Following the other major carriers, Verizon seems almost ready to push out a software update to the Moto X smartphone. Invites for users to test the software were sent out on Tuesday. Read more »
Amid concerns about its future, which appears to be the sale of all or part of the company, BlackBerry is taking an open letter approach to quell its customers concerns. Reuters reported on Monday that BlackBerry will run the letter in 30 news outlets in 9 countries this week, with the intent to explain that it isn’t going anywhere just yet.
The letter, which can be found here thanks to CNet, explains how the company still has plenty of cash on hand and no debt, plus new phones running on advanced software and 6 million pre-registrations for its BBM service on iOS and Android. Government and enterprise security is also “best in class” says the note. All of these observations are arguably valid. However, it’s ironic that the company is saying you can still count on it when so many did just that for years, only to arrive at this juncture for the once-king of all smartphones.
Looking to add a little spatial manipulation to your iPhone photos? Check out Seene, a relatively new free app for iOS that does just that. You won’t get a full 3D image, but the app does offer more than just a traditional 2D view. Read more »
In August, I explained why I wanted Google Now on my wrist. Now a report says the Google is nearly done with a smartwatch built around Google Now. This is the type of innovation needed to reinvent the smartwatch market. Read more »
Was the touchless control feature of the Moto X a preview of what’s to come in Android 4.4? Yes says one report and I’m inclined to agree for several reasons related to hardware, user input on mobile devices and Googles wearable ambitions. Read more »
The third major update of Windows Phone is on the way. Microsoft announced it on Monday saying it will roll out to older phones in the coming months but it also brings support for larger phones with 1080 displays. Read more »
Got a Windows 8 machine and want to kick the tires of Google’s Chrome OS? The latest development channel of Chrome lets you do that, provided you know the one simple trick to enable it. Read more »
Candy Crush on the Galaxy Gear? Not only can it be done but it’s even playable on the small screen. SMS support appears to be coming to Google Hangouts while Twitter for Android tablets is here now. Well, for one tablet, anyway. Read more »
First the good news: Twitter just got better on Android slates. Now the bad news: The new version is launching on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet for now. Other devices will see the new software by end of year. Read more »
Chrome usage on iOS in North America has doubled since it launched. The data comes from a Chitika study on the company’s ad network. Google’s clever “linking” of its apps may be a big help since you can’t change the default iOS browser. Read more »
BlackBerry could sell itself off in pieces, reports Bloomberg. The option comes after BlackBerry signed a letter of intent in September to sell itself to Fairfax Financial for $9 per share, pending a six-week due diligence process from the prospective buyer.
Why an apparent Plan B? Two reasons: The company has reportedly seen interest from other buyers — namely Cisco, Google, Intel, SAP and Samsung — but not all of them want the whole company. Breaking it up into pieces could generate more overall value. It’s also smart of BlackBerry to consider options in case Fairfax can’t raise the $4.7 billion it offered for the company.
Can a Chromebook have both performance and long battery life? That’s the promise of Acer’s C720 Chromebook, which uses a Celeron chip based on the Intel Haswell architecture. Even better: The 11.6-inch Chromebook starts at $249. Read more »
So what does the new HP Chromebook 11 look like? You’ll see in this video from my point of view since I used Google Glass as an experimental way to record content. HP cut a corner or two but I like the hardware. Read more »
Which flagship tablet has the best touchscreen when it comes to responsiveness? Apple takes the crown with the new Nexus 7 twice as slow. We’re talking about milliseconds though, so most users won’t likely notice. Read more »
Flickr for iOS just got a little more useful for those that like simplicity: The app gained automatic uploads in a software update on Wednesday. With the new feature, full resolution photos are sent to a user’s Flickr account in the cloud, negating the need to manually upload images.
Like the comparable Google+ auto-upload functionality, Flickr will mark all of the uploaded images as private. That allows time for editing or choosing photos to share. Also included in this release is an auto-straighten feature to adjust picture alignment.
Samsung beat LG to the punch when it comes to curved screen smartphones: The new Galaxy Round has launched for Korea. A number of user interaction features take advantage of the rounded phone; check the video to see how it works. Read more »
There’s a new Chromebook in town: We break down the hardware choices for the HP Chromebook 11 on this week’s podcast. The Chrome OS Camera gets a refresh too and we explain the trick to make Chrome looks like Chrome OS on Windows. Read more »
It’s not official just yet, but Apple is reportedly holding its fall iPad launch event on October 22 according to AllThingsD. The outlet’s sources suggest that while new iPads will be the main course, there could be appetizers featuring OS X Mavericks and the new Mac Pro that Apple teased this summer.
What’s to be expected? If the rumors are true look for a new 9.7-inch iPad that looks more like the current iPad mini: A slimmer, lighter device, likely with some of the goodies found in the new iPhone 5s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new iPad model with Apple’s 64-bit A7 chip and Touch ID sensor, for example.
With so many health tracking apps and devices, is it possible to get a single view of your health? That’s tricky, but it’s also the challenge that Azumio has taken up with its Argus software for iOS and Android. Read more »
Once a touch-friendly version of Office for Windows appears — a project that’s in the works — look for Office to land on Apple’s iPad, Steve Ballmer said on Tuesday. That would take the place of the current iPhone-specific version and Office on the web. It’s a shame Microsoft didn’t push this project quicker; it likely left tens of millions of dollars on the table by not supporting Apple’s tablet sooner.
Can you view and interact with the screen of an Android device through a browser or a Chromebook? Thanks to an experimental setting: Yes. The feature could prove useful to Android developers. Read more »
Google and HP introduced the new Chromebook 11, HP’s first Chrome OS device that runs on an ARM processor from Samsung. For $279, the device offers wide viewing angles, 100 GB of Drive storage and a 60-day trial of Google Play Music All Access. Read more »
The monthly Google Glass software update arrived on Monday, bringing two new functions to Google’s wearable computer. Transit information is now available in Glass, making it easier to find step-by-step directions for public transportation in the local area. Also in the update is the ability to tap links sent in tweets, texts, emails, and more, which will open the appropriate web page in Glass.
Google’s release notes for the XE 10 software update also mention a minor addition: When sending a message to a contact, you’ll now see their profile pic in the background. What’s not in XE 10 is the expected support for additional third-party apps through Google’s Glassware program. The company started up a review process for Glassware last week, so it appears that these apps won’t be available for at least another month.
The Camera app in Chrome OS hasn’t seen a major upgrade since launch but that appears to be changing. A new build of Camera shows an improved UI. Want this work-in-progress? It’s easy to install to your Chromebook. Read more »
Need to view or take close up pics of really small objects using your phone? Check out the low-cost add-ons made by Carson Optical: These fit on iPhones and the Galaxy S 4 using a magnet, making small objects super clear. Read more »
Personally, I’m not a big fan of buying tablets with contracts, but if you disagree, there’s good news: Starting October 11, Sprint is selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 for $49 with a two-year agreement. The 7-inch slate runs Android 4.2 and has an integrated LTE radio that works on Sprint’s network.
Samsung’s WatchON service and IR-blaster are useful here for finding and controlling television content and the tablet can be used as a wireless hotspot, providing LTE service over Wi-Fi for up to 10 additional devices. If you were going to get a hotspot on contract anyway, this might be worth a look since you get the same functionality plus a tablet.
After waiting two weeks, my new iPhone 5s arrived. I spent most of the weekend using Apple’s latest and greatest. How good is it? I’d easily recommend it to anyone that asked for several reasons. Read more »
HP already has one of the largest Chromebooks on the market with its 14-inch model. There’s room for a smaller one though, and it looks like it will be an 11.6-inch model based on some HP documentation unearthed by Engadget. The “HP Chromebook 11″ appears on a recent list of Energy Star computers even though there is no model by that designation yet.
An official — but currently bare — HP support page for the Chromebook 11 also exists, as does a product description that’s missing a bunch of details. Based on the listed 6.5 hours of battery life, it looks like another Haswell-based Chromebook option with an 11.6-inch screen is in the works.
Get ready for dueling curved smartphones: Both LG and Samsung are readying products that use flexible OLED displays. Is there really any value to these or is this just another gimmick to stand out from the crowd? Read more »
A service manual for the LG-built Nexus 5 handset surfaced over the weekend, showing off multiple images and full specifications for the yet-unannounced smartphone. LG requested the pictures pulled, adding some legitimacy to the details. Read more »
Looking for a touchscreen Chromebook but don’t want the $1.299 price tag of a Pixel? The upcoming Acer C720 may have you covered based on reports of a touchscreen option. Read more »
The Galaxy Note 3 is a superb device for digital inkers, not to mention a great all-around phone. My Moto X camera got a software update; take a look at sample photos to see the differences: Better but still room for improvement. Read more »
In my review of the Moto X, I noted one deficiency: inconsistent pictures from the camera. Thanks to a software update, the camera should be improved. Sprint and T-Mobile customers already got the software; now it’s AT&T’s turn. Read more »
Google Glass for gaming? Yup, Google’s wearable computer may be used for fun and games based on this example app which brings real-time in-game GPS to your eye. Read more »
A dash of color doesn’t seem to be moving Apple’s new iPhone 5c: Retailers are already discounting the device with Best Buy the latest to offer a $50 price promotion. Read more »
The past three years have shown a complete divergence for Samsung and HTC. The latter adopted Android first and was flying high when the first Galaxy arrived. Now, it’s a complete turn of events and Iron Man may not be strong enough for HTC. Read more »
It’s a bizarre idea, mainly because it would likely confuse phone buyers, but Bloomberg says Microsoft has asked HTC to put Windows Phone software on the company’s Android handsets. The devil’s in the details: Will the phones dual boot? Will a user be able to switch between the two? The are more questions than answers here although two things are clear: Microsoft is hungry for more market share and HTC’s downward spiral hasn’t yet changed course.
Google is ready to start reviewing third-party apps for its Google Glass product. The news jives with earlier reports that such apps would become available after a Glass software update this month. Read more »
Siri, or perhaps another personal assistant entirely, could make iOS even smarter than it is today thanks to Cue. Apple reportedly bought the personal assistant software for north of $35 million. Read more »