Google has made the Nexus 7 folio case available in both red and black via Google Play. This looks similar in design to Apple’s iPad Smart Cover case and folds into three to act as a stand, plus the sides of the tablet are all covered and will be well protected from the occasional drop. The overall dimensions are 204 x 118 x 13 mm and will make the Nexus 7 weigh an extra 175 grams. (more…)
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Montreal-based Mighty Cast announced the launch of their Nex Band today. On the surface, the Nex Band could be seen as just a connected charm bracelet — the Bluetooth-enabled accessory does allow for up to five customizable LED “mod” charms to be added — but under the hood, Mighty Cast has created an extremely powerful gaming and social platform that pushes up against the wearable space.
Mighty Cast’s patent-pending “base and token” technology connects physical collectible and shareable objects with mobile and web applications. How this works is that an object, or the token, is given a unique ID that allows for permissions, locations and behaviours to be controlled in the cloud. Once the token makes the mechanical connection to the base, it then reads the unique ID and looks to the cloud to act accordingly. (more…)
No, Chromecast isn’t available in Canada yet, but that hasn’t stopped many of us from snagging the $35 HDMI dongle when visiting the States, or coaxing a family member to bring it north.
Today, the accessory has become much more useful thanks to partnerships with leading app developers like Plex, Songza, BeyondPod, VEVO and more. Google promised it would work with Android and iOS devs to facilitate one-touch content streaming to a television or receiver, and this is certainly a good start.
Before making Windows Phone “its primary smartphone strategy,” Nokia was actively testing Android as a Plan B. Several weeks ago, reports emerged that “a team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company’s Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s mobile phone and services business.”
Now new evidence of Nokia possibly coming to market with a low-end Android-powered device has surfaced online. According to The Verge, coupled with a November leak by evleaks, “Normandy” might be running a forked variant of Android on a Nokia smartphone, a heavily- customized version similar to Amazon’s Fire OS.
Apparently Nokia employees are “full steam ahead” with this project and plans are to release this entry-level Asha device sometime in 2014.
As for the device, the image shows it looking like other Lumia smartphones the company has released in the past, but lacks capacitive buttons and a camera flash. Of course, “Normandy” may not happen at all, as Microsoft just might scrap the idea when they fully integrate Nokia’s business.
Twitter’s iOS and Android apps have received significant visual overhauls, though anybody running the Android alpha or beta branches will be familiar with the swipe-friendly aesthetic.
The newly-public company now divides its feeds into three regions: Timeline, Discovery and Activity. The first is what we’re all used to, showing followers’ Tweets; the second is a collection of what Twitter thinks you’ll want to read — news blurbs, follower recommendations, trends, etc.; and the latter is what all your followers are doing in their own timelines.
The new version also lets users send photos within direct messages, or DMs, something that further entrenches Twitter in the “instant messaging” space.
A few weeks ago, the Toronto Transit Commission, in partnership with BAI Canada, soft-launched free WiFi called TCONNECT in two subway stations. We tested the reception at both locations — Bloor-Yonge and St. George — and obtained speeds of around 40Mbps.
The service is now officially live, and users can expect ads from partner brands Stride and Dentyne gum, Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolates, in addition to mobile news stories provided by HuffPost. BAI Canada won the contract over other Canadian wireless carriers and will pay the TTC $25 million over 20 years to install and operate the underground WiFi and cellular network. (more…)
LG G Pad 8.3 and Sony Xperia Z Ultra Google Play Editions now available in the States alongside new white Nexus 7
For a while now, the tech press has been postulating on a potential new Nexus product, the LG-made V510. Thinking that Google was set to give up on the Nexus 10 in favour of a smaller form factor (despite ample evidence to the contrary), it was thought that LG would manufacturer the first 8-inch Nexus tablet.
They (we) were almost right. Now, Google has unveiled the first Google Edition tablet, the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition. With identical specs to its LG-sold counterpart, the GE edition sports an 8.3-inch 1920×1200 pixel display, a 1.7Ghz quad-core Snapdragon 600 SoC with an Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera and 1.3MP front camera, 16GB internal storage with microSD slot, a 4,600mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box.
Here’s a rumour to pique your interest on this dreary Tuesday: LG is rumoured to be readying a “mini” G2 for CES. Lest you think the company wants to sacrifice any of its usability, the screen size is pegged at an expansive 4.7-inches.
Yes, if the rumour pans out, LG is set to launch the biggest mini phone in history. According to Greek site TechBlog, LG is set to board the same train as Samsung, HTC, Sony and others by fitting the same specs — a 1080p display, 2.3Ghz Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2GB RAM and a 13MP camera — inside a smaller chassis, with a slightly lighter battery.
To put things in perspective, Motorola’s flagship smartphone, the Moto X, has a 4.7-inch 720p display, and Apple’s iPhone 5s has a 4-inch 720p display. LG’s G2 has a 5.2-inch 1080p screen, but thanks to a some excellent engineering is only slightly bigger than the 5-inch Samsung Galaxy S4. If LG can pull off a considerably smaller 4.7-inch G2 Mini, with non-existent bezels and a 1080p screen, there will certainly be a lot of interested parties. But the move goes to show that scale has become largely irrelevant, and what used to pass as huge has now transitioned to small before our eyes. What a strange industry we live in.
Expect to hear more about this during CES next month.
Viber has announced the next phase of its do-everything voice-and-IM platform: Viber Out.
Challenging Skype right in its revenue generator, Viber Out allows users to buy credits in $0.99, $4.99 and $9.99 allotments to make ultra-low cost calls anywhere in the world. Canadians can call within the country for 1.9c per minute, and calls to the U.S. and the U.K. are the same price. In many cases, the prices are half of what Skype charges.
Viber has also updated its iOS and Android apps with a number of free sticker packs, which (unfortunately) reinforces the business model of nearly every instant messaging service on the planet.
Viber Out comes to iOS and Android today and Windows Phone in the near future. Calls made from Viber Out will appear to come from the phone number you’ve registered with the service, ensuring that recipients don’t see that dreaded “0123456″ Caller ID like they do with an incoming Skype call. Good riddance.
Qualcomm announced a new chip this week, the Snapdragon 410, and while it doesn’t burn the door down in terms of speeds, it represents a quiet milestone for the company: 64-bit computing.
Apple released its first, and the first, 64-bit mobile chip earlier this year with the iPhone- and iPad-worthy A7, and though the expanded memory capabilities of the chip did not alone improve its performance, there were many reasons to celebrate its existence.
Shortly thereafter, Qualcomm promised that it, too, would align its next major releases with similar capabilities, but cautioned buyers to expect no inherent performance improvements; 64-bit merely allows for the CPU to address more memory registers, and gives it room to grow as apps get more complicated and require additional speed.
The Snapdragon 410, therefore, seems to be a perfect introduction for 64-bit: a successor to the venerable, but otherwise un-noteworthy Snapdragon 400, it boasts a slightly improved GPU, the Adreno 306, and built-in 4G capabilities, to “bring LTE to highly affordable smartphones at a sub $150 price point,” according to COO, Jeff Lorbeck.
Like other members of the Krait family, the Snapdragon 410 is created using 28nm fabs, and supports 1080p video and a 13MP camera, though OEMs will likely stunt its growth somewhat at the source. The company says the Snapdragon 410 is compatible with Android, Windows Phone and Firefox, but you can be sure it will be seen far more in the former than the latter.
As with the recently-announced Snapdragon 805, the 410 will begin sampling in the first half of 2014, so we’ll have to wait a little while to see that Moto G with LTE for $200.