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Article inside Google updates Hangouts to 2.1

By Peter Griffin - 10 hours ago

Hangouts 2.1 for Android: SMS improvements and a homescreen widget

Today we’re launching the newest version of Hangouts for Android, rolling out to the Play store ( over the next few days. Highlights include:

- Merged conversations: SMS and Hangout conversations with the same recipient are now combined into a single conversation. You can control whether you want to send a message via Hangouts or SMS with the flip of a switch, and different message types will be easy to tell apart in the conversation. Of course, you can always merge and unmerge conversations if you’d like.

- Simplified contact list: now there’s two main sections in contacts — People you Hangout With, and Phone Contacts — making it simpler to navigate, and easier to use for SMS.

- Homescreen widget: add the Hangouts widget to your homescreen for quick access to your recent conversations.

- Performance improvements: today’s update includes better quality video calls, as well as improved SMS and MMS reliability.

The new version will be available in the Play store ( this week, so download or update and let us know what you think!

Just downloaded it and it works much better then before. Most Android users been using something else though. This is how it should have been released with the N5. Might start using it over Texta :obamahmm:

EDIT: Link wasn't working but I got this from Reddit/android if you want to check it out.

Read 9 comments »

Article inside Samsung Gear Fit seems to be a hit, initial stock reportedly sells out

By Tiko377 - 10 hours ago

While wearables are still far from being mainstream devices, it looks like SamsungÂ’s Gear Fit is successful. According to Korean website MK and unnamed industry sources, Samsung produced an initial batch of 200,000 to 250,000 Gear Fit units, and it sold everything in 10 days (with 25,000 units being sold in South Korea only).

The Gear Fit costs $199 (or €199 in Europe), and is a hybrid between a smartwatch and a smartband. It runs a new OS developed by Samsung and called Real Time OS. The device has an attractive design - thanks to its curved 1.84-inch Super AMOLED display with 432 x 128 pixels. The Gear Fit also has a curved battery (developed by Samsung SDI) which can last 3 to 5 days on a single charge.

For those who may not know, the Gear Fit is compatible with no less than 20 Samsung devices: 12 smartphones and 8 tablets. You should check out our Samsung Gear Fit review to find out more about the device.

source: MK via Sammy Today

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Article inside Unlocked Sprint Phones in 2015

By Lil Biz - 10 hours ago

Are you a Sprint customer that cares about unlocking your phone for use on another network? If so, IÂ’ve got some good news for you and some not-so-good news.

First up, the good news. Sprint has revealed in its official unlocking policy that, as part of its participation in the CTIA’s Consumer Code for Wireless Service, it plans to make all of its devices — including prepaid models — capable of being domestically unlocked. The not-so-good news? Well, this policy will only apply to devices released on or after Feb. 11, 2015.

While some devices released recently have come unlocked out of the box, thatÂ’s not a feature that every phone or tablet currently supports. Thankfully, Sprint plans to change that next year, allowing consumers to unlock their device for use on another U.S. carrier so long as it has the proper wireless band support. ItÂ’s just a bummer that you Now Network folk will have to wait nearly a year before youÂ’ll be able to buy a device that you know will be unlockable out of the box. At least we know the feature is coming, right?

Read 5 comments »

Article inside Report: Apple iPhone phablet (aka the Apple iPhone Air) pushed back to 2015 or perhaps even later

By Tiko377 - 10 hours ago

A report published Tuesday in Taiwan, is going to make many of you groan in displeasure. It seems that Apple's suppliers are having a hard time producing a battery for the phablet-sized version of the Apple iPhone. The device, which allegedly carries a 5.5 inch screen, is said to be so thin, that it requires the battery to be no more than 2mm thick. A normal smartphone cell is 2.8mm to 2.9mm thick. As a result of its inability to obtain such a thin battery, the iPhone phablet is now delayed until Apple can find a reliable source for the cell. Samsung SDI and LG are said to be working on the battery, along with some smaller manufacturers.

According to the report, the suppliers are referring to the 5.5 inch iPhone model as the Apple iPhone Air. This dovetails with an earlier story back in January that claimed Apple was working on a 6mm thin Apple iPhone Air. Not only does today's report from Taiwan seem to confirm the name of the device, it also confirms that Apple is working on a phone that is thin enough to demand a battery with an unusually thin footprint. We also showed you a picture that was said to be the metal housing for the Apple iPhone Air.

As usual with a story of this type, we urge you to take it with a grain of salt. This is the time of the year when the air is thick with iPhone rumors (no pun intended) and many of them just do not pan out. Still, expectations have been raised so high, that if Apple does not release a large screened version of its iconic smartphone this year, there is bound to be some disappointment. As usual, Apple is pretty tight-lipped about anything iPhone related until the next iteration is unveiled.

Thanks for the tip!

source: CommercialTimes (translated) via GforGames

Read 12 comments »

Article inside Samsung's "Project KQ" Exposed, Details Prime Galaxy S5 w/2K Display And Exynos 5430/Snapdragon 805

By Jago - 10 hours ago


SamsungÂ’s Galaxy S5 has been released for several weeks now, and since then we are now able to paint a better picture of what SamsungÂ’s plans for future devices might be.

Several months ago, rumours were flowing abound about how Samsung would release two versions of the Galaxy S5: the standard model that we know all know about by now, and a much talked about premium variant.

Firstly, we’ll dwell a bit into the the “standard” version to clear up an important aspect of the rumours surrounding it over the last few months: Was it supposed to come with a QHD screen or not?

The answer is yes!
Samsung’s prototype’s for project K, a.k.a. the G900, was firstly designed with their new 1440×2560 5.2” AMOLED screen. The 3G version of the Galaxy S5, the G900H, or also “k3g” was initially prototyped with the QHD screen, but abandoned it in its third (out of ten) prototype/revision in favor of the FHD that was kept until the end. The first revisions of the Snapdragon model show the same sign: “klte” first adorned the QHD screen before abandoning it, explaining the early leaks in December which showcased the high resolution.

Rumours of Samsung having production problems with the QHD screen and not able to provide the quantities needed for the S5 seem validated.

Galaxy S5 “Prime”?

Contrary to what SamsungÂ’s Vice Chairman claims, they do indeed have had a premium version in the pipeline for quite some time. While the standard S5 is internally called project K, the prime version is the KQ.

SamsungÂ’s latest device sources are able to paint an extremely accurate picture of what this device is. Before going into detail, we need to mention that KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo properly predicted both the S5Â’s specifications back in January with almost perfect accuracy.

The KQ is in a middle- to late- phase of development and (in one model) comes with SamsungÂ’s Exynos 5430, Intel LTE and the much awaited QHD screen.

The Exynos 5430 is an upgrade to the 5422: With non-final device clocks targeting 2.1GHz on the A15Â’s and 1.5GHz on the A7Â’s it provides a small boost in CPU power.
The GPU remains a Mali Midgard architecture (T6XX) of unknown core count, but gets a boost to 600MHz from the 533MHz in the 5420 and 5422. The 5430’s display controller is completely redesigned, and might help in driving the high-resolution display at high efficiency. The 5430 introduces a HEVC hardware decoder for the first time, a critical component for future longevity of the device as H.265 will start to replace H.264 as the de-facto video codec for media consumption. Additionally, a new dedicated (Cortex A5) co-processor for audio encoding, decoding and audio equalization, which Samsung calls “SEIREN” has been introduced into the SoC.

Probably KuoÂ’s most important prediction was SamsungÂ’s use of a 20nm manufacturing process on the 5430, which would put the company at the head-front of the race to the new process. Inspection of the voltages of the CPUs did show that the A7 cores received a massive reduction in voltage of up to 125mV, which is a tell-tale sign of a manufacturing process improvement. The power management ICÂ’s minimum voltages for the key SoC rails also got lowered from 800mV to 600mV. However, the voltage reduction couldnÂ’t be confirmed for other blocks; the early drivers are in an too incomplete state to be able to come to a conclusion. As such, we canÂ’t confirm, nor deny this claim.

Intel makes its LTE debut.

A very important component shift comes unexpected: Connectivity for the European and international model (kqlte_eur) are achieved through an Intel XMM7260 Category 6 (300mbit/s) LTE modem. This would be IntelÂ’s first incursion into a high-end mobile device with LTE, and break QualcommÂ’s monopoly in the western market. The Korean version comes with SamsungÂ’s own LTE modem, codenamed Shannon300 (SS300).

Audio is provided by the same Wolfson Microelectronics WM5110 platform as found on the G900H model of the S5.

The Korean model (kqlte_kor), as traditional, comes with an added TDMB receiver.

Nothing for certain, more devices to come.

For anybody whoÂ’s been paying attention, you will have noticed that there is no mention of an US model. Recent leaks depicting the a G906S with Snapdragon 805 would very well be the counterpart of the KQ to be used in various markets. The S post-fix in the model numbers usually describe a Korean SKT variant, if true, Samsung is evaluating once again which SoC to choose for their flag-ship.

Between all the prototype devices, one can also find a new high-end device, codenamed “a3w5”, sporting a QHD screen and deriving from the KQ platform, coming in Wifi, 3G, and LTE versions, pointing out the possibility of a tablet device. Also an “S” (slte_eur) device is described with the same specifications as the KQ.

In the end, all we can tell that Samsung is working hard in a quick follow-up to the Galaxy S5. With LGÂ’s G3 coming into market in the next few months to trump the S5 in terms of specs, Samsung is poised to already prepare a counter-offer to be able to compete in the high-end segment. If, and when the KQ, S or other derivatives will come to market is something we cannot tell. However all are in advanced stages of development and should see light within the quarter.
New Galaxy Device with new Exynos, Intel LTE and QHD screen confirmed (Codename KQ) | SamMobile

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Article inside The Galaxy S5 already accounts for nearly 1% of Android smartphones

By Tiko377 - 10 hours ago

It doesnÂ’t come as much of a surprise, but SamsungÂ’s Galaxy S5 is poised to become the next big thing in the Android market. According to Localytics data from April 11th to April 18th, the Galaxy S5 already makes up 0.7% of the every active Android smartphone in the world, just one week after release. Considering the sheer number of Android devices on the market, this is quite an impressive feat, even for the reigning champion.

Putting the achievement into perspective, Localytics notes that Apple managed to capture 1.1% of the iOS market one week after the release of the iPhone 5s. Apple dominated the conversation for months, but Samsung had to contend with a very strong competitor in the form of the HTC One (M8) this quarter. The fact that the adoption rate is still so close speaks volumes about SamsungÂ’s penetration in the Android ecosystem.

The United States led the pack in terms adoption, accounting for 64% of all Galaxy S5 sales last week. Europe brought in 23% and everyone else took the remaining 13%. The numbers are more skewed toward the American market than expected, but Localytics mentions that the phone still hasnÂ’t been released in many European countries. Check out the Galaxy S5 adoption rate compared to that of the iPhone 5s below.

Read 9 comments »

Article inside Google to take on some of Samsung’s burden in patent dispute with Apple

By Tiko377 - 10 hours ago

An attorney for Google testified in court that it would take over the defense against some of AppleÂ’s claims in the patent lawsuit between Apple and Samsung. The move is part of a contractual agreement between Google and Samsung, where the former would indemnify the latter should Samsung suffer a loss as a result of whatever the ruling ends up being.

Google will cover Samsung on four of the patents in dispute, and take over the defense against AppleÂ’s claims over those patents. Neither Samsung nor Google identified which patents affected.

AppleÂ’s lawsuit against Samsung is over five patents and is arguing that Samsung should pay a couple billion dollars as compensation for infringement. Samsung is of course saying that it does not infringe on anything and is arguing the patents are not valid to begin with.

Up to now, Google has been on the sidelines, despite these issues being more closely related to the Android operating system or associated applications that were developed by Google. However, this shows that Google is indeed playing a more dominant role in defending the case along with Samsung.

Google’s direct involvement in the defense is part of the “Mobile Application Distribution Agreement” the company has with Samsung. This basically ensures that Samsung include a number of Google applications on its smartphones when they are sold, like Gmail and Google Maps.

source: re/code

Read 6 comments »

Article inside Samsung executive: We'd like to have a common platform for all our consumer devices

By Tiko377 - 1 day ago

Just the other day, we showed you an infographic produced by Samsung, showing how the Korean manufacturer was adding a premium paid service to its Milk Music app. The streaming music service will now be free for those who don't mind hearing ads mixed in with their tunes, while those who strictly want only music will have to pony up $3.99 a month for the ad-free premium version.

Sitting down with the Wall Street Journal, Samsung's Wonpyo Hong, president of the Media Solutions Center, talked about what the company has in mind for Milk Music and other "stuff" like Tizen. Hong revealed that while it is too early to discuss the success or failure of the app that is powered by Slacker, 380,000 people have downloaded Milk Music. Right now, the service is limited to certain Samsung Galaxy models, but Hong says that Sammy wants to expand it to more of its phones and tablets.

Hong told the paper that Samsung is going to be more active in mergers and acquisitions (or M&A as the big boys call it on that street called Wall). The Samsung executive did say that it was too soon to discuss an acquisition in mapping, but said that location-based services is an area that interests the Korean based firm, because of Sammy's focus on mobile.

Hong might have hinted about Samsung's plans for Tizen when he said that it was one of the platforms that it would like to offer from among a number of software choices. But he also said that Samsung would like to offer a common platform for mobile, television and home appliances. He did say that Samsung is thinking about offering more products besides a smartwatch, powered by Tizen. On the other hand, he also seemed to play down the importance of the platform by talking about the emergence of HTML5. He also said that the Tizen name is not important to customers. All that is important for Samsung as a hardware company, noted Wong, is to use software to add value to a Samsung device.

"I don't necessarily think the name Tizen is an important brand to consumers. Integrating software with hardware to make a great product—that's what we want to communicate with consumers."-Wonpyo Hong, president, Media Solutions Center, Samsung

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Article inside As doomsday looms closer for HTC, billionaire co-founder takes over to turn the tide

By Tiko377 - 1 day ago

HTCÂ’s stock has tanked to what looks like the absolute bottom: the company trades close to the 120-something Taiwan dollars rock bottom it hit in October, and analysts across the board donÂ’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

As doomsday seems to loom closer for HTC, though, one woman has stepped up to weather the storm.

WeÂ’re speaking about Cher Wang, of course. The daughter of a Taiwanese petrochemical mogul, 55-year old Wang, has always held a commanding position at HTC, but only recently has she started taking over the steering wheel. Once the richest woman in Taiwan, Wang has comparatively modest fortunes now, after HTC's prime. As of chief executive Peter Chou, the public face of HTC, he will not be stepping down after this change, nor is he losing his formal title in the company, but in fact, his responsibilities are now limited to making great products, not so much on the daily grind.

“I think we are on the right track,” Chou said. “Now Cher is 100 percent focused on marketing, customer service, so I don’t have to worry. I have a lot more time driving the product, quality, supply.”

And it is indeed marketing, or lack thereof, that most analysts blame HTCÂ’s downfall on. The company has received mostly positive reviews for its last yearÂ’s HTC One, and this yearÂ’s successor, the One (M8) is also universally praised for its outstanding design (many, us included, are disappointed by the camera, but overall, itÂ’s a great phone). However, HTC just could not get the sales it needs - within the first two months of availability of its flagships, it sold just 5 million units, while Samsung with the Galaxy S4 scored sales of 20 million in the same period.

Cher Wang has taken over HTC's marketing
That’s where Cher Wang comes in. “We just have to communicate well with our customers,” Wang said. “I believe if we can communicate better, we will do better.” Not much more in terms of change is needed, according to Wang, who got her Master’s degree in economics at University of California, Berkeley.

With first quarter sales slumping 23% from the previous year, one thing that everyone clearly sees right now is a mountain for HTC to climb ahead. We would not write it off that easily, though. With market cap of $4.5 billion and a strong presence on the hugely important US market, HTCÂ’s volatile stock could also turn out to be a dream come true for investors willing to take the risk.

Read 10 comments »

Image inside OnePlus One design finally revealed

By surreyjack - 1 day ago


If there's one thing that's driven us — and you — crazy about the OnePlus One, it's been the overhyping process of slowly dribbling out specs, pricing, sale processes, and vague hints about how the smartphone will compare with current flagship devices. We tired so much of it that we opted to ignore the noise until something cut through that was truly interesting — and a series of marketing material renders fits that bill quite nicely.

What you see above is, according to Android Authority, our first look actual look at the OnePlus One. This allegedly comes from marketing materials for the OnePlus One. It looks to be, as the OnePlus Google+ hype machine suggested, a thin phone with a simple, minimalist design.

Also revealed was a selection of the SwapStyle back plates that owners will be able to, well, swap out for different styles. The array shows a few different wood finishes (hello, Moto X) plus fabrics and a patterned back.

OnePlus One SwapStyle backs

Additionally, the software that will power the OnePlus One has leaked a bit more. The partnership with CyanogenMod is bringing a release of CyanogenMod 11S for the OnePlus One. We've seen a glimpse of the OS, but the OnePlus BBS has posted a few more screenshots of what we can expect.

The OnePlus One Hype Machine Express is, thankfully, rolling in to the station, with April 23rd set for the reveal. Maybe then we can all relax.

itll be fully revealed on Wednesday. Looks kind of dope dat minimum bezel :cp3datass:

with HTC, Oppo, and One Plus One making beautiful phones somebody will finally be forced to step there design game up

Read 25 comments »

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