If you were wondering whether or not to upgrade to a Galaxy Note 4, Samsung has just added a little sweetener: three months of free OnLive gaming (worth around $30), reports Engadget.
Samsung’s promotion is part of the Galaxy Gifts Package, a collection of free software from its own app store, and will give users access to titles from OnLive’s PlayPack bundle, such as Batman: Arkham City, Darksiders, Rogue Legacy and many more
When you’re trying to assist large numbers of people, all of them in a hurry, having instant access to the information required seems like a good idea – hence the interest in Google Glass being shown by the aviation industry.
Following an earlier trial by Virgin Atlantic at London’s Heathrow airport, customer service staff at Scotland’s Edinburgh airport are now testing the headset, reports Engadget.
Staff will be fed real-time flight information, language translations and information about the local area, allowing them to provide assistance to travellers throughout the airport and not from behind a check-in desk. The airport says it will test Glass until December
While anyone in the US and UK can now buy Glass, the product still has no official launch date. There was, however, a recent clue in revised terms & conditions for Glass suggesting that the headset may be close to launch – and at a lower price than the current $1500.
We reported earlier this year that Google has plans to eventually roll Google Voice’s features into its Hangouts service and retire the former product, and we’re slowly seeing that transition play out now. Google’s Alex Weisen, who works on Google Voice, shared last night in a Google+ post that they’re making calling via Hangouts an option from the Google Voice website. Furthermore, the functionality will not require a Google+ account to work either. The option appears to be live on the Google Voice web interface now. Expand Expanding Close
Google has been using artificial intelligence for a wide range of tasks, ranging from delivering search results to speech recognition, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that Google’s latest AI product was figuring out how to improve the energy efficiency of the very servers used to do all that other stuff.
A Google blog entry spotted by Engadgetdescribes how a Google engineer used his 20 percent time to apply machine learning to predict the real-time energy efficiency of its data centers. Google uses a measure known as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE): a ratio of total power used to power actually used for computing. In simple terms, if cooling used as much power as computing, the PUE would be 2. The closer to 1 Google can get, the more efficient the energy usage.
Google has already got its PUE down to 1.12 – about twice as efficient as a typical data center – but is using the AI project to try to further reduce the number. By using machine learning to predict the impact of variables like outside air temperature, Google can tweak the setup to minimize power usage.
The days of self-aware machines grow ever closer …
Goophone, the Chinese company famous for making cheap-and-cheerful rip-offs of high-end handsets, has taken just two days to create its copy of the Samsung Galaxy S5. Unlike its iPhone copy, based on a low-spec Android handset, the company has even got close to the real specs with its Goophone S5 (yep, it really is that shameless).
The knock-off handset matches the real thing with a 1920×1080 display, 2GB RAM and 2800mAh battery, gets close with cameras (13MP/5MP against 16MP/2.1MP) and includes dual SIM slots into the bargain. Don’t expect the same performance from the 2GHz octa-core MediaTek chip, however, and the quality of the screen is unlikely to stand close scrutiny.
At $300 contract-free, it comes in at around half the expected price of the real thing.
It wasn’t so long ago that buying a camera capable of 4K video recording would set you back well into five figures; today, you can do it on a smartphone. Acer got there first with the Liquid S2, followed by Samsung with the Galaxy Note III. If leaked software obtained by ExperiaBlog is indeed intended for the Xperia D6503 Sirius – codename for Sony’s successor to the Xperia Z1 – Sony will soon be joining the list.
A screengrab of the camera app shows a 4K video button whose description reads ‘Record video in 4K ultra high definition.’ Other camera features shown are slow-motion video (rather strangely labelled ‘Timeshift video’), background defocus (emulating the shallow depth of field of a large-sensor DSLR) and various add-on effects … Expand Expanding Close
We haven’t yet seen too many apps that can stream content to Chromecast dongles, but all that is likely to change over the next month or two as Google has scheduled a Chromecast ‘hackathon’ at its Mountain View HQ next month, reports Engadget.
Google has invited several developers including CyanogenMod / AirCast dev Koushik Dutta and Thomas Kjeldsen to a hackathon on December 7th and 8th in Mountain View. An opportunity to test drive the “upcoming release” of the Cast SDK is promised, plus an opportunity to talk with Google engineers about what it can do … Expand Expanding Close
The Uncarrier is set make these changes starting next month and will give customers until February 2014 to choose new plans before imposing fees for users on grandfathered plans.
For T-Mobile’s part, the carrier offered the following statement:
Maintaining thousands of rate plans is the norm in the industry, but we think it creates unnecessary complexity. Simple is better, which is why we’re reducing the number of older plans in our systems. We’re giving customers on these plans the opportunity to choose a plan that best meets their needs. For the vast majority, their plan will provide similar or better features at a comparable price.
News of T-Mobile’s plans originally surfaced when one customer posted the letter seen below to an online forum:
Google not only escaped criminal prosecution in Germany after its Street View cars were found to be capturing private wifi traffic, but it has now pretty much walked away scott-free as the Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information fined it just €145,000 ($190,000).
The pointless fine (reported by Engadget) could probably be paid with the change found buried in the seats of the Streetview cars … Expand Expanding Close
Patents don’t always become reality, but they—such as Google’s latest camera settings patent— are certainly an interesting look into the possible future.
As reported by Engadget, a new Google patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes a method of using GPS technology to auto-adjust a camera’s settings. The GPS would gather data for local climate and tune the camera’s white balance and saturation, for instance, to match the weather.
Disclosed herein is a method for capturing an image using an image capture device equipped with a processor. The method includes receiving an electromagnetic signal transmitted from a remote station, determining a location of the image capture device based on the received electromagnetic signal, establishing communication over a network between the image capture device and a remote server, transmitting a request to the remote server for weather information pertaining to the determined location; receiving the weather information, determining an ambient lighting value based on the weather information, capturing an image using the image capture device, and processing the captured image using the determined ambient lighting value.
Photographers can fine-tune their own settings now, obviously, but Google’s patent is an interesting spin on GPS and camera settings. Marrying the two functions together would certainly create new, appealing technology for snapping beautiful images in rain or shine and on the fly.
Just after posting alleged specs for Samsung’s rumored 8-inch Galaxy Note, a report from Korean language inews24 (via Engadget) claimed today that company executive JK Shin has confirmed the device will make an appearance at Mobile World Congress next month.
Earlier today, we posted the full specs of the device courtesy of blog SamMobile. According to the leaked specs, the Galaxy Note 8.0 will include a 1,280-by-800 TFT LCD, a 1.6 quad-core processor, 5-megapixel main camera, and 2GB of RAM. We’ll keep you posted with the latest from MWC next month in Barcelona.
The image above comes courtesy of Engadget and shows what appears to be some official promo material for the LG’s next Optimus G device, the LG Optimus G Pro. While we don’t get a lot of specs from the image itself, the report passed along rumored specs from BlogofMobile. It claimed the device will sport a 5-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 display, a 3,000-mAh battery, LTE, 32GB of memory, 2GB of RAM, and a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064. Other specs mentioned in the report include a 13-megapixel main camera, 2.4-megapixel front-facing camera, and dimensions of 139-by-70-by-10.1mm. It’s a possibility we’ll hear more about the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.
The video above, posted by the official SamsungTomorrow YouTube channel (via Engadget), shows some of the stress tests Samsung puts its Galaxy smartphones through. The video is in Korean, but it’s pretty easy to see exactly what your Galaxy device goes through— from water and scratch resistant tests to a machine simulating a user a sitting on the device.
Samsung’s Smartphone Stress Test: Now, we live in a world where you cannot imagine it without smartphones. But, do you know how strong your smartphone is? Samsung is conducting various kinds of stress tests for its smartphones to make not only smarter but also stronger smartphones.
The new Chromebook is a great computer at any price, but it’s an incredible computer at $249. It’s one of the lightest laptops on the market. You can easily carry it around all day—it’s 2.5 pounds, a mere 0.8 inches thick, with more than 6 hours of battery life for the typical user. And with 100 GB of free storage on Google Drive*, you can get to all of your stuff anytime, anywhere.
Even with its compact design, it’s packed with performance—it boots up in less than 10 seconds and resumes instantly. High-resolution videos (in 1080p) are beautiful to watch and when using the touchpad, you’ll notice smooth scrolling due to a hardware-accelerated user interface. And as you‘d expect from a Chromebook, it’s easy to share with others. Everyone—mom, dad, grandparents, tech lovers, tech haters—can have separate accounts where all of their stuff is kept safe. Finally, if you’re an active Google user of products like Gmail, Drive, Search, Maps, YouTube, Play or Google+ Hangouts, everything just works seamlessly.
The new Chromebook weighs a little less than 2.5 pounds, but it boasts the same 6.5-hour battery life. The screen, however, is 0.5-inches smaller with a 1,366-by-768-pixel resolution. The most notable difference in Google’s thinner Chromebook is the Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core processor inside, and it features a Cortex-A15 chip that reportedly runs 1080p video and ChromeOS pretty well. GigaOm’s Kevin C. Tofel even noted the overall performance is “comparable to the Intel-powered Chromebook I have, but perhaps a half-step behind; at least in my few hours of using the device.”
This is finally a compelling offer at $249—as long as the hardware is fast. It looks like a base-line MacBook Air (and will surely draw criticism for that) for a quarter of the price. Again, so long as it performs, I don’t think Google will have a problem selling them to its intended audience: grandparents, kids, and as second or third computers for those who are heavy Google service users, and companies that need cheap mobile workstations.
There were rumors earlier this month that Samsung had a mini, 4-inch version of its flagship Galaxy S III device in the works when the press received invitations to an event including the words “something small will be really big.” According to a report from Engadget, citing a translated Korean news story, Samsung’s Mobile chief JK Shin has confirmed a 4-inch S III is to be unveiled tomorrow in Frankfurt, Germany. Engadget later confirmed with Samsung PR, and the image above comes from MobileGeeks.de (which also provided the specs below). According to Samsung PR, it sounds like the device will indeed have the “Mini” branding:
Another day, another patent filing. Better yet—another watch patent.
Between the Pebble, Sony, Nike, and even Apple’s spin on the wearable Nano, there are plenty of smart watches going around these days. Google—however—wants to kick it up a notch. A new patent surfaced recently that depicts a Mountain View-branded wristwatch with Google Glass-like capabilities.
The timepiece, according to design filings with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, features a transparent display that doubles as a second screen when flipped up from the base. The displays give access to Google apps, such as Gmail and Maps, and they provide real-time data for directions, notifications, products, etc.
Yes, this also means Google would have another platform for serving up ads. Enter the Google Glass similarities. The patent filing indicated the smart watch could track users’ surroundings, and it would then offer related products, points of interest, information, or practically anything else aggregated and related to the watch’s GPS coordinates.
The Optimus Vu II, or the “all-in-one remote control,” just unveiled for Korea, but Engadget promptly noted the announcement falsely claimed it is the first smartphone to sport infrared. LG dubbed the Optimus Vu II the “the world’s first smartphone using infrared,” and it gave the Android handset a general launch date for “next month.” The device’s tech is built around the QRemote remote control app, which subsequently allows users to manage set-top boxes, appliances, TVs, and even competitors’ electronic products, but the presser did not name additional specs or pricing.
This firmware is specially for USA (Android 4.0.4)
Build date August
Many U.S.-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi owners allegedly woke up to Ice Cream Sandwich this morning, as seen in AndroidCentral’s Forums (below). Rumors circulated heavily that the tablet would get the push sometime this summer, and it now seems like those reports are panning out. Some users have noted the flavor is missing for them, however, so the rollout appears to be gradual.
We heard rumors in March that the HTC One V, which unveiled at MWC in Barcelona, would land in the United States on Virgin Mobile in “late spring” for $200. As noted by Engadget, the company has since announced plans to bring the device to a number of carriers this summer. The One V was spotted today on Virgin Mobile for $199, contract-free. We did not get word of an announcement from Virgin, so we are nor sure exactly when the device went up for sale, but it is definitely an enticing option at $200 for Android 4.0 device packing Beats Audio, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.7-inch WVGA display.
In the video above, you are seeing the Tizen operating system. It is an open source project backed by Intel and Samsung, which runs Android apps thanks to a little help from OpenMobile. The video above comes from TheHandheld Blog (via GigaOM). Tizen, which Samsung now plans to merge with its Bada platform, just launched version 1.0 this month and it recently received support from Sprint. In the demo video below, we see what might be our first look at the Tizen platform running on an Android device; although, the integration with OpenMobile to run Android apps is not an official feature of the OS yet.
GigaOM suggested Samsung could buy OpenMobile outright to integrate the technology and enable the roughly 400,000 existing Android apps to run on the up-and-coming platform. Go past the break for a the video of Tizen running on a Samsung Galaxy SII HD from the recent Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco (via Engadget).
The leaked device goes by model number GT-I9300. Pictures and video indicate the mysterious smartphone packs Ice Cream Sandwich OS, a 4.6-inch display at 720-by-1184-pixel resolution, a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and a 2,050mAh battery.
We knew Samsung’s 2.8-inch Galaxy Pocket at just 12mm thin and weighing 97 grams was coming when the company officially announced the handset last month. At the time, we did not have word on an official United States launch date, but today the device has made its way through the Federal Communications Commission (via Engadget). We do not get many new details on the device that packs an 832MHz processor, 3GB of onboard memory, and built-in FM radio, Wi-Fi, and 3G, but we do learn it will operate on GSM 850 / 1900 and UMTS Band frequencies, which means it might come to AT&T. We will keep you posted when we hear more about an official U.S. launch date.
Developer Robert Muth successfully ported MAME to run natively inside of Google Chrome’s Native Client, after it saw a similar port run on the iPad roughly a year ago. For those unfamiliar, MAME is an emulator application that can recreate vintage video games to make them playable on newer platforms. Finally, you will be able to get your PacMan to load within Chrome.
Muth was able to achieve the port in a matter of four days, but explained that it was rather challenging. Head to Google Developers and learn the technical details regarding how this was achieved. In addition, for those unfamiliar with Native Client, Google breaks down the basics for executing the code. (via Engadget)
The port of MAME was relatively challenging; combined with figuring out how to port SDL-based games and load resources in Native Client, the overall effort took us about 4 days to complete.
While Samsung and Acer are readying their ChromeOS laptops for release this summer, the CR-48 is still being looked over. One user figured out a Firmware Easter Egg by doing some significant research (and taking a big fat hint laid earlier this week). The Hex message at the bottom converts to ASCII characters and revealing the following message:
Greetings from the Chrome OS x86 firmware team. This message is brought to you by Randall, Bill, Vadim, Gaurav, and Kelly. Also by the letter G and the number 42. If you’ve enjoyed this gadget, please join us at http://www.chromium.org to help make it even better. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, already in progress. No animals were harmed in the production of this message. Apply only to affected area. Cape does not enable wearer to fly. Contents may have settled during shipment. Use no hooks.