Latest News

Custom watch face API coming for Android Wear later this year

android-=wear

Google I/O focused heavily on wearables and developing for devices running Android Wear. The company even gave every developer in attendance a free Android Wear watch and released the Android Wear SDK so devs could get started on Google’s newest platform. What we didn’t get was a way to customize watch faces on Android Wear devices. It sounds like something of a no-brainer, but developers can’t do it — at least not without some trickery involving the current SDK. That should change soon, though.

According to Google, the company is hard at work on a custom watch face API. Right now, creating custom watch faces takes quite a bit of work and involves standalone apps. Google obviously wants to change that, but it’s not exactly easy. Senior Google Developer advocate, Wayne Piekarski, announced this week that the company is working toward making watch faces as easy as possible for Android Wear developers to create, but said that they require some special attention due to the fact that they’re activities running inside other processes. (more…)

READ MORE

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 will use UV sensor to offer advice to protect against sunburn

galaxynote3review-2

Between our smartphones, apps like MyFitness Pal, and the various fitness trackers available today, our phones are already doing a lot to help us monitor our health. However, it looks like Samsung is going to take things one step further with the as-yet-unconfirmed Galaxy Note 4. Samsung has yet to officially announce its flagship Galaxy Note for 2014, but has confirmed that a new version of the phablet is coming in the second half of this year.

Just last month there was talk that the Note 4 would have a UV sensor. Now, Sammobile is reporting that the sensor will be baked into Samsung’s S Health application and will measure the sun’s UV radiation. It will offer guidance based on the current measurements, hopefully protecting Note 4 users from painful sunburn, skin damage, and melanoma. (more…)

READ MORE

Google pulls in income of $4.26 billion for Q2 2014

googleio-2

It’s earnings call season and Google is joining the slew of companies releasing quarterly financial results this week. The company announced Q2 earnings just after trading closed on Thursday and kicked off an earnings call with investors at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Google’s earnings were below expectations, coming in at $6.08 per share when analysts had expected $6.25 per share. However, Google did surpass expectations as far as revenue is concerned. The company announced $12.67 billion in net revenue this afternoon, well above the forecast $12.39 billion analysts had expected. Gross revenue was $15.96 billion, which represents a 22 percent increase compared to the same period a year ago. All told, operating income for this quarter rings in at $4.26 billion.

Buried in the release is the news that Nikesh Arora, Chief Business Officer and one of the highest paid Google execs, is leaving after a decade with the company. He’s going to SoftBank where he’ll fill the role of Vice Chairman of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media. Google doesn’t have a replacement for him yet, but Omid Kordestani will lead the company’s business organization in the interim.

SourceGoogle
READ MORE

goTenna lets you send messages without cell service or WiFi

goTenna-2014-07-17-01

While many of us enjoy the lack of connectivity while hiking or camping, there’s a certain amount of risk associated with going ‘off the grid.’ Namely, not being able to contact anyone if something goes wrong. goTenna is hoping to cater to people who regularly find themselves without service with a newly launched device that allows you to send messages from your iOS or Android phone when you have no mobile connectivity.

Tha goTenna pairs wirelessly with your phone, letting you send location or text messages to other goTenna devices up to 50 miles away. All you have to do is pair your phone and the goTenna via Bluetooth and then use the companion app to share your location or send a text. Your message will be sent via low-frequency radio waves to the intended accessory, and the receiving goTenna will then send it to its paired smartphone. Messages feature end-to-end encryption and it can receive and store messages even when not paired with your phone, either; it’ll just push them to your phone the next time you connect. (more…)

READ MORE

iTunes Pass arrives in Canada, lets you refill at an Apple Store

giftcards_hero

Apple users across North America can now add money to an iTunes account at a local Apple Store. iTunes Pass is now available in the United States, Canada, and Australia following a Japanese launch earlier this week.

iTunes Pass is basically for those that don’t want to link their credit card to their iTunes account (or younger users that don’t have a credit card to begin with). It allows you to create an iTunes Pass using the Passbook app. (more…)

READ MORE

Deezer now allowing web users to listen for free

DeezerRP_WP8_PhoneFront_EN

Back in April, Deezer went free for mobile, allowing users on Android and iOS to listen to unlimited tunes for free through an ad-supported model. Now, the company is doing the same for its desktop-only or web-based player. This means the service is now reduced to just two tiers, the free version, which users can use while listening via the web or on their phone and has ads, and Premium+, which costs $10 per month. (more…)

READ MORE

Google now lets you call yourself ‘The Dude’ on Google+

43

Google has finally relaxed its real name requirements for Google+, its social-network-cum-photo-storage site. Since the service launched three years ago, Google has insisted that people use their real names so that the site can easily hook into its other services like Gmail and Hangouts, as well as to “protect” the community from trolls and other undesirables.

As the site has grown (or not grown, depending on whom you talk to), Google has likely seen sustained demand for the ability to call oneself something other than his or her real name, both for personal and, in certain countries, security reasons. (more…)

READ MORE

LG announces mid-range G3 Beat to take on GS5 Mini and HTC One Mini 2

LG-G3-Beat-G3-s-official-01

LG’s latest smartphone, the G3 Beat, is a sports car chassis with a golf engine. Like many other “mini” devices on the market today, it takes after its namesake, the G3, in looks and features, but dials down the specifications to a more mid-range price point.

Coming in at a still-massive 5-inches, the 720p display sports a quarter the number of pixels as the G3 proper, though its IPS lineage should stand it in good stead against HTC and Samsung’s similarly-priced One Mini 2 and Galaxy S5 Mini, respectively. It also maintains the thin bezels and rear controls of its larger counterpart, making it considerably more compact than most 5-inch devices being offered today. (more…)

READ MORE

BlackBerry Passport gets sized up next to a Canadian passport

The BlackBerry Passport was officially announced last month and the company has been promoting its design all over the place, even going as far as to say “We’ve been living in a rectangular world for quite some time… it’s Hip to be Square.” Apart from the design, BlackBerry has also embedded a 3-row “touch-enabled keyboard” that aims to satisfy its core enterprise customers who want both a touch and physical QWERTY keyboard.

Information about the specs has been limited. We know that the Passport will come with a 4.5-inch display with a 1440 x 1440 screen resolution and run BlackBerry OS 10.3, but that’s pretty much it. Until now. New pictures have surfaced that offer a bit more detail on what we can expect when the Passport is released in September. (more…)

READ MORE

Microsoft cutting 18,000 jobs, 70% will be from its acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division

nokiax

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, is wasting no time making significant changes to the structure of the company. What was rumoured last week is now reality as Microsoft announced one if its largest employee reductions in its history. In total, a stunning 18,000, or 14% of its workforce, will be laid off or “moved on” over the next 12 months. The majority will be from its recent acquisition of Nokia Devices and Services division, representing 12,500 people, or 70%, of the cuts.

(more…)

READ MORE