Chrome for iOS learns a few new tricks with the latest update. Released on Monday, version 32 of the browser for iPhones and iPads now includes page translation for sites that use a foreign language; just tap the translation bar when it appears and Google will take care of the rest. The third-party browser also gains the data compression feature already in the Android version of Chrome. With it, Google says you can save roughly 50 percent of your bandwidth usage as all web requests are routed through Google proxy servers for compression.
With apps requiring more and more permissions — think of your location, contact lists and call log — it’s becoming easier for the intelligence community to gather data from individuals. The lesson? Pay attention to app permissions before installing. Read more »
After suggesting there was no correlation between the Android 4.4.2 software update for the Galaxy Note 3 and reports of third-party accessory issues, Samsung has backtracked. The company released a statement on Monday to Ars Technica saying it has “identified a software compatibility issue with the Galaxy Note 3 update to Android 4.4 (KitKat) and select 3rd party accessories.” Samsung will fix the problem in a separate software update shortly. Once corrected, third-party cases will properly show screen information from the Galaxy Note 3 when the display is covered.
Having a Super Bowl party? Make sure your television is properly calibrated for the best viewing experience. Thanks to a new free app from THX, you can use your Android phone or tablet to improve the picture and sound of the big game. Read more »
Following a court ruling from last August, Microsoft is changing the name of its SkyDrive online storage service to OneDrive. The company announced the change in a blog post on Monday, with the recurring theme of “one” place to store your data in the cloud. Current SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro users shouldn’t see any service disruption as the name change takes place, says Microsoft. The name change is required due to a trademark held by British broadcasting company, BSkyB.
Android device sales continued to rise overall in the final quarter of 2013 but the big winner in China isn’t a name you might have expected. The top dog isn’t Samsung; it’s Xiaomi, which only entered the market in 2010. Read more »
Your desktop may soon start reminding you when to leave the office due to traffic or tell you when a package is out for delivery: Google Now isn’t just for phones and tablets any more. Read more »
News of KitKat coming to more Galaxy Note 3 handsets is a good thing, unless you use a third-party case, that is. Asus showed off a pair of Nexus 7 docks while the Galaxy S5 home screen may have leaked, looking very different. Read more »
Want to fly a drone or with your phone but don’t have a big budget? If you can make a paper airplane, this $30 Bluetooth Smart module may be your ticket to blue skies above. Read more »
Look for a Windows 8.1 update just one month before Microsoft’s Build event in April says Mary Jo Foley. Update 1 is expected to have changes under the hood and not materially affect the Start button or have other visual changes. Read more »
Just days after we spotted the Incipio Cashwrap for iPhone, the case has launched. You can use the $69 accessory to pay for goods wirelessly at ISIS terminals but only if you have an AT&T iPhone for now. Read more »
Microsoft Surface revenues in its second fiscal quarter topped $893 million, the company said on Thursday. The figure is more than double the $400 million in Surface sales from the prior quarter and follow a $900 million inventory write-off of Surface devices in July, most of which were Surface RT units. The second edition of the devices — Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — seem to have a stronger following, likely because of improved hardware, longer run-time on a single charge and more applications available in the touch-friendly version of Windows 8.1.
Did you hear the reports? Apple’s working on a bigger iPhone. That’s not a huge surprise but people don’t necessarily want a huge phone. And iOS developers don’t want yet another resolution to support. Here’s how Apple might address the challenge. Read more »
Reports of an 80,000 BlackBerry order from the U.S. Department of Defense made the rounds earlier this week, driving up BlackBerry shares by 34 percent. Good news for the beleaguered handset maker, no? There’s only one problem. The DoD made no such purchase. Instead, the figure was assumed to be a new order when the DoD actually referenced the 80,000 BlackBerry handsets it already supports, according to a DoD statement provided to The Verge on Thursday. In BlackBerry’s defense, it didn’t put out a press release on the alleged large handset order. The company did recently announce the sale of 1,000 handsets to DATEV in Europe.
Although Android 4.4 for the Galaxy Note 3 hasn’t rollout out globally just yet, some are installing it on their handset only to find third-party cases aren’t working the way the used to. Is Samsung readying a “Made for Samsung” accessory program? Read more »
In the final quarter of 2013, Nokia Lumia sales actually fell from the prior quarter, leaving the company with 30 million Windows Phones sold just as Microsoft prepares to take ownership of the division. Read more »
Pocket for iOS now includes AirPlay support for the Apple TV. Why would an offline reading app need such a feature? The company behind the app says a staggering 2 million videos are saved to pocket each week. Read more »
Web developers looking to get in at the ground level of Mozilla’s Firefox OS for tablets project have their chance. In a blog post on Wednesday, Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler made the invite, outlining details of the program. Last week, Dotlzer shared information on the first Firefox OS tablet hardware, which is a reference design built by Foxconn to assist in the project’s development. The new tablet program starts in the “coming weeks” and will be looking for help with development and testing for the web-based tablet.
Google has been working on a software keyboard in Chrome OS for nearly a year. And it keeps getting better: the latest improvements allow you to lock the keyboard in place on screen. But what device is this for? I have an idea. Read more »
Considering switch from iOS to Android? The newest Motorola phones are solid choices and Motorola makes it easy to get your contacts and calendar events migrated from iCloud to your new handset. Read more »
Google Now on the desktop brings helpful reminders and contextual information right to your attention. It won’t do so unless you’re running Chrome Canary though. Our extension of the week for the podcast is super for folks creating websites. Read more »
iPhone owners may soon be able to use their phone to wirelessly pay for goods at Isis payment terminals. The Incipio Casewrap adds NFC capabilities to the iPhone and is reportedly being stocked at some AT&T locations. Read more »
Nokia’s Lumia Icon for Verizon keeps playing hide and seek: Earlier this month it appeared on a Verizon test site and now the phone’s product page with specs is live on Verizon’s official site, even though it hasn’t been announced. Read more »
A firefighter who can also develop apps is one of the early Google Glass Explorers. He’s working on software for Google’s wearable display to help save lives during a fire and it’s like something out of The Matrix: Instant information on demand. Read more »
A pair of docks for the 2013 edition Nexus 7 tablet now appear on the Asus site. Both charge the slate and let you use the tablet in either portrait or landscape but one charges wirelessly using the Qi standard. Read more »
AT&T customers can pre-order the self-healing, bendable LG G Flex online and in-stores this Friday. The carrier announced details on Monday, quoting a $299 price for the Android phone with new 2-year contract or through a pair of monthly payment options: $26.74 per month with AT&T Next 18 or $34.75 per month with AT&T Next 12. The LTE handset uses a large 6-inch display with 720p resolution and is curved to fit better in pockets or when on a phone call. The phone case can even repair itself from minor scuffs. Does it work? Check our hands-on testing to find out.
Can you breathe new life into an old phone? I decided to find out by cramming the KitKat version of Android on the Nexus One, a handset from early 2010. Read more »
After a flawed firmware update made the rounds in December for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2, the company has a fix available to address battery drain and other problems. Read more »
Leaked screenshots show Samsung’s software to look more like a stream of cards that resembles Google Now. The idea is sound: More glanceable information right on the home screen of the company’s next flagship phone. Read more »
On this week’s Chrome Show podcast we share some information directly from Google about why so many Chromebooks come with 2 GB of memory. Chrome 32 is out as well, so we recap what’s inside. Read more »
Leaks are flowing during the run-up to a Galaxy S5 launch, with some suggesting two different models. Nokia’s Normandy looks to be based on Android but not for Google’s benefit while the Moto X has three more wood options cut down to $25. Read more »
I’ve been waiting for a web-based tablet and it looks like it’s coming soon. But it’s not the Chrome tablet I was expecting. Instead, meet the first slate in the Firefox OS tablet program. Read more »
After initially launching just a single bamboo wood back option for its Moto X handset, Motorola on Friday added three more choices and drastically cut the price. Instead of a $100 premium for the wooden case back, it’s just $25 starting today. On January 21, Moto Maker options will include walnut, teak and ebony choices as well. Motorola is also offering a $75 credit for early adopters who spend $100 on the bamboo model, notes Android Central. That credit can be used to order anything — presumably through the Google Play store — except for a Chromecast.
Amid many other third-party options, Google is planning an app that remotely controls your computer from an iOS device. Will you use it or is this another chance to spurn Google from your iPad or iPhone? Read more »
More screen shots of the Nokia Normandy software on Android appeared online convincing me even further that Nokia’s Asha line will be based on Android, not S40, as early as Microsoft’s April BUILD conference. Read more »
Sprint on Thursday began taking pre-orders for the LG G Flex, a curved Android smartphone with self-healing properties. The phone won’t be available until January 31, but those interested can place their order on Sprint’s product page for the phone. The unique handset costs $299 with a 2-year contract. It may pay to place the order early if you’re set on this phone: Sprint is including a $59 Quickwindow Folio Case with pre-orders for a limited time. The handset is designed to use Sprint’s Spark service, which can intelligently route traffic over different frequencies for optimal bandwidth.
Could Apple be adding NFC to a future iPhone after all? It’s difficult to say but a patent filing shows that Apple is at least considering it for part of wireless mobile payment system. Read more »
The latest wearables are smart in that they have more capabilities and sensors. That’s not enough for this market to explode beyond predictions though. We need a killer app to separate signal from noise in personal, meaningful ways. Read more »
Google Now is finally working on Chrome for the desktop, showing notifications based on location, time and other variables, just like on mobiles. It even works when Chrome isn’t running, but you’ll need the experimental Canary channel to use it. Read more »
Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Tab 3 Lite although there’s no price. Based on the capabilities, this is clearly a budget slate. In fact, it looks like a slight refresh of the original Galaxy Tab from 2010. Read more »