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22
Oct

HTC exec defends One A9’s design: Apple copies us


You don’t need perfect vision to see that HTC’s latest smartphone, the One A9, is nearly identical to Apple’s iPhone 6 and 6s. But the Taiwan-based company swears Apple copied its design first, not the other way around, pointing to its One M7 and M8 flagships as proof — both came out before the iPhone 6 series. According to Want ChinaTimes, during a recent press briefing in Taiwan, HTC’s North Asia President Jack Tong responded to claims calling the A9 an iPhone clone. “We’re not copying. We made a unibody metal-clad phone in 2013 [the year the M7 was released],” he said. “It’s Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back.”

Via: BGR

Source: Want ChinaTimes

22
Oct

Playdate: Giving away the farm with ‘Halo 5: Guardians’


Halo 5: Guardians launches next week on Xbox One and we’re celebrating the only way we know how on Playdate — by giving stuff away and playing video games on Twitch. What’s the giveaway? A special Xbox One console packing 1TB of storage, Halo 5 stylings and the game itself. And for runners up, a pair of Astro A40 headphones decked out in the sci-fi shooter’s livery. Oh, right, we’re playing a game too. You can probably guess by now what that’ll be, but if not it’s Halo 5. Join Sean Buckley, myself and our special guest Richard Lawler as we form a Blue Team of our own and fight through Covenant and Prometheans for two hours starting at 4 PM Eastern / 1PM Pacific. You’ll be able to find us in the usual places, too: Here on this post, the Engadget Gaming homepage and Twitch.tv/joystiq if you’d like to join us in chat.

22
Oct

The problem with ‘pumpkin spice’ security bugs


Pumpkin Spice Sign, Whole Foods, Pics by Mike Mozart of TheToyChannel and JeepersMedia on YouTube #Pumpkin #Spice

Bad Password is a hacking and security column by Violet Blue. Every week she’ll be exploring the trendy new cyberhysteria, the state of the infosec community and the ever-eroding thing that used to be called “privacy.” Bad Password cuts through the greed, fear mongering and jargon with expertise, a friendly voice and a little levelheaded perspective.

When asked, “Why give a vulnerability a website, logo and brand image?” many infosec professionals will confidently answer that flamboyant bugs raise awareness toward fixes. Fixing and patching, we’re led to believe, is almost as fun as a trip to the dentist. Which is true. Heartbleed, Shellshock, Stagefright, Sandworm, Rootpipe, Winshock and the truly terror-inducing nom-de-sploit POODLE are not, in fact, a list of situational phobias. These were named with intent to become PR markers — although looking at the way some of these vulns (vulnerabilities) got their names and brands, it seems like the focus was more on the credit for naming them, rather than the actual usefulness of trying to “pumpkin spice” a bug.

22
Oct

Score a free Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Tab A through T-Mobile with an eligible trade-in this weekend


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If you’re looking to join T-Mobile’s Jump! On Demand program and are in the market for a new smartphone, there may be quite the deal for you this weekend. T-Mobile has just announced that when you bring in an eligible trade-in from today through Sunday, October 25th, you’ll get a free Samsung Galaxy S6 and a free Samsung Galaxy Tab A through T-Mobile’s Jump! On Demand leasing program.

To score the 32GB Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Tab A free of charge, you’ll need to trade in a Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, Note 4, S5, Note Edge or iPhone 6. With this deal, you’ll pay $0 down and $0 per month for 18 months. And since this is through T-Mobile’s leasing program, you’ll need to return the phone to T-Mobile once your 18-month leasing period is up.


Samsung-Galaxy-TabA-Series-11See also: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 and Galaxy Tab A 9.7 review9

The carrier notes that on Monday, October 26th, this Jump! On Demand promotional pricing will increase from $0 per month to $10 per month. With that said, if you’re interested, don’t miss out! Head to the link attached below if you’re interested.

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22
Oct

Udacity and Google team up to bring developers free Android Wear course


Google’s Android Wear initiative was first revealed last year, and since that time we’ve seen the platform evolve a fair deal, adding a number of elegant new smartwatches to its rank with some of the latest offerings coming from Motorola, LG, and Fossil.

As time passes, more and more app developers are bringing at least rudimentary Android Wear support to their apps, but if Android Wear is going to emerge as the dominant wearable platform on the market – it’ll need more killer apps. To that end, Google is teaming up with Udacity to bring developers a free course that focuses on Android Wear watches and how to reach these users with custom watch faces, apps, notifications, and more.

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Google has a fairly long history of working with Udacity, and for good reason, as the learning platform actually offers pretty good courses at relatively low, or even sometimes free, prices. As with most developer courses, the Android Wear development course is aimed at experienced developers who are looking to dive into AW development, with the course giving advice, sample code, instructor videos, and more.

Google and Udacity says the course should take about six hours of work a week, with a completion time of about two weeks. For more details on the course, you’ll want to head on over to Udacity’s website.

22
Oct

Sprint fined $3 million for not telling customers about their poor-credit fee


sprint-logo

Poor credit can certainly make life hard when it comes time to buy a home, get a credit card or loan, or even rent a new place to live, it can even affect folks looking to get a postpaid phone plan. One of the carriers known for approving even those with lower credit scores in the US is Sprint, but now they are coming under fire from the FTC for how they handle these customers.

According to the FTC, Sprint put customers with lower credit into a special program that required them to pay an additional $7.99 fee on top of other charges but did little to inform these customers as to why they were required to pay extra. Or if they did give notice, the notice was too late for Sprint subscribers to switch to another carrier (like after the 30-day cancellation policy ran out, etc).

In order to settle the matter, the FTC is asking Sprint to pay a $2.95 million fine, pending court approval. FTC is also asking that Sprint customers ensure that they are giving early and immediate notice to customers with lower credit about the “low credit fee” and why they are being placed into such a category. Sprint has neither confirmed or denied any wrong doing on their part but does say they will be sending “correct notices” to consumers that felt they got incomplete ones in the past.

While it is understandable that Sprint would want a little extra from poor credit consumers, due to the additional risk they are taking in approving them and allowing them to buy subsidized phones, it’s the fact that Sprint was unclear on its charges that the FTC is really upset with. What do you think, is Sprint in the wrong here or do you feel that as long as they gave eventual notice, that was good enough? Unclear notice aside, what do you think of the $7.99 low-credit fee, a fair price to ask?

22
Oct

Deal: this Tronsmart Power Bundle will fulfill all of your charging needs for just $40


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Even though mobile battery technology has been making some huge strides lately, that doesn’t mean we’ll be able to completely ditch our chargers anytime soon. If you’re constantly in need of a car charger, travel charger or Micro USB cord, look no further. Fulfill all of your charging needs with this Tronsmart Power Bundle for only $39.99!

The Tronsmart Power Bundle will ensure you always have a place to plug in, whether you’re at home, on the road or just sitting at your computer. For starters, the bundle includes a Quick Charge 2.0-compatible 3-port travel charger, which will let you charge up to three devices at once at blazing fast speeds. Also included in the bundle is a 4-port car charger, which features one Quick Charge 2.0 USB input and three standard charging ports. And if that’s not enough, you’ll also score six Micro USB cables to ensure you’ll always have a place to plug in. Sounds pretty great, right?

If you’re interested in this Tronsmart Power Bundle, the Android Authority Deals Store is currently selling it for only $39.99, which is a massive 59% off the normal retail price. Feel free to head to the link below for more information.

22
Oct

Chromecast (2nd gen) review: a worthy upgrade?


I was part of the Google fans who were ecstatic when Google announced the original Chromecast. I mean, it was nothing revolutionary, but something that was genuinely missing. Especially as the wireless world dominates ever-so, unifying our mobile devices and TV was an important step. And at only $35, it was affordable enough for anyone to join in and splurge a little bit for convenience.

The first Chromecast had a fairly long run, launched back in the summer of 2013 (time flies doesn’t it?). For the most part, it did it’s job, and I don’t think anyone was dying for an update. But of course, Google wouldn’t just leave it at that. There are always improvements to be had.

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While the core purpose of the 2nd gen Chromecast is the same (as well as the $35 price tag), there are some welcomed updates. Which leads me to the question: Is it worth upgrading your previous Chromecast? Let’s find out!

Design

Google felt that the Chromecast needed a drastic design change. The body of the device very much resembles a hockey puck. The HDMI plug extends from the side via a short, flat cord.

DSC04188

The change wasn’t just for aesthetics, there’s a reason behind it. All TV setups aren’t the same. Some folks found that the original’s dongle-stick build did not fit in the allotted space between their TV and wall (or any other obstruction).

Therefore, while the Chromecast’s new shape may seem odd at first glance, the intent was to alleviate the cramped-space concern. The drawback is that it doesn’t feel like a thought-out design, because it just hangs off of the HDMI port. This may not be a big deal if your HDMI port is behind your TV, you won’t see the device. But if your HDMI port is near enough to the edge of the TV, it my prompt you to want to tape the Chromecast down or something. It would’ve been nice is Google included a little Velcro sticky, for cases like this.

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However, a nice touch is that when you’re transporting the Chromecast, the HDMI plug is magnetically attracted the the body. So it won’t be there just flopping around.

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Despite the fact that the Chromecast will most likely live behind your TV and away from sight, Google still felt the need to liven things up with color. This Chromecast comes in two bright colors, aside from standard black – Lemonade (yellow) or Coral (red).

chromecast_colors

The device is pretty small, and the length of the cord is 4 inches. The body is mostly hard plastic, with the glossy cap that has a slight curve and the Chromecast symbol etched on the center. Around the side, you’ll only find a microUSB port (for power input) and a power button.

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DSC03889

Functionality

Installation of the new Chromecast is the same as before. The plug goes into the TV’s HDMI port. It receives power from either a nearby USB port or with the supplied AC adapter.

Setting up the software for the first time is brisk. Like before, it requests that you install the Chromecast app on your mobile device. You verify a code that it displays to make sure you’re communicating correctly, and then enter the password into your WiFi network.

After that, you’re all set and ready to start playing. The default Backdrop wallpapers show up on the TV screen, just like before. The Chromecast app is essentially your remote controller. Supported media apps that are installed on your device will populate content suggestions on the launch page.

chromecast_sources

Making a selection will launch the corresponding app, where you then press the Cast button to display it on the TV. There is also a search bar, which will find which sources can play that title. Chromecast has support for the main media providers (with the exception of Amazon Instant – you can probably thank Amazon for that).

chromecast_channels

If you’re coming from the original Chromecast, you’ll know notice how quickly content launches on the TV. It is blazing fast in comparison. It is with this that you realize you’re using a different Chromecast. Part of the improvement is due to the dual-band WiFi now on-board (with an adaptive antenna system).

One of the most annoying things to me about the original Chromecast was upon launching content, I would get a delayed response when trying to lower the volume as the content initiated. And of course, each time the Chromecast is powered back on, the volume restarts to highest setting (instead of remembering the last set volume level). While the new Chromecast follows suit, it actually listens to me when I try to quickly lower the volume before my speakers blasts my face with audio.

Also, mirrored content from the PC or phone is now smooth. Previously, I had lag too frequently occurring in the feed, or stuttering in videos. The largest supported resolution is still 1080P. This is a bit disappointing, considering the growth of 4K TV’s. Maybe we’ll have it on the next iteration.

Final Thoughts

DSC04184

So is it worth it to upgrade to the 2nd gen Chromecast from the original? I wouldn’t say so. That is, it’s not $35 worth to upgrade. If you can sell the previous Chromecast or get a good discount on the new one, then maybe.

In a nutshell, functionality is basically the same. You’re still plugging a small device into your HDMI port, you’re still getting 1080P video output, and you have access to everything you had before. Only, now it’s all faster. Not to underplay the niceness of the speed boost, just saying I don’t feel it’s $35 worth.

All in all, the 2nd gen Chromecast is a fantastic device, and you’ll love it if you haven’t made the leap yet. But it certainly won’t make the waves that the original Chromecast did when it launched.

Chromecast product page

The post Chromecast (2nd gen) review: a worthy upgrade? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

22
Oct

Google Play Store supports Fingerprint authorization for purchases in Android 6.0


With Android 6.0 slowly but surely rolling out to compatible devices, one of the highlighted features of the new software update is the standard fingerprint reading across the Android system. By implementing fingerprint scanning into the Android system, Google will use it not only for unlocking your device, but using your fingerprint to confirm Play Store purchases.

Screenshot_20151022-123022Screenshot_20151022-123230

For devices with Android 6.0, Google now gives you the option in the Play Store to confirm purchases with your fingerprint, but you’ll have to activate this option first. By default, fingerprint authorization is off. You can activate the feature by going into the Play Store settings under ‘User Control’, where you will then have to enter your Google password.

Many more apps will begin to implement the option of using your fingerprint for authorization purposes, such as mobile payments and simply using your fingerprint as a password for some apps.

 

The post Google Play Store supports Fingerprint authorization for purchases in Android 6.0 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

22
Oct

Free Galaxy S6 through T-Mobile until October 26


While the Galaxy S6 is still an expensive device unlocked, usually at around $500-$600 on Amazon for the 32GB model, T-Mobile is offering the device for free through their JUMP! program.

Starting 10/22, get a Samsung Galaxy S®6 for $0 upfront and $0 per month via bill credit with an eligible trade-in with JUMP! On Demand. Plus, you can also get a 4G LTE tablet, on us, with every eligible Samsung smartphone you pick up.”

JUMP! is T-Mobile’s equivalent of AT&T’s Next program and Verizon’s Edge program. T-Mobile is promising $0 upfront and 0$ a month when you trade in an eligible device and sign on with the JUMP! On Demand service.

The third-largest US carrier is even going a step further, offering a free Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 LTE tablet for each eligible Samsung phone you pick up, like the free Galaxy S6. This only applies if you add a data plan for this tablet within 30 days of purchasing it.

The Galaxy S6 is free upfront and monthly if you trade in one of these devices:

iPhone 6 – iPhone 6 Plus – iPhone 6s – iPhone 6s Plus + Samsung Galaxy S6 – Samsung Galaxy S6 edge – Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ – Samsung Galaxy S5 – Samsung Note5 – Samsung Note 4 – Samsung Note edge

The phone is still free upfront but will cost $15 a month if you trade-in one of these devices:

iPhone 5 – iPhone 5c – iPhone 5s – Samsung Galaxy S4 – HTC One M8 – HTC One M9 – LG G3 – LG G4

The Galaxy S6 will cost $24 a month through JUMP! if you do not trade in a device at all.

 

T-Mobile

 

The post Free Galaxy S6 through T-Mobile until October 26 appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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