director Casey Hudson joins Microsoft’s HoloLens team

Casey Hudson, the producer largely responsible for EA and BioWare’s Mass Effect trilogy, is now Creative Director at Microsoft Studios, where he’s working on HoloLens and Xbox games. Microsoft appears to be all-in on HoloLens development — Hudson now works alongside former Lionhead Studios boss John Needham and he reports directly to CVP of Next Gen Experiences Kudo Tsunoda, who previously led Microsoft’s Kinect Games initiative. Hudson relocated from Edmonton, Canada, to Redmond, Washington, for his new role.

Hudson says he’s passionate about augmented reality and its potential to shape the way people interact with computers in their daily lives:

My primary focus will be the creative direction of HoloLens Experiences…. I feel that the work being done at Microsoft on mixed reality and holographic computing will have a tremendous impact on how all of us interact with technology in the coming years.

He’ll also have a hand in developing “innovative new Xbox titles,” and driving the creative focus of Xbox and Windows gaming. We’ll see if Hudson can Shepard in a modern era of fresh, epic, augmented reality games at Microsoft Studios.

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Source: Xbox Wire


How to backup your data on a smartphone or tablet


In our technological age, losing data is a fact of life. Technology fails, files get corrupted, and sometimes we inadvertently delete our own data. It happens. The good news is that there are precautions you can take to make sure you never permanently lose data again, whether it be creating backups on a microSD card, another device or even in the cloud.

Memory cards


One of the easiest ways to store data is to purchase a decent sized microSD card, and load it in your smartphone or tablet. You can create important copies of files on your devices and transfer those copies to the microSD card, giving yourself a second layer of protection in the case of lost data.

Memory cards are excellent ways to store large amounts of data, with some smartphones supporting up to 128GB. With that amount of space, you can certainly create some hefty backups for important data.

Read more: Samsung PRO Plus and EVO Plus microSD cards launching this month

Android makes it easy to transfer apps to the microSD card. Simply go into your app tray, tap Settings > More > Application Manager. From there, you can go into each app you have and decide which applications to move to the SD card.

Photos and documents are just as easy. Go into your app tray, tap My Files — depending on what phone you have, My Files may be titled something else — and from there you can browse all the files you have on your device. In the case of photos and documents, you should be able to select any of them, hit the menu button in the top right corner, and select the “Move” option. From there, simply tap SD card, and your device will begin the transfer.

However, microSD cards aren’t a fail-safe. Just like smartphones, tablets, and any type of technology, they malfunction and you can lose all your data. While the chances are small of that happening, it does happen, but more frequently with cheap memory solutions.

Aside from microSD cards failing, some high-end devices just don’t support the wonders of external storage. That said, there are still some options you have to backup your data to another location. In fact, even if you have a microSD card, it’s always good to keep an extra backup in the cloud.

The Cloud


The Cloud is without a doubt the safest and most secure location to keep backups of important files, whether it be bank information, legal documents, and etc. Not to mention that, most of the time, you can get a decent amount of cloud storage for free. Google Drive and Dropbox are some free options out there, and if you run out of free space, you can purchase more fairly cheap.

You can always go into your Photos app or documents app and have all your files transferred to your Drive or Dropbox account, which is certainly ideal if you want to access them on different devices. However, there is a way to take an entire backup of your smartphone or tablet using an app called MyBackup or its fully featured option, MyBackup Pro.



MyBackup is useful for those that want to create copies of all their data, such as text messages, contacts, call logs, and even your set alarms. With the free version, you can backup your data to your microSD card and restore only to the same device.

MyBackup Pro, priced at $4.99, offers you a lot more. Not only can you backup and restore to multiple Android devices, but you can also backup your data to Google Drive and Dropbox, which is important in the case of device or microSD card failure.

Read more: MyBackup Pro for Android takes care of all your backup needs

Before backing up anything with MyBackup Pro, you’ll want to go into its settings and set up your chosen cloud service. You’ll also make sure you’re only backing up over Wi-Fi, as a large backup like this can eat through your data plan in minutes. After all that is squared away, it’s easy to get a backup started.

Hit the giant New Backup button. A menu will pop-up on your screen, asking you what you want to backup. Take a minute and go through everything that you want to save. Once you’re done, tap OK. It should now take only a few minutes to backup all your information, based on your Internet connection.

One thing to keep in mind is that you do accumulate new files over time. With MyBackup Pro, you can schedule a new backup to happen on a daily or weekly basis. Just hit the big schedule button, and it’ll ask you to select a time period. After you choose, it’ll do all the work for you on a daily or weekly basis.

You can download the app below.

qr code

Play Store Download Link

Wrap Up

If you haven’t guessed already, backing up data is important. You never know what could happen during the day, such as unintentional spills, shattering your display or even a smartphone overheating. Having backups gives you a peace of mind that you wouldn’t otherwise have in a situation like this.

Have you lost data before? What happened and how did you get it back? Let us know in the comments!

Come comment on this article: How to backup your data on a smartphone or tablet


Apple’s billion dollar patent victory over Samsung gets partially overturned

Apple-vs-Samsung-lawsuit1Apple and Samsung’s legal back-and-forth has been going on for years, with the original case resulting in Apple winning over 1 billion dollars in damages. Over multiple appeals and retrials, the settlement has been notched down just over $900, but according to the most recent ruling, it looks like Apple will only end up winning it’s design patent claim, but not the trade dress claim. That ruling should knock the total damages down nearly $400 million for Samsung.

Apple originally argued that many of Samsung’s devices, including the Galaxy S and Nexus S, copied the iPhone design by having rounded corners and a rectangular shape. It was a miracle that Apple managed to convince anyone that they owned the rights to rectangle smartphones at the time, so maybe having that ruling overturned shouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s good news for Samsung, but they’re still likely going to be on the hook for the design patent infringement.

However things eventually end up playing out, Samsung and Apple’s legal teams are the real winners here.

source: Reuters

via: Engadget

Come comment on this article: Apple’s billion dollar patent victory over Samsung gets partially overturned


Asus Zenfone 2 goes on sale May 19

Asus on Monday announced the pricing and availability of the US version of its ZenFone 2. First introduced at CES 2015, the 5.5-inch device will go on sale on May 19 with a $299 price tag.

The ZenFone is somewhat of a flagship handset and features some rather high-end specifications. Powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop, the smartphone packs a 2.3GHz quad-core 64-bit Intel processor with 4GB (yep, four) RAM, and a 13-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture.


Additionally, the phone is equipped with support for Cat 4 LTE-Advanced networks; a 3000mAh battery offers up a more than all-day battery.

For those looking to save, and cut a few corners, an alternate version of the device will be available, too. The $200 model includes a 1.8GHz processor with 2GB RAM.

The ZenFone 2 is compatible with AT&T’s network. Asus plans to sell the handset via, Newegg, Groupon, and B&H photo.

The post Asus Zenfone 2 goes on sale May 19 appeared first on AndroidGuys.


Literata is the new official font of Google Play Books

literataGoogle has announced a new default font for Play Books, designed for easy readability. The new font is called Literata, and looks pretty slick, as you can see above.

The change should affect the default font in your books, but Google still offers a few other options if you’re just not crazy about Literata. 

source: Google

Come comment on this article: Literata is the new official font of Google Play Books


Sprint’s Direct 2 You hitting major metropolitan cities in early June

Sprint’s Direct 2 You service that provides store like experience at your place of convenience is coming to Miami, Chicago and Kansas City starting June 1. Customers in New York City, San Francisco and Denver can also call Sprint experts to deliver their new phones and set it up for them as part of Direct 2 You service from early June.

The Direct 2 You service will be available throughout the country by the end of the year. The free service can be accessed by fixing an appointment with a Sprint executive who will deliver your new phone at a location of your choosing. Not only will he deliver your product but he will also set it up and transfer all of their content, including contacts, pictures, videos and apps, from your old device to a new one.

“For the Direct 2 You experience, a customer schedules an appointment by calling an 800 number found at At the appointed time, an expert meets the customer at his or her convenience, sets up the new phone and transfers all content, including contacts, pictures, games and apps. The experience also includes personalized training and tips to help the customer become more familiar with using their device,” a press release by Sprint read.

It is noteworthy that Sprint is providing this service in the comfort of your home, workplace or Starbucks – basically anywhere you want.

The post Sprint’s Direct 2 You hitting major metropolitan cities in early June appeared first on AndroidGuys.


‘Audiobooks for Audible’ iOS App Gains CarPlay Support [iOS Blog]

audiobooksforaudiblePopular audiobooks service Audible today announced CarPlay support for its iOS app, allowing iPhone users who have CarPlay to listen to their Audible audiobooks in their vehicles. Audiobooks for Audible is the second audiobook app available for CarPlay, following in the footsteps of, which added CarPlay support to its iOS app back in March. Apple will also be introducing its own Audiobooks app for CarPlay with the debut of iOS 8.4.

With the addition of CarPlay support, Audible becomes one of a handful of third-party apps to work with Apple’s in-car infotainment system. Apple has maintained strict control over CarPlay apps due to safety concerns, allowing only certain audio-based apps to work with the feature. Other available CarPlay apps include iHeartRadio, Rdio, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, AtBat, CBS Radio, and Umano.

CarPlay availability remains limited as many automobile manufacturers have yet to introduce the system into their vehicles, though many have pledged to debut support in 2015/2016 models. CarPlay is mainly accessible through third-party infotainment systems from companies like Alpine and Pioneer.

Along with CarPlay support, today’s Audible update also brings design changes and feature improvements to the iPhone and iPad apps.

– Lock Screen/Control Center – Previously, the Lock Screen/Control Center buttons were always chapter forward/back, even if your settings were for 30-second forward/back. Now, your lock screen/Control Center will feature the correct icons.
– Sleep Timer – There is now a “Reset Timer” option after the sleep timer ends, reducing the number of taps from 4 to 2.
– Sleep Timer – The fade-out returns.
– Discover – On iPhone, we’ve updated the visual design by removing the dark overlay and going to a grid.
– Discover – On iPad, we’ve replaced “Discover” with a true browse experience (it used to just be search). It should now mirror the iPhone version.
– When you sample a book from a book detail page in “Discover” or search, it now plays in the player. This allows you to leave the detail page and still listen to the sample.
– New Tab Bar – We moved Settings into the main navigation and created an overflow menu (on iPhone) for the items that no longer fit on the main tab.

Audiobooks from Audible can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

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