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Ladies and gentlemen we have drawn our winner of the Samsung Galaxy Gear Smartwatch! We'd like to thank everyone here and on AndroidWatches.net for participating and entering this great giveaway!
The winner of the Galaxy Gear Smartwatch is...................... entry #30, dumpyloser!! Congratulations!! We hope you enjoy this beautiful smartwatch and get a lot of use out of it. Enjoy!
Apr 16, 2014 - 2:39 PM - by dgstorm
We have a second great story to share with you guys today. Just this morning we featured an article of Android humor regarding a unique Craigslist add we found. A clever fellow was trying to trade his prosthetic "old leg" for an Android tablet. Beyond the humor we found in his post and the humor we added with our feature, we decided to explore this further.
Here at HQ, we felt inspired to go beyond just writing a funny story about the unusual posting. We felt compassion regarding the gentleman's plight of needing an Android tablet for his "drawing" projects, but not being able to afford it. We didn't just think of it as a charity case though, because we found his proposal to trade his old prosthetic leg for an Android tablet clever and amusing. It just so happened that we actually had an extra Nexus 7 Android tablet on hand that wasn't being used much. On top of that, we even had a spare stylus in a drawer. We thought that if anyone deserves our compassion, it would be a person with a great sense of humor too.
Because of this confluence of coincidences, we decided to follow this "rabbit hole" as far as it could go, and made contact with the "seller" through his Craigslist ad. In the end, we got to meet a kindly and enthusiastic fellow named "Alan," who was very grateful to meet us and trade his "old leg" for the Nexus 7 Android tablet. Ultimately, we traded the Nexus 7 tablet (with all necessary cords and power adapters), a stylus, and $100 in cash so Alan could download some great artistic apps from the Google Play Store.
We aren't sharing this to be exploitive, nor to "sound our own horns." We simply were happy to experience this heart-warming event and wanted to share it with you guys. The Android community is far more amazing and diverse than we realize sometimes, and it's enjoyable when the universe reminds us of that.
In the thread below we included a few pics that Alan asked us to take with him so that we could share in his joy!
Apr 16, 2014 - 12:58 PM - by dgstorm
Here's the latest RatedRR tech destruction video. This time, the lucky piece of hardware which is up for execution, is the Samsung Galaxy S5. It will be meeting its maker by a firing squad of one. The weapon of choice is a doozy though, and will leave zero room for survivability for the newest Samsung flagship.
Be warned, if you don't like watching mobile tech devices slaughtered in slow-mo then you will want to skip the above video. Otherwise, enjoy the entertainment!
Apr 16, 2014 - 12:38 PM - by pc747
Google released in the play store their remote desktop app.
The app will allow you to securely access your desktop from any tablet or phone. Will this be an app you find useful in your everyday life or is this too little to late?
Apr 16, 2014 - 11:21 AM - by dgstorm
Those wacky, "always outside the box" engineers at Google have just moved even closer toward cool future tech. Two Google patent applications have recently popped up which push the envelope just a tad. One is very cool in a very practical sense, while the other is cool because it's basically the manifestation of something found in a popular anime.
The first patent app of note today is a micro camera embedded in smart contact lenses. The idea of a micro-camera hidden in contact lenses can seem scary, but the point isn't to create a super-spy gadget, it's to help the visually impaired see better. Here's a quote with a brief description,
The first thing that comes to mind here is the ability to take photos using just your eyes. If the thought of people wearing Glass in large numbers freaks you out, this would be even worse, as there wouldn't be an unsightly piece of hardware attached to frames that at least provide somewhat of a heads up.
Naturally, that possibility isn't the point. This micro camera could potentially benefit people's lives. A blind person wearing these contacts could receive an alert if there are obstacles in the way. It could prompt them when it's safe to cross a street or recognize faces and inform them, through an audio cue generated by a smartphone or some other device, who's there.
This camera would apparently have the power to replace binoculars, giving people the ability to see farther by focusing in on distant objects more clearly. In this way they could theoretically improve eyesight, not unlike traditional contact lenses. ~ AndroidPolice
The other Google patent app of interest today is an compact Bluetooth headset and earphone version of Google Glass. It bears a striking resemblance to the Scouter in the anime series DragonBall Z. At first blush, we aren't sure what specific reason there would be to have a variant of the Google Glass like this, but it's intriguing in a "Sci-Fi" way regardless.
Sound off and let us know what you think of Google's potential future-tech!
Apr 16, 2014 - 10:21 AM - by dgstorm
It turns out that Samsung may have underestimated how important 4G service is to consumers in the UK. Their Galaxy S5 just outsold the Galaxy S4 from last year by a factor of 2 to 1 in that part of Europe. The reason for that has been overwhelmingly because the UK version of the Galaxy S5 includes 4G support whereas the Galaxy S4 did not.
Here's a quote with more of the details,
What's curious is that the Galaxy S5 is actually selling better than the Galaxy S4 did in other parts of the world too. According to Yoon Han-kil, senior vice president of Samsung's product strategy team, The Galaxy S5 is "selling faster than the S4 so far." In the United States, most of the online and media consensus was that the Galaxy S5 wasn't as exciting of a launch as the Galaxy S4 last year, yet the Galaxy S4 had lower than expected sales according to Samsung's predictions.
UK mobile phone retailers Phones 4U and Carphone Warehouse have revealed that sales of the S5 were more than double that of the S4 on its first day alone. The two big street staples say that pre-orders for the new phone were "significantly" higher than its predecessor.
4G is still at a relatively early stage in Britain, but it seems the S5 has arrived at the point when it's reached wide enough coverage and hit price levels phone fans are willing to embrace.
Both retail chains are partnered with Samsung to run dedicated Samsung Experience shops across Britain and Europe, the first of which opened just in time for the S5 launch.
It turns out that the average consumer wasn't enamored by the fancy software gimmicks found in the Galaxy S4. Samsung purposefully decided to tone down on those features and instead focus on issues which are typically more important to the average customer. Features like vastly improved battery life and water-resistance are more useful to most folks. This has lead to the Galaxy S5 being a better success.
It just goes to show that finding the right balance to appeal to consumers is a challenging game that manufacturers play.
Apr 16, 2014 - 9:51 AM - by dgstorm
Although static benchmarks are not a reliable source of information to truly gauge your experience with a smartphone, it can still be entertaining to see how well new devices perform in them. We found some benchmarks which supposedly confirm OnePlus' plans to build a premium and powerful device to take on the competition. Their new OnePlus One, which is set to be released very soon scored an impressive 38,179 AnTuTu benchmark.
By way of comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S5 scored 36,603 on the same test. Technically, the HTC One M8 scored higher in this benchmark with a recent score of 38,815; however, it turns out HTC admitted they tweaked the performance of their device to run faster in benchmarks, which is basically a cheat. Because of that we will discount their test run. This leaves the OnePlus One at the top of the benchmark performance heap.
Of course, we really want to get our hands on the device first to see if that extra horsepower translates into a notable user experience. The OnePlus One is expected to launch in April for around $400 USD.
Apr 16, 2014 - 9:34 AM - by dgstorm
Although we are still scratching our head as to why Amazon would choose to use the gimmick of 3D in their upcoming Android-based smartphone, we aren't surprised that they want to bring a smartphone to market. It makes perfect sense for the mega-e-tailer to offer products which draw more customers into their ecosystem. For years we have heard rumors of an Amazon smartphone, and now we might just have the first pics of a real device from the company.
The above pic (and the others included in the thread below) are reportedly leaked images of the Amazon 3D smartphone which might come to market later this year. These images include a protective shell around the device (perhaps to hide its final design when pics like this are potentially leaked). It's important to note that the source of these photos indicated this is a prototype, so it's possible the final device might look different. On top of the included pics, several of the rumored specs have "supposedly" been confirmed. Here's the breakdown,
- Unspecified Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
- 2GB of RAM
- A heavily customized version of Google’s Android operating system - just like the OS found on the Kindle Fire products
- Display of 4.7 inches 720p HD
- Custom 3D capabilities - with 6 cameras - four of which are positioned in the corners of the device and are low-power infrared
- 13MP main rear camera
- First of at least two handsets being developed by Amazon
Apparently Amazon doesn't think 3D will be a gimmick with their device. They are developing it to have practical applications. Here's a quote with more of the details,
If all of this turns out to be true, Amazon will definitely have a unique product for the smartphone world. What do you think of this 3D concept?
One source tells us these four cameras, which are situated in each of the four corners on the face of the phone, are low-power infrared cameras.
The device’s extra cameras are used to track the position of the user’s face and eyes in relation to the phone’s display. This allows Amazon’s software to make constant adjustments to the positioning of on-screen elements, altering the perspective of visuals on the screen.
The result is a 3D experience without the need for 3D glasses or a parallax barrier in front the LCD panel like the solutions used by the Nintendo 3DS portable video game console and HTC’s EVO 3D smartphone from 2011.
We’re told there are several areas of the phone’s software that utilize Amazon’s glasses-free 3D effects.
Since the 3D interface is the phone’s biggest point of differentiation, Amazon has tried to use its new technology in as many areas as possible. In fact, right from the start on the lock screen, Amazon’s new phone will include several special wallpapers with perspectives that shift as the user tilts the phone from side to side as well as up and down.
Moving past the wallpapers, Amazon’s 3D effect will also apply to application icons and other core elements of the user interface. Several main apps will be compatible as well; for example, we’re told that moving the phone while using the maps application will change the view of various objects on the screen.
Another smart use for the phone’s 3D effects is across Amazon’s various stores, such as its book store, music store and the main Amazon digital market. By shifting the position of the phone, users are able to see three-dimensional product images at different angles to reveal surfaces that cannot be seen in 2D photos.
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