The largest retail bookseller in the United States is now in the business of selling Samsung tablets. As was announced earlier this summer, Barnes & Nobel will discontinue its own line of skinned Android tablets and instead will partner with Samsung to sell a Nook-branded version of the Galaxy Tab 4, which will be called, rather uncreatively, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. This version of the seven-inch tablet will have several Nook book and music marketplaces preinstalled and it will be sold for $180 at Barnes & Noble as well as online. Barnes & Nobel locations will also offer customer support for customers struggling with the jump from paper books to a fully-fledged Android tablet.
The Sharp Aquos smartphone with those oh-so-skinny bezels announced earlier this week in Japan is officially coming to the United States, and no surprise, it’s headed exclusively to Sprint and its prepaid subsidiaries, Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. But what is a bit of a surprise is how attractively priced it is: At $240 without a contract, it represents a strong challenge to the Moto G LTE for the mid-range Android crown. It’s even cheaper on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, checking in at $150 when purchased locked from Sprint’s prepaid MVNOs. There isn’t an official release date yet, but it should be available later this fall.
An effective resolution of 414 x 736 was discovered in a file describing the home screen in the latest iOS 8 SDK beta. This implies that the iPhone 6 could be packing a screen with a 828 x 1472 or even a 1242 x 2208 resolution. Read more »
As promised earlier this year, Mailbox is opening a beta Mac version of its Mailbox email app to the public. Read more »
HTC is repurposing its high-quality One M8 hardware design to produce a high-end Windows Phone for Verizon’s network in the U.S. The phone is HTC’s first new Windows Phone device since 2012. Read more »
It’s been a year full of tumult for Blackberry since CEO John Chen took over the company last November, but there’s at least one more shake-up in store: Blackberry announced Monday that it is creating a new business unit consisting of its most promising technologies. The Blackberry Technology unit will house QNX, Blackberry’s embedded OS, Project Ion, its foray into the Internet of Things, its cryptography software, and 44,000 patents. It will be headed by former Sony-Ericsson CTO Sandeep Chennakeshu. The reorganization could be the first step to reopening talks to sell off parts of the business.
LG is said to be preparing a new version of its G Watch, a short three months after the first version debuted at Google’s I/O developer conference. Read more »
Softbank, the parent company of Sprint, hopes that an exclusive, competitively priced line of bezel-less Sharp smartphones can help differentiate its carriers. Read more »
An increasing number of leaks and rumors are pointing to Apple revamping its Lightning cable for its product launches this fall. The new cable, according to leaked photos, could have a reversible USB Type-A connector on the side opposite from Apple’s proprietary reversible Lightning connector. Read more »
A cool new feature for Google Now will suggest nearby landmarks and restaurants. Read more »
The plastic version of HTC’s One M8 was thought to be unlikely to make its way over to the United States, but according to Sprint’s official YouTube channel, the carrier will be carrying the TD-LTE capable phone. Read more »
Buying a Kindle Paperwhite? Make sure you get the latest model — which is identical to the version released last year, except with doubled internal storage. As pointed out by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader, the international product page for the Wi-Fi Kindle Paperwhite started sporting a banner earlier this summer pointing to a “current version” product page. Kindle fans on the MobileRead forums have confirmed the new page is for a 4GB Paperwhite, which was previously only available in Japan. Amazon told TechCrunch that this isn’t a new product — it’s the old Paperwhite, but with more storage.
SMS Audio, best known for headphones endorsed by the rapper 50 Cent, has a new pair of sport-focused earbuds which uses Intel’s optical sensor technology to measure heart rate and other biological signals. Read more »
Some Android devices see less battery drain than comparable iPhones when scanning for iBeacons. Read more »
Although some consumers in developing markets prefer 4-inch phones for their portability, the majority want bigger devices for a better experience watching video content and playing games, according to a recent survey. Read more »
The YouTube app on your television may be getting a makeover: Google has updated the interface for its YouTube App for TV to reduce the number of clicks needed to get around menus armed only with a remote control. The update has already rolled out to Microsoft’s Xbox One, and will head to other streaming devices “in the following weeks.” The new interface relocates subscriptions to channels and videos to a menu on the left hand side, like on the web, and it also puts a search bar on the top of the default home page. You can check out a preview of the interface in your browser here.
In a blog post, Apple environmental head Lisa Jackson published a specification outlining which substances cannot be used in Apple products and packaging, as well as details on Apple’s investigation into whether the chemicals benzene and n-hexane were being used in final assembly factories. Read more »
Google and HP have been discussing an enterprise partnership for the past year with little progress made, according to a new report. Topics have included a “Nexus tablet” with hardware encryption, as well as a version of Google Now for business data. Read more »
HTC will release its Zoe app to other high-end Android phones later this week. Zoe, which debuted on the HTC One M8 earlier this year, is a way to remix video and photos into sharable 30-second clips. Read more »
Samsung announced its long-awaited metal-edged smartphone on Wednesday. It’s components are not as high-end as those found in the Galaxy S5, but it is a compelling device. Read more »
Apple released its internal diversity numbers in an open letter from CEO Tim Cook. Seven out of 10 Apple employees are male, and 55 percent are white. Read more »
The new full-size iPad Air has reportedly entered production, with the new iPad Mini to follow shortly, for a release later this fall. Read more »
T-Mobile announced on Monday it is making changes to its prepaid Pay As You Go plans, simplifying the billing rate as well as adding an option to add limited-time LTE data passes. Previously, prepaid minute purchases at T-Mobile were tiered: If you bought 30 prepaid minutes, it would cost $10. Compare that to 1000 minutes for $100 — those are two very different per-minute rates. Starting August 17, after a $3 monthly minimum charge that includes 30 minutes, a single minute or text message costs $.10. If you’d like data, $5 gets you a one-day pass with 500MB. There’s a $10 option for a seven-day pass with 1GB of LTE-eligible data as well.
On Monday, Intel shared a few details about its next-gen Broadwell processors, which are manufactured using a 14 nanometer process. Read more »
The first handset to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 410 chip, which supports 64-bit processing, will be a middling HTC device codenamed the A11. Read more »
In order to figure out whether Duolingo’s Test Center certification is an effective exam, I sat down and took it. Read more »
A clever new Kickstarter uses a Lenovo Thinkpad A/C adapter to charge a big external battery for your phone. Read more »
New iPhone component photos show an intriguing protruding camera lens as well as a metal Apple embed for the device’s back-side cutout. Read more »
A newly discovered flaw in ARM’s TrustZone could lead to unlocked bootloaders for more Android phones, but it’s also a worrying exploit. Read more »
Catcher Technology posted sales in July that were nearly 37 percent higher than last year, which indicates that it may be filling a big order for aluminum iPhone cases. Read more »
In a surprise move, Amazon opened up a companion app to Sev Zero, its exclusive Fire TV game, to all Android tablets. Read more »
Ever wish you could have a work profile and a home profile on your Android smartphone? That feature is coming to the next public build of Android, according to Google’s issue tracker. Read more »
Lenovo teased a six-inch smartphone with high-end specs on its English language Google+ page. Could this be the first Lenovo-branded smartphone to be widely distributed in the United States? Read more »
Tech companies aren’t the only giants who see potential in networked computers on the wrist. American watchmaker Timex will announce a cellular-connected smartwatch this week in conjunction with Qualcomm and AT&T Read more »
At the end of a promotional video, LG included a lineup of three G3 devices, including the G3 Stylus, which has yet to be officially announced. Read more »
More photos of Samsung’s metallic Galaxy Alpha have leaked, and they further reveal an very thin device with a 4.7-inch screen. Read more »
Apple’s latest splashy hire, Musa Tariq, comes from Nike, where he worked on marketing for the Fuelband. Previous to that, he worked alongside current Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts at Burberry. Read more »
Even if you don’t have a desire to read Wikipedia entries on a smartwatch, a new Wikipedia app for Android Wear has a few new ideas about the best way to browse on a tiny screen. Read more »
A new AT&T deal throws in a $1 mid-range LG tablet when buying an LG smartphone, but both devices need to be connected to a 2-year data plan. Read more »
On Friday, Google opened up its Google Now Launcher to any Android device running 4.1 and up. Read more »