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21
Jul

ZTE’s Axon smartphone, Axon Watch and Spro 2 Projector are making their way to China


ZTE Axon for China AA

ZTE’s flagship Axon smartphone just launched in the United States about a week ago, and earlier today we saw the device pay a visit to Chinese certification authority TENAA, signifying its imminent launch in China. Now the company has made the smartphone’s launch in China official, along with a few other notable devices.

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For starters, let’s talk about the Chinese version of the Axon smartphone. This device features a very similar design to the U.S. model, though it comes with a few interesting features many users will welcome to the handset. It comes with a fingerprint scanner, dual-SIM card support, a massive 128GB of internal memory (expandable to 256GB) and Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass display. The Axon smartphone for China is also the world’s first handset that can be unlocked using three different biometric security methods – fingerprint, voice control and eye-scan. The fingerprint scanner can also be used for NFC payments, making this feature even more functional.

The 128GB variant is now available for pre-order for 3,888 RMB, while the standard 32GB version can now be pre-ordered for 2,699 RMB.

ZTE_Axon_Watch_(1)

The Axon Watch is a new wearable from ZTE, featuring a 1.4-inch Gorilla Glass screen with sapphire coating and IP67 certification. It comes with a 300mAh battery, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of on-board storage and Bluetooth 4.1. Developed in partnership with Tencent, the watch runs Tencent OS that supports both voice and gesture control. As of right now, no pricing information has been given regarding the Axon Watch.

ZTE_Spro_2_Smart_Projector

Additionally, ZTE is bringing its Android-powered Spro 2 Smart Projector to China. Launched previously on AT&T and Verizon, this projector includes a built-in 5.0-inch touchscreen and some handy mobile hotspot features. The Spro 2 for China is now available for pre-order for 3699 RMB.

Show Press Release

ZTE Launches Flagship Axon phone, Axon Watch and Spro 2 Smart Projector in China

ZTE Axon phone for China is the world’s first smartphone to feature three different biometric authentication options

21 July 2015, Beijing – ZTE, a leading global mobile device maker, today launched its flagship Axon phone for the China market at the Water Cube in Beijing. Together with this announcement came the unveiling of a brand new wearable called the Axon Watch, as well as the China debut of the Spro 2 smart projector.

“Today’s launch marks a significant new chapter in product development for ZTE, and the three devices launched today are results of our ongoing commitment to becoming more consumer-centric in the global market,” said Adam Zeng, CEO, ZTE Mobile Device. “Following its U.S. debut last week, we are excited to bring our first ever global flagship to China – a market where our aim is to return to being a top-three smartphone vendor within the next three years.”

ZTE Axon phone

The Axon phone for China comes with the same premium design as the version recently launched in the U.S., but includes a number of additional features for the China market.

In terms of hardware, the Axon phone for China comes with a fingerprint scanner, dual-SIM support, 128GB of internal memory (expandable to 256GB), and Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass.

On the software side, the device is loaded with the latest rendition of ZTE’s customizable user interface MiFavor 3.2, as well as ZTE’s innovative voice control solution. This latest iteration of ZTE’s Smart Voice supports voice translation for English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Thai and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), as well as a host of other new voice control functions, including voice SMS and voice search.

The Axon phone for China is also the world’s first smartphone that can be unlocked with three different biometric authentication options: fingerprint, voice control and eye-scan, making it one of the most secure smartphones available on the market. In addition to unlocking the device, the Axon phone’s fingerprint scanner also offers support for NFC payments.

The Axon phone will be available for pre-order in China on July 21 via ZTE’s online store at http://m.myzte.com/act/axon and JD.com. Two Axon phone versions are available: 128GB for 3,888RMB and 32GB for 2,699RMB with two color options: Ion Gold and Chromium Silver. A ZTE Axon Mini version will also be made available in the near future.

ZTE Axon Watch

The Axon Watch features a 1.4-inch Gorilla Glass screen with sapphire coating and is IP67 certified. It comes with a 300 mAh battery, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB storage and Bluetooth 4.1. Developed by ZTE and Tencent, the smart watch runs on Tencent OS and supports both voice and gesture control.

In terms of functions, the Axon Watch can be used for both fitness and health monitoring, and supports a range of other applications, from phone calls to messaging.

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Previously launched in the U.S. on AT&T and Verizon, the Spro 2 is a portable Smart Projector that also includes mobile hotspot features and a built-in 5-inch Android™ touchscreen.

For its China debut, ZTE has added its innovative voice control solution to the Spro 2, allowing users hands-free control over the smart projector. Users can simply say “projector on” in Mandarin to activate the device and can control the device using a number of other voice commands.

The Spro 2 Smart Projector will be priced at 3699 RMB in China and will also be available for pre-order from July 21 via ZTE’s online store athttp://www.myzte.com/6934933090095.html.

21
Jul

Nokia reportedly unveiling a VR product next week


nokia logo mwc 2015 1

Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile division left the Finnish company with a bit too much free time on its hands. The team now finds itself expanding its reach into new ventures. Nokia is here to stay. We just don’t know where yet, but the latest reports claim they are planning to enter what is expected to be all the hype in the coming years – virtual reality (VR).

According to “sources familiar with the matter” Nokia is set to announce its first virtual reality product next week, at a rumored “VIP event” that should take place in Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately, the details are scarce and these sources fail to provide any other information regarding this new product. Is it a headset? A platform? Content?! We have no idea; what we do know is said move would likely signify Nokia’s biggest internal project since they officially retired from the mobile industry.

Nokia X -6

Sadly, it’s hard to say whether Nokia will be able to compete against the giants that now have their eyes and hearts set on the VR market. Microsoft’s Holo Lens, the HTC Vive, Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Rift by Facebook/Oculus all offer insane experiences of their own. Furthermore, a plethora of manufacturers and content providers have partnered with our beloved Google to expand on Cardboard, which is definitely the most accessible of the bunch.

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Can Nokia rise above their failed efforts in the extremely competitive mobile world and do better in another aggressive market? It’s hard to say at this point, but we will have an idea once (and if) the Lumia brand pioneer takes the stage to show us their latest goodies.

Meanwhile, we continue to look towards Finland to see where this legendary company can find its place in the present tech world. They have been expanding on services like the Nokia Z Launcher, and hope to license their branding for other manufacturers to make devices touting their famous name. The first example was the Nokia N1 Tablet, an Android pad touting great specs and geared up to be among the first to adopt the new USB-C standard.

Nokia N1

And while these actions may make us a bit confused, it seems like Nokia is getting ready to better re-define its position in the industry. New reports also state the company is getting ready to sell the Nokia HERE Maps division to Audi, BMW and Daimler.

What do you guys think? Do you have faith that Nokia will succeed in placing a foothold on the VR market? To be honest, I have a bit more faith on their mobile licensing plans. Of course, given that they go with Android this time, which seems to be the case.

21
Jul

Apple Seeds Fourth iOS 9 Beta to Developers


ios_9_iconApple today seeded the fourth beta of iOS 9 to developers for testing purposes, nearly two weeks after releasing the third beta and more than a month after unveiling the new operating system at the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.

The update, build 13A4305g, is available through Apple’s over-the-air updating system on iOS devices and is also available for download through the Apple Developer Center. Xcode 7 beta 4 is also available.

Today’s beta includes the return of Home Sharing for Music, which was removed in iOS 8.4. iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple was working to re-add the feature in iOS 9, and he’s kept his promise. This is also the first iOS 9 beta that’s available for Apple’s new iPod touch.

iOS 9 beta 3, which preceded beta 4, brought several much-desired features to iOS 9 including the News app, an updated Music app with support for the Apple Music service and Beats 1 radio station, folders for selfies and screenshots, 4×4 app layouts for folders on the iPad, and more.

iOS 9 is Apple’s latest operating system, focusing on intelligence and proactivity with much improved Siri and Search functions, plus improvements to several apps like Notes, Maps, and Mail. iOS 9 also brings several highly desired features like split-screen multitasking for the iPad and performance boosts that improve battery life and optimize storage space.


As of early July, iOS 9 is available to both developers and public beta testers. The software will be released to the public this fall after testing is complete.

What’s new in iOS 9 beta 4:

Home Sharing – Home Sharing is once again available for music.

iPod touch support – This is the first iOS 9 beta that can be installed on Apple’s newest iPod touch.

Picture-in-picture for Podcasts – Apple’s Podcasts app now supports iOS 9’s picture-in-picture feature that lets users watch videos while doing other tasks on their iPads.


21
Jul

Apple Seeds Fourth OS X 10.11 El Capitan Beta to Developers


Apple today released the fourth beta of OS X 10.11 El Capitan to developers for testing purposes, two weeks after releasing the third El Capitan beta and more than a month after unveiling the new operating system at its 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.

The update is available through the software update mechanism in the Mac App Store and through the Apple Developer Center.

It is not clear what today’s update adds to the operating system, but we will add any new features and bug fixes to this post as they’re discovered. Previous betas have featured primarily under-the-hood fixes to improve performance and reliability.


OS X El Capitan builds on the features introduced with OS X Yosemite, focusing on improving performance and user experience. Behind-the-scenes improvements in El Capitan have made a number of apps and processes on the Mac much faster, and the introduction of Metal makes system-level graphics rendering 40 percent more efficient.

Along with a new systemwide font, El Capitan includes a revamped Mission Control feature, a new Split View feature for using two full-screen apps at once, deeper functionality for Spotlight, and several new features for Safari, including Pinned Sites for housing frequently visited websites and a universal mute button that quiets all tabs.

OS X 10.11 El Capitan is available to both registered developers and public beta testers. After testing is completed, Apple will release El Capitan to the public in the fall.


21
Jul

Apple Seeds Fourth WatchOS 2 Beta to Developers


Apple-Watch-Midnight-Blue-250x299Apple today seeded the fourth watchOS 2 beta to developers, build 13S5305d, just under two weeks after seeding the third watchOS 2 beta and more than a month after announcing the new operating system update at its Worldwide Developers Conference.

watchOS 2 requires iOS 9 and can be downloaded over-the-air through the Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General –> Software Update.

watchOS 2 is the first major update to the first version of watchOS, the software that runs on the Apple Watch. The new software brings many new features that Apple Watch developers can take advantage of, including native apps that run on the Apple Watch itself instead of the iPhone. It also allows developers to access the Taptic Engine and a number of other sensors in the Apple Watch, including the heart rate monitor, the microphone, and the accelerometer.

Along with these features for developers, which will lead to much more complex and full-featured third-party Apple Watch apps, the update introduces new watch faces (photo albums and time-lapse), third-party Complications, Time Travel for viewing upcoming events in a watch face Complication, and a Nightstand mode that’s activated when the watch is charging, displaying the time.

watchOS 2 is currently only available to registered developers who have also installed iOS 9 on their iPhones. Apple plans to release the software to the public in the fall.


21
Jul

iOS 9 Beta 4 Tidbits: Home Sharing for Music, Volume Button Photos, iPod Touch Support, and More


Apple today released the fourth beta of iOS 9, and as with the previous iOS 9 betas, there are quite a few new features bundled into the release. There are some major additions, such as the promised return of Home Sharing for Music, and several other minor tweaks intended to refine the look and feel of the operating system.

With approximately two months to go until release, iOS 9 is already feeling faster, more polished, and more full featured. For those eager to know all about what’s coming in iOS 9 ahead of its release, we’ve rounded up a complete list of the changes introduced with iOS 9 beta 4 below.

You can also check out all of the changes, large and small, that have been made in previous betas: iOS 9 beta 1, iOS 9 beta 2, iOS 9 beta 3.

Home Sharing – Home Sharing for music was removed in iOS 8.4 with the launch of the new music app and the new Apple Music service, but iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple was working to re-add the feature in iOS 9 and it has, in iOS 9 beta 4.

home_sharing_ios_9b4
iPod touch Support – People who purchased one of the new A8-based iPod touch devices last week can now upgrade those devices to iOS 9 beta 4. With this beta, Apple added a new installation profile for the device.

Volume Button Photos – In iOS 9 beta 3, there was a bug that prevented the volume button from working as a shutter button for the iOS camera. That’s been fixed in beta 4 and it’s once again possible to snap a photo using the volume buttons on your iOS device.

Notifications icon – In the Settings app, the icon that represents the Notification setting has been updated with a new red color.

notifications_ios_9b4
Picture in Picture for Podcasts – One of the iOS 9 features on the iPad is a multitasking Picture in Picture option that lets users watch a video while continuing to complete other tasks on their iPads. As of iOS 9 beta 4, this works with the Podcasts app.

Additional feature updates in iOS 9 beta 4 will be added here as they are discovered. Apple should continue to release regular updates to iOS 9 at two to three week intervals throughout the beta testing period to bring minor performance boosts and changes ahead of the operating system’s official launch. iOS 9 is expected to be released to the public in the fall.


21
Jul

Bell Mobility again denied bid to overturn 911 class-action lawsuit


Bell_Canada_2

Things are not looking good for Bell Mobility. The company just lost its second consecutive bid in an attempt to overturn the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling.

The ruling stated that Bell must pay millions to residents in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut. In case you don’t know, the dispute is over a 911 class-action lawsuit. Bell Mobility will have to refund residents for charging them 911 fees when the service is unavailable in these regions. The company is fighting this claim and says it’s an invalid and unfair argument. They claim that a 911 call may be answered by a recorded message instead, but the court begs to differ.

The Court apparently refused to listen to Bell’s side of the story denied them an appeal. It’s still unclear how much compensation Bell will be charged, but previous reports estimated $3-$5 million.

Source: CBC News
Via: MobileSyrup

Come comment on this article: Bell Mobility again denied bid to overturn 911 class-action lawsuit

21
Jul

Google comments on controversial Wassenaar Arrangement


Google_Logo_7356

Today, Google expressed its thoughts on the controversial Wassenaar Arrangement. The company stated that “the proposal would make the world less secure.”

Shortly after making the comment above, Google posted an extended response containing all of its concerns about the security impact of the new rules. Neil Martin and Tom Willis, members from the Chrome Security Team, mentioned:

“We believe that these proposed rules, as currently written, would have a significant negative impact on the open security research community. They would also hamper our ability to defend ourselves, our users, and make the web safer. It would be a disastrous outcome if an export regulation intended to make people more secure resulted in billions of users across the globe becoming persistently less secure.”

In addition, Google recently submitted comments to the Department of Commerce demanding specific revisions to the proposed rules, seeking specific carve-outs for bug reporting as well as international development teams. It will be interesting to see how they will respond to these objections and you could expect revisions will be made given the critical comments from Google.

Martin and Willis made the following statement:

“We’re committed to working with BIS [Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security] to make sure that both white hat security researchers’ interests and Google users’ interests are front of mind.”

Source: Google
Via: The Verge

Come comment on this article: Google comments on controversial Wassenaar Arrangement

21
Jul

Asus Padfone S2 to continue phone/tablet hybrid with top-end specs


If you thought that Asus’s previous flagship phone, the Padfone S, would be outdone by the more popular Zenfone series, a specs leak suggests that the phone/tablet hybrid system will keep going.

padfone_s

According to a report via Mobipicker, the Asus Padfone S2 is being prepared for a March 2016 launch and will be rocking some top-end specs:

  • SoC:  Snapdragon 820
  • Display:  5.5″ QHD
  • RAM:  4GB
  • Storage:  32GB/64GB on-board
  • Cameras:  20.7MP rear and 8MP front
  • Battery:  3,060mAh

This is quite a list for a device that is far away, but in-line with specs we expect to see soon.

And what would the Padfone be with the corresponding tablet?  It is said that the Padfone S2 will dock onto a slab with a 10″ screen and 5,100mAh battery.

As always, especially with a report so early, take this word with a grain of salt.  Would you be looking forward to the Padfone S2 if this is what’s in store, or do you think it’s a tired concept?

The post Asus Padfone S2 to continue phone/tablet hybrid with top-end specs appeared first on AndroidGuys.

21
Jul

Report: Nokia will sell its HERE Maps division to Audi, BMW and Daimler


nokia-logo-mwc-2015

Nokia has been trying to sell its HERE Maps division for some time, and it looks like the Finnish technology company may have finally found a potential buyer. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, German-based automobile manufacturers Audi, BMW and Daimler have agreed to purchase HERE Maps for slightly more than €2.5 billion ($2.71 billion).

Apparently Nokia has been exclusively negotiating with these three car makers for the sale, but that doesn’t mean other manufacturers won’t be able to take advantage of the advanced mapping software. The tipster says the final agreement could be ready within the next few days, and the three car companies then plan to invite other manufacturers to take stakes in the new company.

As of right now, the industry is dominated by Nokia’s HERE division, as it claims roughly 80% of the automotive industry as its customers. This makes it easy to see exactly why these businesses are banding together to reach a common goal – with multiple car makers holding stakes in HERE Maps, other companies wouldn’t have much incentive to license mapping software from Google or TomTom.

We’ll update this post as we learn more about the potential acquisition.

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