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Showing posts from November, 2016

Fitbit reportedly plans to acquire Pebble for $34-40 million

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One of the first major companies to launch smartwatches may be about to be sold. New, but still unconfirmed, reports claim that the wearable fitness device company Fitbit is planning to acquire Pebble, which got its start by funding its first smartwatch on Kickstarter in 2012, raising over $7 million See also: Pebble Time Round reviewNovember 25, 2015 The Information was first to report on the possible Fitbit deal to buy Pebble, and VentureBeat added that it will pay between $34 to $40 million to acquire Pebble. The smartwatch company has actually raised a total of over $40 million in its many Kickstarter campaigns for the past few years. That includes money it received from its most recent effort to launch the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 smartwatches earlier this year.However, it would appear that all that crowd sourced money, plus funds from venture capital financing rounds, was not enough to keep Pebble afloat. Indeed, in March the company laid off about 25 percent of its team members.…

Google Play Store rolling out new search result interface

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While we haven’t seen any changes yet, plenty of online reports claim the Google Play Store is rolling out a server-side update. This is said to bring forth a new card-based layout for your search results.The new UI seems to focus more on each app that shows up in the results. Upon searching for any app, you will get large cards that you can swipe through (left and right). They include the option to install, uninstall, descriptions and more. It’s pretty much a preview of the app’s page.There’s not much evidence of these changes, but we do have plenty of user reports and a video created by user Rony Mishchuk, who claims to have the update and has a video of the new improvements. We are liking the new changes, but so far we have no idea what’s going on with this update and choose to treat it as a rumor. As always, don’t hold your breath on it. We will definitely keep our eyes open for any more details that may show up.

Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) photos and video reportedly leaked

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A few weeks ago, we posted some exclusive renders and information, in collaboration with @OnLeaks, for the upcoming 2017 version of the Samsung Galaxy A5. The company has not yet officially announced this phone but today some new photos, and a hands-on video, have made their way onto the Internet that allegedly show off the smartphone. See also: Report: Samsung Electronics considering splitting into two companies3 days ago The video and renders come from a person named Neil Potgieter, who in the clip says he is doing a “review” of the 2017 Samsung Galaxy A5. However, since the phone hasn’t even been announced yet, let alone released, this “review” is likely of a pre-production prototype for the phone.  For example, the video shows the phone running on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, but it’s more than possible the final 2017 Galaxy A5 could have Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. The video does seem to jibe with what we have learned about the phone, including that it will be nearly identical t…

The Moto Z Hasselblad camera mod is used to create SI magazine cover

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While smartphone cameras have come a long way in the past few years, they still lag behind professional stand alone cameras for serious work. That gap may be getting smaller, however, thanks in part to Motorola’s support of Moto Mods for its Moto Z family of smartphones. Indeed, the Moto Z was used with its Hasselblad True Zoom camera mod to take the cover photograph for the latest issue of Sports Illustrated’s print magazine. See also: Moto Mods Review: Blast, Power and Project in a snapJuly 27, 2016 The subject of the latest SI cover just happens to be Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who started as a college football player and pro wrestler and is now arguably the most famous movie star in the world right now, not to mention People magazine’s latest “Sexiest Man Alive”The photo shoot itself was taken on Nov. 14 in Beverly Hills by photographer Mike LeBrecht. Motorola says that he was able to use the Hasselblad Mod’s professional settings with the Moto Z to create an image that looks as good…

Hatch, a spinoff of Rovio, will bring free streaming games to Android in 2017

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A new company that has been spun off from Rovio, the creators of the Angry Birds franchise, wants to offer a way for Android device owners to stream and play games without downloading them onto their phones. The new company, Hatch, says the service will also include some unique social features. See also: Best free Android games3 weeks ago Hatch says that the service will allow anyone to play games for free, with no updates or in-app purchases. Instead, the service, and game developers, will get revenues from “integrated, unobtrusive advertising and brand storytelling”. Hatch also plans to launch a paid subscription option that will offer unnamed additional features for gamers.In addition, the service will allow players to compete, or even help, in online gaming, along with support for sharing and broadcasting gameplay footage. Even single-player games can be altered so that players can receive online assistance from others. The service will use cloud-based servers in a partnership with H…

Build your own LEGO characters with the new LEGO Brickheadz VR app for Daydream View

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This post originally appeared on our sister site, VRSource.More and more VR apps are being released in the Google Play Store that support the company’s Daydream View smartphone headset. The latest example is LEGO Brickheadz, a free app that lets children of all ages make cool LEGO-based figures in a virtual world.See also:Launch day: Daydream VR apps roundupThe Brickheadz brand from LEGO was first announced earlier this year, and will offer people a way to own buildable figures based on pop culture characters from Marvel and DC’s superhero universes. The real-world Brickheadz won’t go on sale until 2017, but this new VR app offers something of a sneak peek at what this LEGO spinoff is like.The game gives you the option of building your own Brickheadz figures. You can also unlock new characters and combinations by putting together pre-arranged figures via special diagrams. All in all, this app would seem to be targeting young kids, but we would imagine older folks might get a kick out …

Moto Z is “likely” to get a Tango 3D camera Moto Mod

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The biggest feature in Motorola’s Moto Z family of smartphones is their support for Moto Mods, which are modular add-ons that can be quickly connected to the back to add extra features to those devices. Today, Motorola CEO Aymar de Lencquesaing said the company will “likely” release a Moto Mod in the future that will add support for Google’s Tango 3D camera technology to the Moto Z. See also: Moto Mods Review: Blast, Power and Project in a snapJuly 27, 2016 Of course, this is one of the exact reasons why Lenovo and Motorola created Moto Mods in the first place. If an up-and-coming technology comes out that may be of interest to users, creating a Moto Mod with that functionality is much easier than building it into a smartphone. de Lencquesaing stated that the augmented reality features that can be used with the Tango camera will fit well within Motorola’s smartphone plans:Augmented reality on a phone is a technology that’s likely to stick. Of course we’ll follow, or lead, the market in t…

DirecTV Now streaming TV service launches for Android and Chromecast on November 30 (Update: Google Play link)

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ShutterstockUpdate (11/30: AT&T has brought its DirecTV Now app to the Play Store. If you’re interested, head to the link below to give it a shot! Get it from Google Play Original post (11/28):AT&T officially enters the already crowded streaming TV service market on Wednesday, November 30 with the launch of DirecTV Now. Among many other platforms, the new service will be available on Android smartphones and tablets, along with support for Google Chromecast. See also: Best AT&T Android phones2 weeks ago Here’s the breakdown of the four channel packages and prices that will be available for interested DirecTV Now customers:Live a Little – $35 / month (60+ channels)Just Right – $50 / month (80+ channels)Go Big – $60 / month (100+ channels)Gotta Have it – $70 / month (120+ channels)AT&T's 'Go Big' package will be just $35 for a limited time However, for a “limited time”, AT&T will offer the “Go Big” package, which normally costs $60 a month for over 100 channel…

Facebook shuts down Live Video API access for Prisma

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In an apparent attempt to shut down the competition, Facebook has now cut off access to its Live Video API for the popular Prisma image and video filters app. This move comes as both companies released ways to include stylized art filters to Facebook Live videos. See also: Prisma, our favorite filter app, is getting offline processing on AndroidOctober 7, 2016 According to TechCrunch, Facebook sent an email to the team behind Prisma, stating that Facebook’s app already supports streaming of video from a “mobile device camera”. Facebook’s statement seems to suggest that its Live Video API is not meant to be used by mobile cameras and third-party apps, but rather by professional cameras, games and other sources. The report does point out that Facebook’s own FAQ page on the Live Video API does not specifically state that mobile camera streams are banned.On the surface, this would appear to be a pretty heavy handed attempt by Facebook to stop Prisma from offering its own art filters for Face…

Cyber Week Deal: White Hat Hacker kit 98% off

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For the past few days, Tech Deals has been celebrating Cyber Week by offering discounts on products and services related to cyber security. While there are quite a few deals that are worth looking at today, the outlier in our opinion is the 2017 IT Security & Ethical Hacking Certification Training kit.Although we’ve seen a handful of interesting ethical hacking courses while on the prowl for good deals, something sets this one apart. Sure, you’ll learn all the tools of the trade that career white hat hackers use to earn their paychecks: cryptography, identity management, attacking networks, mitigating vulnerabilities, etc. But what gives this kit extra value is that it also includes all of the relevant materials you’ll need to become a certified security expert.That’s right. This course includes all material covered by the official 2017 CompTIA Security+, CEHv9, and CCNA Security certification exams with comprehensive study guides to prepare for them. With these certificates in ha…

Android Pay arrives in New Zealand but with very limited support

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I bring good news and bad news for all the Kiwis out there. The good news is that you can now use Android Pay to make purchases at locations like BurgerFuel and McDonald’s. The bad news is that only one specific card is supported by it. See also: Android Pay vs Apple Pay vs Samsung Pay OverviewApril 27, 2016 Google just announced that Android Pay will be finally making its way to New Zealand. This means that as long as you have an unrooted, NFC-enabled Android device running Android 4.4 or higher, you will be able to create virtual cards just by downloading the Android Pay app. All you have to do is wake up and unlock your phone, hold the back of the device against the contactless payment terminal, and voila, your transaction is completed. No need to open up the actual app.According to Google, its contactless payment system is already accepted in participating locations that are equipped with contactless terminals. These include BP, Domino’s, BurgerFuel, McDonald’s, Spark, Vodafone, The …

Get ready for Saint Nick’s ride with the updated Google Santa Tracker app

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With less than a month to go before Christmas arrives, it’s time to get ready for the most famous yearly trip in history with the updated Google Santa Tracker app. The new version adds some features, including the ability to keep track of Saint Nick’s trip around the world on December 24 on an Android TV. See also: The best new Android apps23 hours ago In addition, the updated app includes more support for Android Wear smartwatches, although specifics have not been revealed. Kids of all ages can check out the redesigned Santa’s Village in the new version, along with an AR game, Present Quest, that shows people how to get virtual gifts from real-world locations, which are then taken and placed at a local “Santa’s Workshop”.Of course, the biggest reason for using the app is coming in just a few weeks, where children can keep tabs on where the big guy is in the world as he makes his way across the globe via your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, Android TV or  Chromecast-enabled device. In th…

Not so hot on coding but want to create an app? Try Google’s App Maker!

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Google is adding some important features to its G Suite, including the all new App Maker, which is a low-code application development tool. See also: I want to develop Android Apps – What languages should I learn?July 29, 2016 G Suite is quite literally a suite of Google’s apps, which is particularly useful for businesses. For as low as five dollars a month, you can get professional business email addresses, cloud storage, data migration, online help, etc. And now, Google has added some cool new features to it: App Maker and new partners under “Recommended for G Suite.”Let’s get to the exciting part first – the all new App Maker. As you can see from the video above, App Maker is essentially an application development tool that doesn’t require heavy coding. It offers built-in templates and supports popular standards like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so that you can create a complete app within weeks. Simple and fast. App Maker is essentially an application development tool that doesn’t requir…

OnePlus 3 Nougat update available for download via OxygenOS Open Beta 8

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OnePlus 3 owners who don’t mind getting their hands dirty with beta software can finally update their phone to Android 7.0 Nougat. People who have the recently discontinued phone can download OxygenOS Open Beta 8, which adds support for Nougat. See also: OnePlus 3 reviewJune 14, 2016 Since this is a beta build, you may experience more bugs than normal In a post on the company’s forums, it mentions this beta release may have more bugs than normal, because of its move to a new version of Android. Therefore, OnePlus 3 owners definitely should download Open Beta 8 at their own risk. That being said, the update to Nougat will bring features such as custom DPI support, multi-window view and much more. There are some known issues with this beta build, including some stability and performance bugs and the fact that Android Pay may no longer work. Also, users should be aware that once they download and install Open Beta 8 on the OnePlus 3, they won’t be able to directly downgrade the build back t…

Mozilla scrambling to address security attacks on Tor users

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Mozilla is expected to release a security patch in the near future for Firefox, whose vulnerability is apparently exploited to attack Tor users. See also: Firefox Browser gets another big update to v44January 27, 2016 There are multiple reports of a JavaScript exploit which is used to attack Tor users by revealing their MAC address, hostname, and even their public IP address in some cases. Tor is an anonymous browser, but most importantly, is based on a version of Mozilla’s Firefox. So these two browsers often share similar vulnerabilities. And that’s why Mozilla is scrambling to track the bug and come up with a patch to address the concern. These two browsers often share similar vulnerabilities. And that’s why Mozilla is scrambling to track the bug and come up with a patch to address the concern. The exploit was posted by an anonymous user, and according to this user, the leak happens when a package containing SVG, JavaScript, and x86 code pops up on a Tor mailing list and is opened:This …

Over 1 million Google accounts may have been breached by Gooligan malware

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A new malware strand called Gooligan may have breached over 1 million Google accounts over the past several months. That’s the claim from the Check Point security firm, which released its findings today. See also: 15 best antivirus Android apps and anti-malware Android apps4 weeks ago As with many other malware attacks on an Android-based device, Gooligan starts when the end user either downloads an infected app from a third party store (not Google Play) or if a person clicks on a link in an SMS or email message that sends them to the malware source.Once Gooligan is installed, Check Point claims it sends out data on the infected device to a command and control server. Then it downloads rootkit software that can steal information such as email accounts and authorization tokens that can be used to breach Google accounts. The blog states that the majority of infected Android devices are in Asia, but about 19 percent of those devices are in the Americas.Check Point has a list of the known ap…

YouTube adds 4K live streaming for standard and 360-degree videos

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YouTube has been able to support 4K videos for the past several years, but today, the service has hitched that support up a notch. It can now support live streaming of videos in 4K resolution. That’s for both its standard clips as well as 360-degree videos for virtual reality headsets. It also supports frame rates at up to 60fps at that higher resolution. See also: YouTube unveils 360-degree live streaming with spatial audioApril 18, 2016 One of the first such examples of 4K live streaming on YouTube will happen on Thursday, December 1. That’s when it will be used to stream the annual Game Awards, which celebrates the past year in video games as well as showing off preview footage of upcoming titles. If you have a 4K TV or monitor, you can watch the Game Awards at the new resolution on YouTube starting at 6p.m. Eastern time.This is just the latest update for the streaming video service owned by Google. It recently added support for uploading and viewing High Dynamic Range (HDR) videos an…

10 best new Android games of November 2016!

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Android gaming is getting bigger and better every month it seems and there is always a slew of new titles coming to Google Play. Whether you’re a casual gamer or you want something with a beat more meat on its bones, there’s usually a game coming out to suit everyone’s taste. Let’s take a look at the best new Android games from the last month! You can watch the videos on YouTube from passed months by clicking here!Best New Android apps from the last monthBest Android games of 2016Asphalt Xtreme[Price: Free with in-app purchases]
Asphalt Xtreme is the latest game in the Asphalt franchise. Unlike the prior game where you drive cars over tracks, Xtreme has you driving off-road vehicles over various off-road courses. You’ll have about three dozen vehicles to unlock and play with. It includes a rather lengthy campaign mode that includes various challenges to help keep things fresh. There is also online multiplayer mode if you want to play that. It’s a good looking game with decent mechanic…

Netflix now lets you watch shows offline

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ShutterstockNetflix is rolling out an update for its Android and iOS apps that finally adds one of the most requested features for the popular video streaming service. The app will now allow users to download select TV shows and movies for offline playback. See also: Netflix goes global, adding 130 more countries to its networkJanuary 7, 2016 There have been rumors for months that Netflix was going to add support for downloadable content, but today, the company flipped the switch on that feature. The bad news is that not every movie and TV series supports downloading for offline use, most likely due to previously copyright agreements with some studios.Netflix’s blog post indicates that some of its original TV shows like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Narcos and The Crown all support the new download feature. As you can see from the screenshot above, users will be able to see if their movie or TV series can be downloaded with a downward arrow icon. The company says more films a…