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OnePlus One will debut in Canada for $399 USD

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Looking forward to the endlessly-teased OnePlus One smartphone, set to be announced April 23rd? So are we.

The OnePlus One will sport a customized version of CyanogenMOD 11 with Android 4.4.2, which will likely get updated nearly as quickly as the latest Nexus devices. In fact, the OnePlus One is aiming its sights directly on Google’s own Nexus 5 by announcing that when it goes on sale at the end of the month it will have a $399 USD price tag.

The team of former Oppo engineers has been slowly teasing the One’s specs, with the only major tenet left being the design and materials. OnePlus was initially going to release the 5.5-inch 1080p phone with a Snapdragon 800 processor, but recently announced it would upgrade it to the 8974AC variant of the Snapdragon 801, which will inevitably improve performance and battery life. The 2.5Ghz SoC will also have 3GB of RAM to work with, as well as a 3,100mAh battery, a 13MP rear Sony Exmor RS camera sensor, voice wakeup abilities, global LTE and a premium 64GB model.

Users will be able to buy the OnePlus One from the company’s US site for under $400, according to the company’s latest announcement, though it remains to be seen whether shipping and duty charges will vault it above that desirable price point. Of course, with the current exchange rate of $0.91, the device will cost $440 CDN.

SourceOnePlus
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Google misses market expectations, down 4% in after-hours trading

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Google released their Q1 2014 financial results today, and despite a healthy quarter, Google failed to meet high market expectations. Google posted a Q1 revenue of $15.4 billion verses analyst estimates of $15.54 billion, and a $6.27 adjusted EPS versus analyst estimates of $6.44. Google is currently down 4% in after-hours trading at the time of this posting.

Of course, Q1 also saw Google’s sale of Motorola and acquisition of Nest. Google said that its ‘Net Loss from Discontinued Operations’, which includes results related to the Motorola sale, was $198 million for the quarter (up $17 million from q1 2013). However, Google also stated that Motorola itself had a strong quarter, posting a revenue of $1.45 billion.

Fielding questions in an conference call following the financial results, Google CFO (and fellow Canadian) Patrick Pichette stated that Play Store revenue from apps and other media had been a key driver to Google’s growth. Google paid out 300% more revenue to developers in Q1 2014 compared to Q1 2013. Pichette also indicated that Chromecast has also been a real hit for the company, following its recent release in 11 more countries around the world.

SourceGoogle
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City of Waterloo commits to BES10 and BlackBerry

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The success of BlackBerry’s transition to an enterprise services company lies partially in its ability to convince organizations to adopt BES10 as their enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution of choice. To that end, BlackBerry has recently trotted out companies around the globe that have committed to BES10 as news releases in their own right, with the hope of creating a narrative of momentum. BlackBerry has done so again today, announcing three Canadian organizations that have now deployed BES10 and BB10 device to their workforce, including Canada’s oldest metal manufacturing company Samuel, Son & Co., and civil maintenance contractor Volker Stevin.

But it’s the third company in the announcement that’s the most interesting. Making good on its January commitment to BlackBerry, the City of Waterloo has not only deployed BlackBerry 10 but collaborated with BlackBerry on a mobile application to provide Waterloo citizens local information and real-time updates. City workers also now have access to BBM groups for emergency communications.

Waterloo is obviously more tech-savvy than most municipalities, with a much stronger connection to BlackBerry. But BlackBerry is also uniquely situated to provide municipalities around the globe with an integrated suite of hardware and software services that other EMM companies simply can’t offer. If they pursue the opportunity seriously, BlackBerry’s future releases could actually contain news of true momentum.

Source: Marketwired

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HTC debuts Duo Lens SDK to help developers make better camera apps for the M8

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On the same day Google released a standalone camera app for Android devices running KitKat and above, HTC has unveiled a preview SDK for its Duo Lens camera API.

The preview SDK contains an API called DualLens that allows third-party developers to create apps, or augment existing camera apps, with the additional data captured by the second lens, to create a DSLR-like “bokeh” effect.

DimensionPlus, another API, is a proprietary format that utilizes both cameras sensors’ data to create a 3D-like approximation of a scene, making it easy to use the phone’s accelerometer and gyroscope to change the viewpoint of a photo.

We found DualLens, which is called UFocus in the HTC camera app, to be more useful on the HTC One M8 than the DimensionPlus results, but both can be augmented to create interesting effects, and we’re excited to see what developers come up with.

SourceHTC

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Standalone Google Camera app now available with new Lens Blur feature

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Rumours of a standalone Google camera app have proven true, as Google Camera is now available today in the Play Store for all Android devices running KitKat 4.4 or better.

Google Camera fixes the viewfinder crop issue that has plagued Nexus 5 users, in addition to adding a brand new interface and features. The most notable of which is “Lens Blur”, a shallow depth of field effect common with DSLRs that is difficult to replicate on a smartphone due its comparatively small lens and aperture. Google has attempted to solve the problem with a computer vision algorithm that simulates a larger lens and aperture by creating a 3D model of the shot. You can read more about Google’s work on the feature at the Google Research Blog.

Google Camera follows a trend of releasing standalone apps of core Android functionality into the Play Store (e.g. Google Now, Google Keyboard). What core Android functionality would you like to see as a standalone app next?

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Fleksy goes international, adds AZERTY, QWERTZ layouts and support for six new languages

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Fleksy is working very hard to out-key SwiftKey in the Android keyboard space. The company recently released its long-awaited 2.0 update, which brought a new Badge system that attempts to gamify high-speed virtual typing, while improving personalization and cloud synchronization.

Fleksy 2.1 adds support for QWERTZ and AZERTY keyboard layouts and support for languages like Swedish, Danish, Hungarian, Czech and Slovak.

The new version also adds 200 new emoji (so important!), a better Settings layout and a number of bug fixes. The full version costs $3.99 but there is a 30-day free trial for those who want to experiment.

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Project Ara gets January 2015 street date as developer conference kicks off

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Google’s ATAP contingent, retained during the sale of Motorola to Lenovo, has been producing some wondrous things these past few months. And “months” is the key word here, because the team has been working very, very quickly.

In addition to Project Tango, which purports to combine a number of cameras and sensors on a standard Android smartphone to facilitate 3D mapping of its immediate location, ATAP has been working on Ara, not so much a smartphone as a worldview. The idea of the modular smartphone, which uses sets of inputs in three predetermined sizes, 1×1, 1×2 and 2×2, has intrigued an industry eager not only for innovation, but cheaper products. (more…)

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Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint sensor reportedly vulnerable to hacks, deemed less secure than Apple’s Touch ID

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The Galaxy S5′s fingerprint sensor has been deemed less secure than the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID, as Samsung has failed to implement failsafe techniques to prevent stolen devices from being unlocked with a faked print.

According to Berlin-based SR Labs, Samsung’s implementation of its Synaptics-based fingerprint sensor “leaves much to be desired.” Last October, SR Labs reproduced a finger imprint using high-resolution sensors, a piece of glass, and a ceramic mould. While such a reproduction would be time-consuming and expensive, Apple’s implementation was given some credit for forcing users to intermittently enter a password to continue using Touch ID for authentication. Samsung, on the other hand, allows for “seemingly infinite authentication attempts,” even in apps like PayPal, with which the Korean OEM partnered for payments.

(more…)

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Popular iOS photo sharing app Frontback comes to Android

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Just like that, another former iOS exclusive has made its way to Android. Frontback, the “selfie + 1″ photo sharing community, debuted on iOS last year to great acclaim, allowing users to post two cropped horizontal images, delineated between the front and back cameras (hence the name) with a small caption.

The startup has raised just under $4 million in funding, and bills itself “the world’s most entertaining photo community.” The Android version doesn’t deviate too much from the style of its iPhone counterpart: like Instagram, you’re exposed to a vertical feed of your friends, with a heart in the middle of the two photos for easy liking. (more…)

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Impressed Photo Book now available for iPhone

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Supporting local businesses is always a good thing to do. Toronto-based Spoke Technologies released their Impressed Photo Book last year for the iPad and today they’ve made the service available for iPhone users.

The app competes in the photo book category with all the other app, such as Mosaic, Shutterfly and Blurb, but takes it a step further by adding the ability to record your voice on any photo. Pics can be uploaded from either your photo album, Facebook or Instagram. As for sizes, there is 6×8 and 8×8 hardcover, and also a 5×5 softcover. In addition, 5 themes are available — Signature, Be Mine, So Square, Black Tie, Classic — and most books cost $29, with the premium ‘So Square’ hardcover costing $10 more.

More here via iTunes.

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