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12
Jul

Android M Developer Preview 2 fixes snoozing alarm clock bug


You’ll have already heard that the Android M Developer Preview 2 was released this week and amongst its various performance enhancements and bug fixes was a patch to solve a rather frustrating issue with the internal alarm clock.

Most people rely on their alarm clock on their smartphone to wake up for work, attend job interviews, or remind them of a stop on the train, but a bug in the first Preview of Android M was an issue that caused the snooze button to add a full 24 hours onto your alarm time, instead of the usual few minutes that is intended.

In the latest 2nd Developer Preview of Android M, this annoying bug seems to be fixed to avoid any further instances of inadvertently oversleeping by snoozing your alarm for that few extra minutes.

The post Android M Developer Preview 2 fixes snoozing alarm clock bug appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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12
Jul

ASUS’ slim and sharp ZenPad S tablet arrives in the US


ASUS ZenPad S 8.0

Looks like you didn’t have to wait long for ASUS’ ZenPad S 8.0 to show up in the US — Best Buy is now selling the 8-inch Android 5.1 slate for an easy-to-swallow $200. While this isn’t the highest-end version (it’s carrying ‘just’ 2GB of RAM and a slower 1.33GHz Atom chip) it’s far from a slouch. You’re still getting an iPad mini-rivaling 2,048 x 1,536 display, 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front cam and 32GB of storage in a frame that’s just 0.27 inches thick. You’ll have to like ASUS’ custom software for the ZenPad S to float your boat, but it’s otherwise a solid deal.

Filed under: Tablets, ASUS

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Via: Android Central

Source: Best Buy

12
Jul

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘The Hateful Eight’ will premiere in 70mm film


Quentin Tarantino and Kurt Russell at San Diego Comic Con 2015

It’s no secret that Quentin Tarantino prefers film over digital, and he’s underscoring that point with the planned debut of The Hateful Eight. The director kicked off a San Diego Comic-Con panel with a video revealing that his Western was not only shot on giant 65mm film, but will screen in 70mm film before any other format. This will be a roadshow-style release where 100 theaters will put on a special show that might even recall the golden era of film, with overtures and intermissions. It’ll expand to other formats after two weeks.

As for why Tarantino didn’t go with smaller film stock? He argues that 70mm is good not just for dramatic outdoor vistas, but also for indoor scenes. It makes them “more intimate [and] more vital,” which is important when The Hateful Eight is mostly set in one building in Wyoming. Tarantino adds that he also saw 70mm as a bargaining chip that would keep his movie on film. “I figured if I shoot in 70, they’ll have to release it in 70,” he says.

Not that he’s completely averse to joining the modern era. At the Comic-Con panel, he explained that he saw digital projection as “HBO in public.” If he eventually has no choice but to shoot in a TV-like digital medium, he might as well cut the middleman and produce for TV. It’s just as well, he adds — this would give him an opportunity to shoot larger stories instead of cutting things down for the movie theater. There’s no indication that Tarantino is about to make a career switch (he notes that any talk of him calling it quits is premature), but you now know where he’d go if celluloid went away.

[Image credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]

Filed under: Home Entertainment, HD

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Source: io9, MoviemaniacsDE (YouTube)

12
Jul

Asus Zenfone Selfie and HTC Desire 728 pass TENAA certification in China


ASUS-ZenFone-Selfie

Once a device has passed through a government’s telecommunications regulatory committee, it’s an almost sure-fire bet a release window will open up soon after. China’s TENAA (think FCC) has recently certified two new smartphones, the Asus Zenfone Selfie which we had taken a look at before, and the relatively lesser known HTC Desire 728.

The Asus Zenfone Selfie

Announced just over a month ago, the Asus Zenfone Selfie is visually reminiscent to the ZenFone 2 with a similar design and rear-mounted buttons. Opting for a more soft, friendly approach the device comes in various pastel colors.  It features a 5.5-inch Full HD TFT display and a capable 64-bit Octa-Core Snapdragon 615 SoC. Just as with the Zenfone 2, there is both a 2GB and a 4GB RAM variant of the device, and will be available in 16, 32, or 64GB of on-board storage with microSD support included.

The phone’s name is indeed its claim to fame, as the Selfie comes with 13MP cameras both on the front and back, and both make use of dual-tone LED flashes. Much like LG’s recent flagships, the f 2.0 rear camera is equipped with a laser-assisted auto-focus system. On the front is an f 2.2 lens with an 80-degree viewing angle. The phone includes the obligatory “beautification mode” as well as a panorama selfie mode that tethers multiple pictures to create a larger image.

asus zenfone selfie

It’s unknown if this pastel-Zenfone Selfie from Taiwan is the same product that was just certified in China.

Regional Differences?

Interestingly enough, the device certified by China’s TENAA has model number ASUS_Z00UDA and may in fact, be slightly different than the product Asus unveiled in Taiwan (mentioned above). Specifically, this device has only 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, and will apparently be available in Black, Gold, Grey, and Red colors which would essentially give it the same color scheme as the Zenphone 2. It is currently unknown as to if this model is exclusive for China, or if Asus has decided to rethink the pastel rear covers and go with more solid ones. It is also unclear as to if the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop build running on this certified device will be the same on the international product.

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The HTC Desire 728

Also certified by the TENAA is a mid-range HTC product, the Desire 728 (model number D728w) is a definitively mid-range phone with a 5.5-inch 720p HD display, 2GB of RAM, a 1.3GHz octa-core CPU (believed to be a MediaTek MT6753), 16GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera.

Rounding out the specs are a 2,800 mAh battery and Android Lollipop 5.1. The phone is just under 150 grams and will be sold in white, black, orange, red, gold and grey color variants. While the Desire line has been around for some time, this will be one of the rare times orange makes the cut, with the company typically sticking with more traditional black/blue/white/red colors.

htc-desire-728-tenaa-leaks

Given the rather standard-affair specs, as well as our own impressions from the Desire 626, we don’t expect the world from this piece of hardware, nor is it likely to be released outside Asia, where HTC seems content to announce product after product while the remainder of the world receives a scarce few, such as the One M9.

Do either of these products pique your interest? Curious what Asus’ take on the “selfie phone” craze will pan out to be? Leave a comment below and let us know!

12
Jul

7 games with a Zen state of mind


You’ve had a long day. Your alarm didn’t go off, so you rush to get to work. To make matters worse, you get to your bus just as it’s pulling away, so you have to wait 15 minutes for the next one. Then you spill coffee down the front of your shirt right before a meeting with a client. And to top it all off, it looks like you accidentally sexted your mom instead of your significant other. But it’s going to be all right, because as soon as you get home, you fire up that one game that’ll let you chill, zone out and play your problems away. For me, that Zen gaming go-to is Two Dots, with its deceptively simple connect-the-dots missive and pleasing illustrations seemingly ripped from the pages of a children’s book. But there are other, equally as charming and calming video games out there. So if you’re in need of a tranquil gaming fix, then we’ve got just the list for you.

[Image credit: thatgamecompany]

Filed under: Gaming, HD

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12
Jul

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: cliffside homes and The Bark Knight


Inhabitat's Week in Green

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

What if your car was powered by sunlight? It sounds like a dream come true — but that’s exactly what a team of Dutch engineering students have cooked up. The Stella Lux is a four-seater electric car with a powerful solar roof that actually generates more energy than the vehicle uses. In other futuristic transportation news, Local Motors just unveiled plans for the world’s first production line of 3D-printed cars. The ultra-customizable vehicles include a sporty racer and a beach-ready buggy. Automakers and tech companies around the world are fervently working on self-driving cars, and it turns out the technology could be a tremendous boon for the environment. A new study shows that autonomous robocabs could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 94 percent. And this week, two electric airplanes made history by successfully flying across the English Channel.

What’s the craziest home you’ve ever seen? Odds are, it doesn’t compare to two cliff-hanging dwellings we spotted last week. OPA’s Casa Brutale is an amazing home carved into a cliff with an infinity pool for a roof, and the Skylodge is a crystalline pod strapped to a mountain 1,300 feet above Peru’s Sacred Valley. If catching up on some R&R closer to sea level is more your style, check out the Hydro Hammock — a hanging hot tub that takes outdoor relaxation to a whole new level. In other design news, an out-of-this-world UFO-shaped museum is set to land in Mexico, and it looks like the world’s first self-sufficient floating city may actually be built. This past week, the Seasteading Institute’s Floating City graduated to Phase II, and the organization plans to launch the project by the year 2020.

The Ocean Reef Group recently unveiled the world’s first underwater greenhouses off the coast of Italy. The five submerged biospheres are filled with carbon dioxide, so they rapidly grow beans, strawberries, basil and lettuce. Here on land, Philips just launched GrowWise — a groundbreaking indoor farm packed with new technologies that could revolutionize food production. In New Zealand, a man has literally grown a building by weaving a grove of saplings into a living, breathing Tree Church, and designer Christophe Guinet gave the Dark Knight a new spin by crafting a Batman suit from tree bark. Finally, architect Charles Jencks transformed an old coal mine into a sprawling universe made out of plants and stones.

Filed under: Misc, Household, Transportation, Wearables, Science

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12
Jul

Why the Apple Watch is flopping


Why the Apple Watch is flopping

The Apple Watch, despite years of hype before it was even announced, appears to be flopping after all.

It wasn’t a good sign when Apple announced shortly before the Watch release that they weren’t going to be breaking out sales numbers. Now, a new report from third-party analysts Slice Intelligence not only show that Apple Watch sales are down 90% since launch-a big deal, since it implies early adopters aren’t regaling more cautious buyers with glowing word-of-mouth-but also that Fitbit is outselling Apple in the wearables space. Apple may have already crushed small time smartwatch companies like Pebble, but the Watch has failed to disrupt the larger wearable marketplace.

Imagine if months after the iPad release, we learned it still hadn’t outsold some model of Windows tablet. A couple of million units sold sounds okay, but hardly the sort of smash hit we’ve come to expect from Apple. A precipitous decline in sales after just a couple of months? Not a good sign.

The watch has failed to become the status quo object in wearables. For Apple, that’s a flop.

Will the Apple Watch recover, and sell 100 million units in two years, like the iPad, or three years, like the iPhone? There’s still time-but not at these rates. (Which, to be fair, are projections based on email receipts hoovered up by Slice, not from Apple itself.) Even with generous rounding errors, the Watch has failed to become the status quo object in wearables. And for Apple, that’s a flop.

So how did this happen? The answer may sound like heresy to those who canonize-or even merely admire-Apple’s designers. What if the Apple Watch, for all its its milled and woven metals, all its appearances on the catwalk, isn’t actually all that well-designed? So far, the Apple Watch doesn’t seem very useful, and it hasn’t proven that fashionable.

It Just Doesn’t Work That Well

Early reviews were filled with tentative criticism, and convoluted explanations about why you might want an Apple Watch in the first place. The New York Times needed “three long, often confusing and frustrating days” to learn how to use it. Others pointed to poor technical performance and a lack of meaningful apps. Many reviews contained the caveat, “it’s not for everyone…” One influential review by TechCrunch pointed to what became a rallying cry for the Apple Watch’s utility: the time saved by using a screen at a glance-as if teens and grandmas everywhere would relish the option to spend $500 to save the equivalent a few seconds each day. (Seconds that, more often than not, are consumed by a watch alert instructing its wearer to check their phone.)

Apple is not immune to fashion’s whim, and fashion’s whim is a lot faster than your two-year iPhone upgrade cycle.

Major developers complained to us before release that Apple had constrained Watch functions too tightly to create rich, meaningful experiences. Presumably to preserve the Watch’s limited battery life, apps ran on the iPhone, the sensors and Taptic Engine were off-limits, and many graphical elements had to be streamed to the Watch instead of being generated natively. Apple has since released a new SDK to remedy some of these limitations, which will certainly improve the app experience, however un-killer they all, so far, have been.

From a user-experience standpoint, it’s unclear that Apple ever figured out how people were really supposed to interact with the Watch. Consider that it contains four different types of notifications: a “glance,” a short look notification, a long look notification, and another style of notification that pops up only inside a digital watchface. Sometimes they’ll have the information you need. Sometimes they’ll prompt you to open an app on your iPhone. Never do they indicate that Apple figured out one perfect way to use a tool of their own invention. And despite having three different types of touch interface-basic touch-screen interaction, Force Touch, and the Digital Crown-the watch still leans heavily on Siri, Apple’s voice recognition agent, who remains fairly dense and hard of hearing.

It’s Not That Fashionable

Where did your Apple Watch go, Drake?

http://www.fastcompany.com/twitframe?url=https://twitter.com/cwarzel/status/618443134121443328

What about yours, Karl Lagerfeld? Is it hiding under those cuffs?

http://instagram.com/p/4C9Rm5RNzT/embed/

Say it ain’t so, Bey!

http://instagram.com/p/4p7fwYPw_m/embed/

Though at least Beyoncé, who made headlines for wearing her gold-band Apple Watch Edition (backwards, by the way; in what, let’s all be honest, must be an under-the-table sponsorship we’ll read about in a memoir 40 years from now), still Instagrams in it every once in a while.

via Beyonce.com

You can view this in two ways, and neither bodes well for the Watch. Waning celebrity support could mark a cooling cool factor. Not because there’s anything wrong with the Watch, but because Apple is not immune to fashion’s whim-and fashion’s whim is a lot faster than your two-year iPhone upgrade cycle. Maybe the Apple Watch had a moment of limelight, but now seems, if not tacky, at least pedestrian.

And let’s ignore the challenge of auguring Yoncé’s daily technology and fashion choices solely from images on a highly curated Instagram feed. So she doesn’t wear the same watch every day; she’s a fashionista who changes her look on a daily basis. When does she wear it?

A nice watch for a normal, non-celebrity fits somewhere between a wedding ring and your go-to black leather shoes. You’ll wear it a lot, but not all the time.

But the Apple Watch isn’t just another piece of jewelry. If you don’t wear a Rolex every day, it’s not a big deal. If you don’t wear an Apple Watch every day, how is it ever going to become an integral part of how you pay for things, identify yourself, and check your emails? For the Apple Watch to replace the functionality of our phones, even in part, it has to be worn all the time. And it’s looking like-at least according to my highly scientific celebrity Instagram analysis, cross-indexed with the upturned noses of many of my otherwise perfectly gadget-prone friends-Apple Watch just doesn’t fit into every context. (And we’re talking about gifted $17,000+ version here, which at least brings the cachet of excess. The entry-level models may be more innocuous, but they’re still smartwatches, and smartwatches are still Segways for your wrist.)

Apple Is Still Thinking In ID, Not UX

All of this culminates to the Apple Watch’s fundamental flaw: it’s a myopic masterpiece of industrial design, with microchips under curved glass held firm by Velcro-elegant magnetic clasps, so focused on fit and finish that it forgot about the software experience. And it’s the software experience that, ironically, could solve the disappointing UX, along with the stale problem of wearing the same old watch every day.

Look at the Apple Watch page and you’ll see the pornographic macros of the digital crown and woven metal band; yet ultimately, the Apple Watch hardware you purchase has just one look. Software barely shapes its aesthetic. Apple hasn’t even opened up digital watch faces to third party developers, and even if they do, they won’t stop the watch hardware from looking like a dead screen that’s too afraid to fire up its own battery, lest it die.

The Apple Watch is so focused on fit and finish, it forgot about the software experience.

The Apple Watch is flopping because it’s very well executed, but not very well designed. In terms of utility, it’s hard to use, and not solving meaningful problems. In terms of fashion, it’s a piece of technology that inherently falls short of timelessness, and yet doesn’t keep up with fast fashion, either.

I’m not sure that the Apple Watch needs to rectify all of these problems to be a monster hit, but it certainly needs to solve one of them. Until then, the Apple Watch still “isn’t for everyone.” And apparently not as many someones as had been expected.

Filed under: Wearables, Apple

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12
Jul

Android Authority this week – July 12, 2015


samsung galaxy s6 active vs galaxy s6 and edge (10 of 20)

Hello Android fans, rumors of the next Android superstars are sizzling hot and so is summer in many parts of the world. But we don’t mind, as long as we get our daily dose of Android coolness! Here are some of the top news this week: Galaxy Note 5 specs leaked out, along with the phone’s rumored launch time; we’ve added more features to the OnePlus 2’s portrait; an initial set of specs leaked for the LG G Pro 3; further details surfaced about the Galaxy A8 and the Xiaomi Mi 5; Google launched an updated version of Android M; and talk of a BlackBerry-Android connection heated up.

Inside AA HQ

It’s been a quiet few days for us over here at Android Authority. While we’ve slowed down a bit, it doesn’t mean we’re not working behind the scenes on some cool stuff for the second half of the year. For now we’re looking forward to the OnePlus 2 and, provided recent reports are true, the Note 5, as soon as August. Exciting stuff!

This week we’re putting the excellent LG G4 up for grabs. Visit the Sunday Giveaway page for your chance to win LG’s latest flagship.

The stuff you shouldn’t miss

samsung galaxy s6 active aa (7 of 19)

Top news of the week

Note 5 rumors

samsung galaxy note 5 render hdblog (1)

OnePlus 2 getting close

oneplus-one-unboxing-8-of-29

LG G Pro 3

lg logo mwc 2015 c 2

 

Galaxy A8 coming soon        

Samsung-Galaxy-A8-1                                                                                     

Xiaomi Mi 5 specs

Xiaomi Mi Note Pro-3

Android M preview #2

Android M Easter Egg Lol watermark

BB and Google

BlackBerry Google BES12 partnership Android Authority

Sound off

We always want to hear your feedback. Whether it’s criticism or praise, feel free to tell us what you think about Android Authority’s content, design, and community. Comment here or get in touch with us on our social channels:

Happy Sunday!

12
Jul

White House may find more data breaches following security ‘sprint’


Office of Personnel Management director Katherine Archuleta

When investigators discovered that the US Office of Personnel Management had suffered a massive data breach, the White House kicked off a 30-day cybersecurity “sprint” in hopes of boosting its defenses and checking for vulnerabilities. Well, that mad dash is over — and the government might not like what it found. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott tells Reuters that there’s a “realistic chance” that the feds will have word of more intrusions when they share details on July 20th. That kind of discovery won’t be completely surprising given how much the US has come under attack, but it could make the OPM breach just one piece of a much larger puzzle.

As for preventing future disasters? That’s a tougher call. Scott isn’t yet saying how well each branch fared during the sprint, but he notes that “some will get there, and some won’t.” In other words, it’s likely that numerous institutions will need to revamp their security policies, whether they’re learning how to protect against hacks or limit the damage if and when someone gets in. That’s not comforting if your information is stored at one of those behind-the-times institutions, but it beats finding out after a future incident.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh]

Filed under: Internet

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Source: Reuters

12
Jul

LG G4 International Giveaway


Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone or tablet each and every Sunday.

A big congratulations to last week’s winner of the Galaxy S6 giveaway, Filip V., from Romania.

This week we are giving away a new LG G4!

LG’s G4 hits the sweet spot for a lot of potential people with its arguably best in class camera quality, Quantum 2k display, removable battery, microSD support and its interchangeable back. It earned our Editor’s Choice award, and is one of the best smartphones of 2015.

Related links: LG G4 Review | LG G4 cases | LG G4 vs Galaxy S6/edge

Join Now!

LG G4 International Giveaway

Related giveaway: Beats Pill 2.0 bluetooth speaker giveaway at Sound Guys.

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties, import taxes that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

Full terms & conditions and FAQ | Past giveaway winners [Gallery]

Good luck, everyone!

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