Patent filing reveals Apple’s work on gesture-based passwords

By Cody Lee on Apr 17, 2014

 The US Patent and Trademark Office published a pair of interesting Apple patent applications yesterday. The filings are titled ‘Gesture entry techniques,’ and together they describe a device-unlocking feature that involves a user drawing a custom pattern on a screen by connecting illuminated dots.

Apple filed for the patent in late 2012, several years after Google introduced a very similar feature in Android. It would appear, though, that the iPad-maker’s version of the gesture-based password is at least slightly more advanced, as it can account for swipe speed, use of invisible dots, and more… Read More


LG launches AirPlay-like SDK to stream media to multiple TVs, Apple TV support incoming

By Jake Smith on Apr 17, 2014

LG is hoping to make it easier for users to beam media to their televisions, with a new SDK it’s making available to developers to integrate into apps on iOS and Android.

Smart TVs have historically been one of the most closed platforms out there, with manufacturers developing features for only their own TVs and set-top boxes, and not the broader market – example being Apple’s AirPlay. LG is changing this with its new Integrate Connect SDK, a standard to place into mobile apps to beam media across multiple platforms onto the big screen. Read More


Apple joins Google, HTC and others to curb smartphone theft

By Jake Smith on Apr 15, 2014

Apple has entered into the “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment” with HTC, Motorola, Samsung, and others, to curb the smartphone theft epidemic that has been plaguing many city streets.

Under the voluntary agreement, the manufacturers are planning to add several new security features to their smartphones going on sale after July 2015, to make for an industry standard.

Under the Commitment, manufacturers’ smartphones must:  Read More


Google building Android set-top box with voice input, apps and games

By Cody Lee on Apr 6, 2014

In 2011, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that, “by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded.” But here it is, 2014, and a quick search of confirms that the lofty goal never came to fruition.

The company hasn’t given up on the living room though. In fact, according to a report from The Verge, it’s readying a new Android-based set-top right now. The site has obtained screenshots and other documents outing the project, which is apparently named Android TV… Read More


Study takes a look at app stability on iOS and Android

By Cody Lee on Mar 30, 2014

Crittercism, a mobile application performance management (APM) solution, has posted a new study this weekend entitled Mobile Experience Benchmark. The 19-page document covers several topics, but perhaps most interesting is the section on app stability.

The firm took a look at mobile application crashes on various versions of iOS and Android, running on a wide range of devices. And what it found was that on Apple’s platform, iOS 7.1 is the most stable, and on Google’s platform, Android Gingerbread is the least… Read More


iPhone 5c outsold all Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices in winter quarter

By Joe Rossignol on Mar 23, 2014

While the iPhone 5c has failed to live up to internal expectations set by Apple, the smartphone certainly hasn’t been moving off the shelves as badly as some people might think. According to an AppleInsider report by Daniel Eran Dilger, the mid-tier handset actually outsold every BlackBerry, Windows Phone and flagship Android device in the United States during the winter quarter. Take a look…  Read More


Apple considering iTunes for Android, on-demand streaming service

By Joe Rossignol on Mar 21, 2014

Apple is contemplating launching an iTunes app for Android devices to bolster its digital music sales, according to a new Billboard report. The company is also said to be in exploratory talks with senior label executives about rolling out an on-demand streaming service that would rival Spotify and Beats Music. These two moves are part of a broader strategy that would help the Cupertino-based company combat double-digit drops in iTunes downloads in the United States…  Read More


Yahoo launches new Classic Games site for Web, Android and iOS

By Cody Lee on Mar 19, 2014

Yahoo today announced a renewed push into gaming with the launch of its Classic Games site. The site features an easy-to-use design that allows you to browse for and play games across the Web, Android and iOS devices.

The company also introduced the Yahoo Games Network, a new platform for third-party game developers akin to Apple’s Game Center. It offers various tools including analytics, player authentication, monetization, and social sharing… Read More


Motorola shows off its Android Wear smartwatch, Moto 360, coming this summer

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2014

Google has just announced its brand new Android Wear platform for powering wearable devices like smartwatches and handset maker Motorola is already showing off its first Android Wear-driven device, a smartwatch dubbed Moto 360.

Billed as a “modern timepiece,” the device indeed is designed much like classic timepieces and sports high-grade finish that oozes premium quality.

The Moto 360, of course, runs Android Wear and includes Google Now integration, Android notifications, apps like weather, sports scores and more. It does gestures, too. “With just a twist of the wrist,” Motorola writes, you can see who’s emailing or calling, what time your next meeting is or a friend’s latest social post… Read More


Google extends Android to wearables: introducing Android Wear

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 18, 2014

Wearable computing is set to take off in a big way as the Internet giant Google on Tuesday introduced Android Wear, as previously promised.

Android Wear, as the name suggests, is meant to put Android on wearable devices such as smartwatches.

The company will be releasing soon the official Android Wear APIs to device vendors who want to put the power of Android in their health and fitness bands, smartwatches and other wearable gizmos.

Wearable devices driven by Android Wear include ‘OK, Google’ functionality and Android’s rich notification system. Moreover, they can show users timely information and suggestions akin to Google Now.

Health and fitness functions are supported as well: users can get their fitness summaries and set their goals with reminders. Fitness apps taking advantage of the Android Wear APIs can give users information such as real-time speed, distance and time for their run, cycle or walk.

Perhaps the most interesting bit is the ability of Android Wear devices to relay your voice commands to other devices such as smartphones, tablets or Chrome devices. Starting today, programmers can download a Developer Preview to tailor their existing app notifications for watches powered by Android Wear.

The company said that first Android-powered wearables are coming later this year. Jump past the fold for more information and a pair of pretty good promotional videos… Read More


Google Play Games gets cross-platform multiplayer gaming between iOS and Android

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 17, 2014

First announced at the Internet giant’s I/O developer conference last May, Google Play Games services provide Android, iOS and web developers with APIs for Apple Game Center-like features such as leaderboards, achievements, cloud saves, sign-in services and more. There was just one piece of the puzzle missing for the full cross-platform gaming nirvana: support for multiplayer sessions between iOS and Android devices.

As announced today on the official Android Developers blog and at Game Developers Conference, the newly-updated SDK now makes it easy to implement both Google Play Games turn-based and real-time multiplayer modes. When implemented by a game developer on both iOS and Android, player with an iPhone can challenge his or her Android-totting friend to multiplayer matches, and vice versa… Read More


Google announces Android SDK for wearables releasing in two weeks

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 9, 2014

After becoming the world’s top mobile operating system for smartphones and tablets, Google’s Android software wants to become the leading platform for wearable devices.

CNET’s Daniel Terdiman, reporting from the SXSW conference, has just tweeted that Google’s Sundar Pichai confirmed that the Internet giant will be releasing its own Android software development kit (SDK) for wearable devices in the next two weeks.

The move indicates the search company’s interest in the emerging wearable devices market, which has not exploded yet but is being closely watched in part due to Apple’s rumored iWatch wearable project. Google itself is thought to be working on a smartwatch of its ownRead More


Samsung launches ad-free streaming radio service ‘Milk Music’

By Cody Lee on Mar 7, 2014

In a somewhat surprising move, Samsung announced today a new streaming radio service dubbed ‘Milk Music.’ The service is a lot like Apple’s iTunes Radio in that music is chosen based on a user’s preferences, and it’s platform-specific—it’s only available to Galaxy device owners.

The service is powered by Slacker Radio, which would explain the absence of rumors that Samsung was working on such a project, and there are no ads. As for the app, it offers the usual features including the ability to save songs for offline listening and create custom radio stations… Read More


Google admits Android wasn’t designed to be safe

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 27, 2014

In the wake of numerous reports that all point to the same conclusion – that malware infestation is running amok on Android – the Internet giant made an unusually open statement through the mouth of its Android lead, Sundar Pichai, who finally admitted that Android wasn’t built for security.

“If I had a company dedicated to malware, I would also be targetting Android”, Pichai allegedly said to a stunned audience at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. When your own platform lead starts making such frank statements about Android security, it’s high time you considered taking these security reports at face value… Read More


Samsung introduces new ‘Gear Fit’ fitness tracker

By Cody Lee on Feb 25, 2014

As Apple and Google prepare their entries into the rising wearables space, Samsung introduced 3 new products into its already-seasoned line of smartwatches at Mobile World Congress this week. There’s the Gear 2 and the Gear 2 Neo, and now we have the Gear Fit.

We’ve already seen the 2 new Gear watches—they’re very similar to their predecessor in that they look, well, like watches. The Gear Fit, however, unveiled yesterday alongside the Galaxy S5, looks more like a cross between a smartwatch and a Fitbit Force fitness band… Read More


Samsung unveils new Galaxy S5 with heart-rate monitor, fingerprint scanner and more

By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2014

Out of all the major manufacturers presenting new products at Mobile World Congress this week, no keynote was more highly anticipated than Samsung’s Unpacked 5 event. The South Korean company is the hottest name in Android right now, and it was expected to unveil its latest flagship smartphone.

And it delivered. This afternoon, Samsung introduced the new Galaxy S5 handset to a packed auditorium in Barcelona, Spain. There were no paid TV hosts or Broadway dancers this time around, just Samsung leadership up on stage talking about the smartphone they built for the year 2014 and beyond… Read More


Report: Google smartwatch made by LG, has Google Now, runs slimmed down Android

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 24, 2014

After Sarah Perez and Darrell Etherington over at TechCrunch ran a story last night detailing some of the aspects of Google’s rumored smartwatch project, The Wall Street Journal and CNET on Monday reported that the device will probably be manufactured by LG Electronics. Google should detail its operating system in March and release a software development kit for third-party developers in June.

Apple is of course, rumored to be hard at work on its own wearable device, dubbed by the press the iWatch. A number of medical expert hires indicate that Apple’s device may also include health-sensing capability such as tracking blood glucose and hydration levels, although not as advanced as previously speculatedRead More


Nokia unveils its first-ever Android handsets: the X, X+ and XL

By Cody Lee on Feb 24, 2014

So the rumors were true. Despite being a long-time parter of Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform, and despite being outright purchased by the Redmond company last fall, Nokia has been working on an Android strategy. And tonight, it unveiled that strategy to the world.

At its Mobile World Congress press event in Barcelona, the Finnish handset-maker introduced not one, but three new Android phones: the X, X+ and XL. The X and X+ both have 4-inch displays, and similar specs, and as you’d imagine the XL has a larger 5-inch display… Read More


New report says Google is preparing to release its own smartwatch this year

By Cody Lee on Feb 23, 2014

If you’re still in the camp of folks who believe that there won’t be a market for wearables, you might want to take a look around. Pebble just launched a new smartwatch, Samsung just announced a new Gear watch and Apple reportedly has one in the oven.

Google is also believed to be working on a smartwatch, and according to insiders, it’s almost finished. TechCrunch is reporting this weekend that the search giant is putting the finishing touches on a watch that runs Android and houses a full-color display… Read More


Google’s Project Tango: phone that maps 3D environments, senses depth and geometry

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 20, 2014

Imagine directions to a new location not stopping at the street address, or never getting lost in a new building again. Or, how about playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character or competing against a friend “for control over physical space with your own miniature army”?

That’s the promise behind Project Tango, a new Google initiative which seeks to give mobile devices “a human-scale understanding of space and motion”.

The brainchild of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, Project Tango is, on the surface, an unimpressive Android phone with a five-inch display and a four-megapixel camera.

But scratch deeper and you’ll find custom hardware like two Computer Vision Processors, sensors for measuring geometry and seeing in three dimensions, a camera which tracks motion and other goodies that basically turn this handset into a device that can map your environments, track its motion in full 3D space and much more… Read More

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