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3
Feb

OnePlus throwing in a rosewood case with OnePlus X purchases


Ceramic-OnePlus-XIf you’re in the market for a new phone this Valentine’s Day, OnePlus is offering a free accessory if you purchase their smaller OnePlus X.

In addition to your $249 smartphone, you can also get a rosewood case using promo code XOXO. It’s a nice, wooden case that normally costs $24.99, and hey, it’s free. Can’t beat free.

The OnePlus X features a 5-inch full HD screen, 3 GB of RAM with a Snapdragon 801 CPU, and a 13 megapixel camera. It’s a very capable phone for the price, and best of all, you’re not going to need a pesky invite to buy one.

source: OnePlus (Twitter)

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3
Feb

Registration for this year’s Samsung Developer Conference is open


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Want to learn the best practices to build products and services with Samsung? Then you should attend the company’s annual developer conference. Today, registration opened for the Samsung Developer Conference 2016 that will be held April 27-28 in San Francisco.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Early bird registration, which costs $399, runs through March 29.

The Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) is designed for developers, for creators, for builders. For the curious. For you.

Samsung and our partners will showcase the technology and solutions that will disrupt the future and change the way we live – from healthcare to virtual reality to wearables and IoT. Check out the latest gadgets and tools at SDC 2016.

We invite developers from around the world to join us, to discover through learning and embracing new adventures. At SDC 2016 we will explore the future. Come join the fun!

Samsung is hosting the developer conference for two days at Moscone West in San Francisco.

Come comment on this article: Registration for this year’s Samsung Developer Conference is open

3
Feb

‘Alto’s Adventure’ is coming to Android on February 11th


Alto’s Adventure gameplay

Some of you may have heard of Alto’s Adventure since it has been available on iOS for a long time already, however, it is finally coming to Android. It will arrive on February 11th, and better yet, it’s free!

The game took a while before it came to Android, but since it’s free, unlike on iOS, I guess we will call it even. To make it free, the developers decided to add “opt-in bonuses”, which they say will not ruin the overall gameplay. Another reason they decided to make it free was because their research showed many people do not like to pay for games, or download pirated versions on Android, both of which take money away from them.

However, the game is basically a side-scrolling snowboard game where players must rescue runaway llamas. You can also unlock new characters, collect stars, and more, but its real claim to fame is its beauty and simplicity. As I am sure you can tell from the video, it looks gorgeous.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: Noodlecake

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3
Feb

AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Note 5 now running Marshmallow beta


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Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 is now running the Android 6.0 Marshmallow beta for a select group of AT&T customers, demonstrating a much snappier user experience.

Screenshots sent to the team at Phone Probe by one of the website’s readers show a number of slight changes to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5’s interface. One of the most notable improvements is said to be the speed of the OS, which can only be good news.

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Screenshots of Android 6.0 Marshmallow running on the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 aren’t too easy to get a hold of, considering the beta is said to have only reached around 200 people. Phone Probe’s reader was emailed instructions on how to install the beta build, which comes in at a rather chunky 1355.94 MB.

Whilst there’s slight differences between TouchWiz running Marshmallow on the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the experience is the same for the most part. Just recently, we reported on news that the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge are being updated with the Android 6.0.1 update to users in South Korea.

From what we can see from the screenshots colors pop nicely and the notification tray has been tweaked too. This latest beta update comes bundled with a February security patch that recently hit Nexus smartphones.

Take a look at the screenshots of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Marshmallow beta below and let us know what you think.

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Via: Phone Probe

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3
Feb

Moto 360 (2014) and Sony SmartWatch 3 are no longer for sale in the Google Store


Sony SmartWatch 3

Smartwatches have only been around for a few years, but just like everything, what was once new is now old. The original Moto 360 and the Sony SmartWatch 3 are no longer being sold in the Google Store.

Their webpages are still active, but clearly state “no longer available for purchase”. The purchase button is also greyed out and only says “not available”.

However, Motorola has already released a 2nd gen Moto 360 a while ago, which consumers are more likely to purchase, and have a new Moto 360 Sport out too. It isn’t too much of a shock that the Google Store has stopped selling the 1st gen version. Sony, on the other hand, has not released a Sony SmartWatch 4 yet, but you can at least get the Sony SmartWatch 3 at other stores if you really want one.

Source: Google Store (1), (2)

Come comment on this article: Moto 360 (2014) and Sony SmartWatch 3 are no longer for sale in the Google Store

3
Feb

White House, Google partner to bring Google Fiber to public housing for free


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On Monday, Alphabet’s Q4 2015 results showed that Other Bets weren’t profitable and the holding company was still leaning on other businesses to generate big revenue. The reason for Other Bets’ struggles could be because the cost of expanding Google Fiber and actually giving away its services for free, albeit the latter is for a good cause. A partnership between Google and ConnectHome, an initiative overseen by the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will be bringing Google Fiber’s gigabit internet service to residents in public housing properties throughout the United States.

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The program is launching first in West Bluff, a housing complex in Kansas City. All one hundred homes have been wired with Google Fiber and families living there can sign up to get free gigabit internet access. Families needing equipment like a Chromebook can make purchases through ConnectHome’s partners and get special discounts. Partners also exist to teach families how to use computers.

Google is actively working to activate Google Fiber in nine additional public housing properties in Kansas City’s metropolitan area.

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Here’s part of the official announcement:

For low income families, access to the Internet can mean the difference between thriving or falling behind. It can mean more children using computers in after-school programs and STEM classes, more students going online to finish their homework, more people taking advantage of resources like Khan Academy, and more families learning basic computer skills that help them be more connected.

The overall plan is to give all public housing properties in Google Fiber-ready cities free access to the service, but Google also wants computer labs and digital literacy instructors to benefit. So the two latter types of places will also get free gigabit internet access. Google is doing all of this because of broadband’s price in the United States and the lagging of it behind other countries.

Source: Google

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3
Feb

Grab a $10 Google Play Store coupon with any purchase of a Chromecast


The Google Chromecast and Chromecast Audio are a pretty sweet deal for the amount of device you get for your buck, but that deal just got better with any new purchase receiving a $10 Play Store voucher.

You can use the voucher to buy Apps, Games, or Movies for purchases made between February 3, 2016 and February 24, 2016.

You can use the Chromecast to connect to your TV using HDMI and cast video content from various supported apps on your Android device. Chromecast Audio is a similar concept, but specialises in streaming audio content to your connected speakers.

Presumably the promotion is only available to Chromecast units sold directly from the Google Play Store, so be sure to hit up the link below to grab yours.

  Buy a Chromecast

The post Grab a $10 Google Play Store coupon with any purchase of a Chromecast appeared first on AndroidGuys.

3
Feb

Nyko Cygnus Bluetooth Controller review: A great companion for your Android gaming needs


I don’t know about you, but I’m not generally a fan of gaming on a touchscreen. Like many gamers out there, my gaming roots are based on using a controller. The touchscreen is fine if it’s a strategy or puzzle type of game, but fuller 3D games (first-person shooters or racing games) are just not ideal to me without a controller.

Nyko is such brand that makes accessories to up your experience on just about any gaming device (even the Nvidia Shield). It reached out to us about the company’s latest crack at a Bluetooth Android controller, the Cygnus.

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The company has a good foundation in building controllers for full-on consoles, so with the Cygnus, it wanted to bring full-sized control to demanding Android games. Let’s check out if it delivers.

Design

The Cygnus is…a controller. Most of us know how a full-sized controller looks/handles. I would say that Xbox owners would most feel right at home here, the design has a close resemblance to what Microsoft offers.

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That isn’t a bad thing; the design works. But what caught me off guard (in a good way) upon unboxing the Cygnus is the feel. I love the material that Nyko chose. It’s a rubbery plastic with the softest finish, from head to toe. This means that it’s very grippy – something you want when your hands are sweating up a storm during those intense gaming moments.

What’s also great is that the handles are made even more grippy with pronounced ridges on the sides.

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This design feature works as fabulously as you’d guess. This controller does not escape your grip.

The controls are all pretty much laid out just like the Xbox controller. You have your left and right thumbsticks, a directional pad, and four action buttons on the right. The thumbsticks have a ridged texture around the edges for added friction.


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Front and center are the Start, Back, and Home buttons. On the top we see the familiar bumpers and triggers, four in total. You’ll also see a micro-USB port. However, it isn’t for charging the controller (which runs on 2 AA batteries). The micro-USB support allows you to run a wired connection with the gaming device (i.e. if the controller is out of battery, or use on a PC).

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Usability

Nyko says that the Cygnus is gaming-ready for Android. It uses the standard Android HID (Human Interface Devices) protocol, which essentially means that its functionality is compatible with loads of Android games that are optimized for controller use.

It’s easy to set up and pair. Simply hold down on the Home button for 2 seconds to make it discoverable (you’ll see the LED lights cycle quickly). Then find it on the gaming device’s Bluetooth settings.

The bottom LED remains lit to signify that the link is active.

The bottom LED remains lit to signify that the link is active.

As far as usage, the controller worked as advertised. Gaming was as responsive as it should be and the connection stayed active for the duration. All the design cues that address grip make for a nice in-hand experience in practice. The Cygnus is a pleasure to use.

However, I will say that I wish Nyko had engineered some phone attachment mechanism on the controller. As is, it’s not reasonable to game on a phone (unless you’re casting it to a bigger screen).

Final Thoughts

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Nyko built a very solid Android gaming controller with the Cygnus. If you regularly game on Android, you should definitely think about a companion like this to enhance your experience. Bear in mind that it can also be useful for VR headsets.

The Cygnus retails for $25, and can be found on Amazon or Nyko’s online store. Head over the product page for details.

The post Nyko Cygnus Bluetooth Controller review: A great companion for your Android gaming needs appeared first on AndroidGuys.

3
Feb

Porsche chief is no fan of self-driving cars


Porsche might be embracing electric cars and hybrids, but it’s not about to welcome autonomous driving tech with open arms. Company chief Oliver Blume has utterly rejected the prospect of a self-driving Porsche, arguing that its owners are the sort who want to drive themselves. The executive doesn’t pull any punches, either — he says it’s about enticing as using a “Rolex for boiling eggs,” and adds that an iPhone (or rather, its technology) belongs “in your pocket, not on the street.” Tell us how you really feel, Oliver.

This isn’t to say that Blume is down on what others are doing. He’s “impressed” by the technology from companies like Apple and Google, and thinks Porsche has something to learn from what others are doing. With that said, he’s not exactly quaking in his boots at the prospect of an Apple car. Cupertino couldn’t build a Porsche of its own, he says, and it also wouldn’t want to.

Whether or not Porsche sticks to its guns is another matter. Remember, this is the same automaker that started making SUVs (the Cayenne), crossovers (the Macan) and sedans (the Panamera) when sports car sales alone weren’t cutting it — it’s no stranger to bending to market pressure. And Oliver, real talk: just because Porsche owners like to drive doesn’t mean they want to drive all the time. It’s fun to blast your 911 down a winding country road, but it’s not so exciting to crawl along in downtown traffic. Even if you’re down on the prospect of completely driverless cars, we suspect that some Porsche owners wouldn’t mind relinquishing control at those moments when driving is more of a pain than a pleasure.

Via: Sky News, BBC

Source: Presseportal (translated)

3
Feb

Google’s self-driving cars hit the rainy streets of Washington state


Google is expanding its self-driving car test to the rainy and hilly city of Kirkland, Washington. In fact, citizens of the Seattle suburb have probably already noticed one of the company’s Lexus RX450h SUV driving around over the past few weeks mapping the roads. The rest of the fleet of autonomous vehicles will be hitting the road next month.

Google says that Kirkland is an ideal place for wet weather and hilly road practice. The inclines can be used to test the vehicles’ sensors on different angles and inclines. Also, this is the opportunity to drop the cars in a different environment with a driving style that’s probably different than cities the vehicle is currently being tested in, Austin, Texas and Mountain View, California.

Kirkland Mayor, Amy Walen said of the cars’ imminent arrival, “we’re thrilled to have the cars here as they do more testing. It’s a great fit.”

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