Monthly Archives: December 2015

Huawei Watch owner receives test build of Android Wear, turning on the speaker

Huawei Watch owner receives a test build of Android Wear that enables new features

Huawei Watch owner receives a test build of Android Wear that enables new features

A Huawei Watch owner has passed along his experience with a test build of Android Wear 1.4.0, running on Android 6.0.1. Posting on Reddit under the handle ThirdTime Caller, the owner of the watch said that he received an OTA update which took a long time to download and install. With this in mind, he believes that others owning the timepiece won’t receive the update until it is more stable. It appears that the particular Huawei Watch that received the update is enrolled in a special test group.

After receiving the test build, the speakers on the watch work which means that phone calls can be made or received. In addition, ringtones can be selected. The owner of this particular Huawei Watch says that there is one issue he doesn’t like. When the device is in text-to-speech mode, it will provide play-by-play of everything done with the watch as well as repeat the time and menus on the screen.

While the update enables features that Android already said would be coming with the next update to Android Wear, The LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition LTE was supposed to be the first Android Wear smartwatch with cellular connectivity (the Samsung Gear S and Samsung Gear S2 are both powered by Tizen), that device was cancelled.

Huawei Watch owners should be very excited knowing that the next Android Wear update is getting closer, and it will give them some eagerly-awaited capabilities.

source: Reddit via DroidLife

Asus Pegasus X005 visits TENAA, receives certification

A new handset manufactured by Asus called the Pegasus X005, has been certified in China by regulatory agency TENAA. Traditionally, this is the last stop new devices in China make before becoming official. The phone carries a 5.5-inch screen with a 1080 x 1920 FHD resolution. Under the hood, an octa-core 1.3GHz CPU drives the unit, which will have 2GB of RAM inside. The model comes with 16GB of native storage, and a 32GB capacity microSD slot is available for those seeking additional memory.

A 13MP camera can be found on the back of the device, while a 5MP front-facing camera snaps selfies and handles video chats. Android 5.1 is pre-installed, with ZenUI running on top. Weighing 177 grams, the Pegasus X005 is 9mm thick. It supports 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS connectivity, and will be available in Blue, Gold and White. Pricing and availability is unknown at present.

Earlier this year, the Asus Pegasus 2 Plus X550 was unveiled, carrying an FHD (1080 x 1920 resolution) display of unknown size. The Snapdragon 615 SoC powers the handset which is stuffed with 3GB of RAM, a 3030mAh battery, a 13MP/8MP camera combo, and Android 5.1.1.

Check out photographs of the Asus Pegasus X005 snapped by TENAA, by clicking on the slideshow below.

Thanks for the tip!

source: TENAA (translated) via Gadgets360

Start 2016 right by saving up to $26; these 12 paid iOS apps are now free for a limited time

The other day, we passed along 11 paid iOS apps that are free for a limited time. Today, we have another 12 paid apps for your iPhone or iPad that won’t cost you one red cent, at least not at the moment. Since we don’t know when the cash register will get turned back on for each app listed, you need to take to heart these two words: Don’t procrastinate! Check out the apps listed below; if you see any that would improve your iOS experience, you should download and install them right away.

If you click on one of the links and see a price instead of the word “Get,” it is too late and that app is no longer free. With that in mind, let’s begin. If you want an improved experience for your contacts application, the first app on the list is Simpler Contacts Pro. You can save a nice chunk of change here, because the app is normally $4.99. The app will merge all duplicate listings, backup your contacts with a single tap and allow you to quickly search for a particular name. Normally $1.99, Cut The Buttons is free for a limited time. Like the title suggests, this is a game that has you handling a virtual scissor to cut buttons. You keep cutting until you miss three scraps of material that contain a button.

WeightDrop Pro is usually 99 cents, and tracks your poundage. You can set a target goal, either higher or lower, and follow your progress. The app will also recommend a healthy weight based on your profile. If you’re looking for a new weather app, Blue Sky Weather might end your search. Usually 99 cents, the app will give you the current weather conditions, forecasts, and if rain is coming to your area you can arrange to receive an alert on your Apple Watch.

If you can never get organized when packing for a vacation, and end up leaving some important items back home, iReadyTrip is tailor-made for you. With the 99 cent price waived for a limited time, you can get this useful app for free. It provides you with a checklist that you can use to make sure that everything is packed. It comes with 250 items already listed, divided into 12 “packages.” Web Explorer is a third-party browser that includes tabbed browsing, a “super fast” full screen, a central media player, and a feature that allows you to save sites to view once you are offline. With an in-app purchase, you can add an ad blocker that will prevent 3000 ad servers from plying you with advertisements. The app is usually 99 cents.

DMD vClone is regularly priced at 99 cents. Free for a limited time, this is a cool special effects app that allows one person to be seen multiple times in one video. For all of you budding hypochondriacs out there, there is Diagnose. Normally $1.99, this app allows you to select a medical condition, and find out what the chances are of you having that condition both pre-test and post-test. The test is a simple checklist to see what symptoms you have. This does not replace a trip to the Doctor! Rotate Video 360° will correct the orientation of your videos. You can save $2.99 by installing this app for free. After being rotated, the videos are sent to a private folder by default. You can manually have them go into your Camera Roll.

Usually $2.99, 3D Earth is a combination world clock and weather app that covers millions of cities globally. It offers 3-hour and 15-day forecasts. It also supports 3D Touch, and the Apple iPad Pro. Save 99 cents by installing mText2Speech while it is free. This is an app that will translate both spoken and written words, and supports over 90 languages. The last freebie on the list will save you $4.99 if you install it while it is free. VoxBeat takes a beat that you are singing and turns it into a drum machine track. For all of you aspiring rappers out there, this is the app you need to download and install now.

So there it is, 12 apps that won’t cost you anything to use on your iOS device. Surely there is at least one app among the 12 that you will find useful. And the best part is that you saved as much as $26 by taking advantage of the developers’ largesse.


source: SimplerContactsPro, CutTheButtons, WeightDropPro, BlueSkyWeather, iReadyTrip, WebExplorer, DMDvCone, Diagnose, RotateVideo360°, 3DEarth, mText2Speech, VoxBeat via BGR

Nadella: "don’t just look at market share"

Published by at 17:31 UTC, December 31st 2015

There’s a fascinating 360° video over on Buzzfeed’s YouTube channel today, with a somewhat surreal interview with Satya Nadella. Not for the content (some of which is quoted below) but for the way you can drag or swipe around to see a lot of Microsoft’s campus during the interview – at some points green screen effects bring the campus into the room, all while keeping the 360° video going. Great stuff….

Most interesting in terms of content was that Satya confirmed for the umpteenth time what I’ve been saying (or at least interpreting him saying) for months, namely that it’s not about sales and marketshare at this point in time, it’s about providing a continuity of OS and applications across all form factors – if one part of the continuum is missing then it’s not, by definition, complete, and Windows 10 isn’t ‘universal’ after all.

Here’s one salient quote from the interview, all of which is embedded below:

“I think we do ourselves a disservice if we measure our success by just looking at what’s the market share of HoloLens? What’s the market share of Xbox? What’s the market share of PCs? What’s the market share of our phones? Go back to what I said about the mobility of experience. If you think of this more like a graph, these devices are all nodes. Sometimes the user will use all of these devices, sometimes they’ll use only one or two of our devices and some other platforms – so be it. But we want to make sure that we are completing the experience across all of these devices.”

So no need to panic about Windows 10 Mobile being terminated, it’s clear that Nadella isn’t watching the bottom line and worrying at this point, he simply wants Windows 10 available everywhere, whether sales of a device are a million or ten million or a hundred million.

Here’s the full interview, do have fun panning around while it’s playing – you may need to watch it several times!

Source / Credit: YouTube

Welcome to 2017! Here’s the story of 2016…

Here’s last year’s post, predicting 2015 – I did get quite a bit right, though the model numbers changed before release, notably the Lumia 535 and 640 appeared instead of a 540, and the Lumia 1330 ended up being called the Lumia 640 XL. Ditto the Lumia 950 rather than 940, plus ‘Lumia Emerald’ as an update simply became ‘Windows Phone 8.1 Update 2’ and didn’t reach every device. I nailed most of the Windows 10 Mobile timelines though!

2016

Anyway, here goes, fresh from a whirl in my time machine, looking back at 2016(!):

January – Microsoft announces that over 250 million people now run Windows 10, on desktop, laptop, tablet, Xbox, phone, and so on. The one OS rules them all vision, of course. Three major Windows 10 Mobile OS updates are rolled out during the month, along with a dozen Outlook and OneDrive updates, leaving the Lumia 950, 950 XL and 550 with much more stable interface, far better battery life and far fewer bugs.

February – The Lumia 650 is launched at Mobile World Congress. Over the air rollouts of Windows 10 Mobile for the Lumia 535, 640, 735, 830 and 930 begin in earnest, a couple of months after the original informal schedule. The Acer Jade Primo is also now available, small numbers and through niche retailers. HP announces its ‘Falcon’ Windows 10 Mobile flagship, though it’s not clear how much it will cost and how it will be distributed. A big update to the Continuum application/sub-system on the Lumia 950/XL introduces a desktop which is remembered from session to session and a plethora of multitasking optimisations and keyboard shortcuts.

March – The first builds of ‘Redstone’, the next major version of Windows 10 Mobile, are made available to those on the Insiders Programme. There are further firmware, OS and application updates to the Lumia 950 and 950 XL, now more respected, especially at their new prices of £349 and £399 respectively.

April – Over the air rollouts of Windows 10 Mobile for the Lumia 630, 920, 1320, 1520 and 925 begin, though many variants are not to get the update and some models are absent completely, notably the Lumia 1020 (because ‘the user experience isn’t good enough’). Cries of ‘foul’ are absent though, since anyone hard-core enough to still own one of these phones and want the update had it six months previously, thanks to the Insiders Programme.

May – Microsoft announces the ‘Surface Phone’ – no numbers, no suffixes (though they’ll come in 2017), with similar specs to the existing Lumia 950 XL, though with a slightly larger, LCD screen, Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM and a completely new unibody aluminium chassis – price and availability will be announced later. Also announced is that sales of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL have now reached five million combined.

June – The Lumia 950 and 950 XL official RRPs are reduced for the eighth time in eight months, now at £299 and £349 inc VAT in the UK, coincidentally exactly what I wanted for their launch over half a year previously. Actual street prices are lower still, the Lumia 950 is widely available at £240 or so if you shop around.

July – The Surface Phone has its price announced, at £619 inc VAT in the UK, i.e. at the premium end of the market. Availability is end of the month. The ‘Redstone’ improvements to Windows 10 ship to desktop, laptop and tablet users, as a continued free update. Microsoft announces that the ‘one year free’ update policy for Windows 7 and 8 users is being extended ‘by popular demand’, to Christmas 2016.

August – The Surface Phone gets delayed. Everyone’s on holiday though, so… Office 365 is announced at now having 40 million paid up users worldwide, buoyed by significant uptake on Windows 10 Mobile, on Android and iOS, and on Windows 10 on tablets, hybrids and laptops – and thanks to the bundling of so much OneDrive storage.

September – The Surface Phone arrives to rave reviews – though with its pricing and market positioning, it’s unlikely to sell more than a million in its lifetime. Also appearing in a quiet launch is the Lumia 860, which can be thought of as a Surface Phone ‘lite’, with metal chassis though no Continuum and with lesser internals. Still, the 860 is half the price, so….

October – Rumours of a ‘Surface Phone 2’ start to surface, noting a launch at CES 2017. Other rumours (for the third year running) point to Microsoft abandoning the first party mobile side of Windows altogether. Meanwhile, the Windows 10 Mobile updates for ‘Redstone’ start to roll out.

November – The Microsoft Display Dock 2 is announced, $99 in the USA and with higher internal specs and support for higher resolution displays. Windows 10 Mobile market share in the phone world is now only 1.7% worldwide, but the installed base is still over 50 million (plus another 50 million still on Windows Phone 8.1).

December – All is calm, all is still. Not much happens at Microsoft after about December 10th – again(!) The first press renders of the Surface Phone 2 are leaked, along with rumours of a Lumia 560, also for CES 2017. Oh yes, and I write my look back at ‘2017’ from ‘January 2018’. Oh heck, I’m really getting ahead of myself now!…

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Comments welcome on my ‘retrospective’ predictions(!)….

Grab a bargain: these must-have iPhone and iPad games are currently discounted!

Grab a bargain: these must-have iPhone and iPad games are currently discounted!

The winter holidays are always a great time to take a few days off, gather with the family, engage in the activity of gift-giving, and then, finally, hunt down all those that you skipped on throughout the year and check if they have a juicy discount on them. Well, there are quite a lot of festive price cuts going on in the App Store, so we scoured through to look for the truly must-have games, that can currently be bought for peanuts.

And we’ve got something for everybody – there are a couple of platformers, puzzlers, an old-school adventure, and some isometric arcade action in there. From Bastion to Grim Fandango, here are the games that you shouldn’t skim on in your next game-shopping flurry!

Best free cooking and recipe apps for Android (2016)

It might come off as superficial, but beautiful design isn’t just a nice extra. Beautiful designs ensures that we want to keep coming back to an app. And when it comes to cooking, the key to success is persistence, and for you to keep coming back. With Yummly, you’ll have quite a few reasons to.

Beyond the slick UI, Yummly is special in that it’s decidedly personal. Flick through the settings, and you’ll be able to note your allergies and set your preferences— vegetarians, ovo vegetarians, pescetarians, vegans, everybody is welcome! This ties in nicely with the app’s ‘Yum!” feature, which is a sort of a +1 button for recipes that you like, as Yummly then uses a little bit of coding sorcery to curate recipes shown to you based on your personal taste. Best of all, once you get to the actual cooking part, very detailed and coherent instructions are accompanied by beautiful, professional imagery for easy preparation.

Download

Phones with the fastest cameras in 2015

21.
TechieXP1969

(Posts: 5269; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

The fact PA is willing to blatantly lie as we saw in their articles where buyers voted the pictures of the latest Samsung better, their Calimesa that because the iPhone won more rounds that bit was the winner even though the Samsung got the most votes.

This site is absolutely pathetic.

You can double-tap the home button and the app launches in 0.7 secs…CONSISTENTLY on my Note 5. By the time the clock reaches a full second you can see the camera has already focused and it takes less than a 1/2 second to press for a photo depending on your hand speed.

Also toward to the fact. Samsung phones offer Burst Shots before Apple did. I recall with my Note 3, I was able to burst 8 full shots in the time it took the iPhone at the time to take one shot.

Even now if you do burst shot on the present models, Samsung has increased how many you can take which is I think as many as 20 in a row.

If you hold the camera button, you can take more than 10 shots in 1.5 secs.

Now in realize this is a different camera mode an PA Claimed test is likely just using default settings since the iPhone doesn’t even allow camera settings.

However side by side video with the S6 and iPhone 6S side by side where the guy purposely move the camera and forced them to refocus, the Samsung were faster

This guy here is the most honest phone tester I have seen on youtube. He records the phones did by side using a stick i assume.

If the move the video up too 2:15 he does a focus test with the 6S first and then with the s6 and then side by side. All he did was raise and lower the camera in the same lighting for objects at 2 different distances and in both cases the S6 focused ready for a shot faster than the iPhone.

That is video proof. If PA wants me to believe their teats, I need to see that test on video. Because just typing out some list of claims is your word as a fanboi, against my word an not a fanboi.

I posted by proof, I dare anyone including PA to prove it wrong