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Here pokes fun at Google Maps, says it had offline maps first

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Well, this was bound to happen. Yesterday during its annual I/O developer conference Google announced that it would finally offer full offline support in Maps for Android by the end of the year. Nokia’s Here Maps division has obviously heard about this, and decided to make fun of the fact that Google Maps is still pretty much useless offline at the moment.

Here has had offline maps since the moment it launched. Even its predecessor, known as Nokia Maps (and Ovi Maps at one time), came with this feature built-in. Read more »

LG G Watch R now costs just $99 on AT&T

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AT&T cut off $200 from the price of the LG G Watch R smartwatch today and you can now have it for just $99. The offer is available via the AT&T online store, but you can opt for picking up the watch in-store.

LG G Watch R runs on Android Wear and features a P-OLED circular display, elegant sport looks and a beefy 410 mAh battery. It supports smartphones running on Android 4.3 or later. Read more »

WhatsApp Calling for Windows Phone devices expected to roll out soon

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Popular instant messaging service WhatsApp is quietly testing the WhatsApp Calling feature for the Microsoft Windows Phone platform. Android and iOS users have been using this feature for a couple of months now.

Windows Phone owners should look out for the WhatsApp Calling enabled through the WhatsApp version 2.12.238 beta build. There is no word on when the feature will be rolled out to all Windows Phone users. Read more »

Nvidia Shield TV console now available for $200, $300 for 500GB Pro version

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Nvidia finally launched the Shield console, you can snag one in the US or Canada. The elusive Shield Pro version with a 500GB drive is also available right out the gate.

The Android TV-based console can play games on its Tegra X1 chipset, currently there are 200 Android TV games. Read more »

TAG Heuer’s first smartwatch to be called Carrera Wearable 01

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While we already know that TAG Heuer – which is one of Switzerland’s best known watch brands – is working on a smartwatch which is set to be launched in October/November this year, there was no information on what it would be called. However, that was until now, as in a recent interview with Wearable, CEO Jean-Claude Biver revealed that the smartwatch would be called Carrera Wearable 01.

“There is no other choice for Tag Heuer than to have all its DNA, all its watchmaking emotion and flair into the connected watch,” he said. “Somehow, one should not see from a certain distance the difference between a Carrera Heuer 01 and a Carrera Wearable 01.” If you aren’t in the know, the Tag Heuer Carrera – Heuer 01 (see image above) was unveiled at Baselworld in March this year. Read more »

Google opens its Inbox email app to everyone, updates it with Trip Bundles and Undo Send features

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The Inbox email app, which was launched by Google back in October last year and was invite-only, is now open to everyone. The announcement was made by the Mountain View, California-based company in a blog post.

The company has also updated the app with various new features. Chief among them is a feature dubbed Trip Bundles which, as the name suggests, clubs all emails related a trip into a single bundle. It also makes sure that the most important details (like flight times and hotel reservation numbers) are available the instant you open the app. Read more »

Apple reportedly acquires German augmented reality company Metaio

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Apple has bought augmented reality company Metaio, according to a report from TechCrunch, which obtained legal documents showing transfer of shares from the latter to the former.

Metaio is a German company that was founded back in 2003 and has the likes of Ferrari and Ikea as its clients. Just to give you an idea, the company’s technology lets prospective buyers apply different colours and finishes to cars in the showroom. You can also use it to see how your home will look with new furniture (see video below). Read more »

New Google Cardboard viewer supports devices up to 6″, iPhones too

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Google Cardboard was introduced at last year’s I/O, this year it’s getting a refresh though not as big as you might have hoped. Still, the viewer was redesigned and it now supports devices with up to 6″ screens.

They are also easier to assemble, taking just three steps instead of twelve. Read more »

Google Maps gets offline search, navigation support

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Google Maps for Android has had some sort of offline support for years now, but it’s definitely not good enough for most use cases, in the current iteration at least. At its I/O conference Google has announced that it’s working on bringing better offline support to Maps sometime before the end of this year.

So in the future you’ll be able to start navigating to places while offline. Currently navigation works offline, but you need to be online when you start it. Additionally, Google Maps will allow offline searches for places and points of interest (with autocomplete no less), something which you can’t do right now. Read more »

Google Photos launches with free unlimited storage

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We knew it was coming, but now it’s official – Google Photos is becoming a separate app. Photos is already available for Android, while an iOS version and web app should be launched later today. It offers free unlimited storage.

It has some very smart way to organize and search your growing photo collections too. Read more »

Android Wear now has over 4000 apps, gets even smarter

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The Google I/O keynote didn’t miss its chance to update us on the progress of Android Wear. The dedicated wearable platform has really come a long way for its relatively short life and third-party developers have played a major part in this success.

During the presentation the popularity of Android Wear was put into numbers and, it appears that Google-powered smartwatches now have a flourishing ecosystem with over 4000 dedicated apps at their disposal. Read more »

Google makes Android Pay official

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Get ready for the third “Pay” program. After Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, Google has today unveiled Android Pay at its annual developer conference. Just like its competitors, Android Pay is all about allowing you to easily make payments with your phone, by using NFC and even fingerprint sensors on devices that have them.

In a similar fashion to the other systems, with Android Pay you add a bank card to an app on your mobile device. When you’re at a merchant that accepts Android Pay, you simply unlock your phone and place it near the NFC terminal. The payment goes through without requiring you to open an app or do any other additional thing. Read more »

iFixit takes Pebble Time apart, gives it the thumbs up

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Pebble has opened pre-orders for its Time smartwatch to anyone and the team even sent a unit to iFixit. The Pebble Time is rated for 30m water resistance, but even so it earned a surprisingly high repairability score.

Some heat was all that was needed to pop the top open and reveal the rather simple internals. Read more »

Lenovo is entering the virtual reality realm with a headset of its own

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Lenovo surprised the tech world with yet another peculiar announcement today. After showing off an interesting and slightly quirky smartwatch with a second private screen, the Chinese tech giant decided to move into other unfamiliar territories – virtual reality.

The Lenovo VR Goggles are the company’s response to Samsung, Oculus Rift and the Gear VR. Just like the aforementioned Korean-made headset, the Lenovo VR Goggles are more or less a shell that only works with a compatible phone as a display. At the presentation, the set was used with the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro, but, the manufacturer has loosely stated that it works with compatible Lenovo phones. This sounds encouraging, but, we are yet to learn which models the VR Goggles support and whether or not the compatibility will extend this to include Lenovo-owned Motorola devices as well. Read more »

Apple is going to release the native Watch SDK during WWDC

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Apple Watch was announced last September and went on sale this April. However stock quantities are very limited, and even waiting times are down, it is still hard to purchase one.

Many apps now support the Apple Watch, but since there is no official SDK, those apps actually run on the iPhone and transmit the data wirelessly. This often makes the Apple Watch lag, stutter or even crash, as we reported in our Apple Watch review. Read more »