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Short video introduces the Nokia N1

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So, Nokia announced an Android-running clone of the Apple iPad mini. There are multiple things wrong with that sentence, but while your rub your eyes in disbelief you can watch this short reveal video as evidence the Nokia N1 is indeed real.

The N1 is Nokia’s first Android tablet, it previously tried making Windows RT tablets but that fizzled out quickly. Read more »

Nokia Z Launcher lands on the Play Store

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Nokia’s custom Z Launcher is ready to graduate from pre-beta – it lands in the Play Store today and it even works out of the box on the new Nokia N1 tablet.

The tablet is similar to Aviate – it learns from your usage and picks up contextual cues (e.g. whether it’s morning or evening), but the feature that sets it apart is scribbling. Read more »

Chainfire roots all Lollipop-running Nexus devices but the Nexus 6

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Chainfire is back and this time brings the number of rooted Lollipop-running Nexus devices to six – CF Auto Root is available with SuperSU v2.20 (which isn’t available anywhere else currently).

For Lollipop devices the latest Chainfire version includes a ZIP to patch the kernel to run CF Auto Root at boot. Read more »

NVIDIA Grid will stream AAA games to Shield portables soon

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NVIDIA’s Shield portables can stream a game from your computer, but they will soon gain the ability to stream from NVIDIA’s computers – support for the Grid gaming service will arrive as part of the Lollipop upgrade. The service runs the game in the cloud and streams 720p@60fps footage to the Shield, with very low latency (so the company promises).

“State-of-the-art NVIDIA GPU servers” will handle the rendering on the cloud part. Read more »

Project Beyond from Samsung is a 360° 3D panoramic camera that works with the Gear VR

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New display technologies have a chicken and egg problem – there’s no content for them, because there are no such cameras (because there’s no displays to watch stuff on). It happened to 3D and it may happen to VR – Virtual Reality – unless products like Samsung’s Project Beyond become popular.

Project Beyond shoots 360° 3D panoramic photos and videos, which can then be viewed on the Samsung Gear VR headset. Read more »

Second-gen Samsung Simband health tracker unveiled, developers can pre-order

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Six months after unveiling the Simband and SAMI – a wearable with a rich biometric sensor array and its supporting cloud platform – Samsung has unveiled the second generation of Simband. It’s based on the Gear S but will not be sold commercially – instead it’s a development platform that developers can pre-order today.

They can reconfigure the sensor array as needed and even develop their own sensors and algorithms to plug into the system. Samsung has made the Simband and SAMI an open platform to draw in partners and developers. Read more »

LG G Watch is now 50% off on Flipkart in India

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Samsung just launched the Gear S smartwatch in India, but if you don’t need all the added connectivity options you might want to check out the LG G Watch. Like the Gear S, it’s a square smartwatch (the round one is called G Watch R) and it’s currently 50% off on Flipkart.com.

Users report it had been priced as low as INR 6,500 temporarily (57% off) but it went up a bit over the last few hours. Read more »

10,000 Samsung Gear S smartwatches sold in South Korea on the first day

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The Samsung Gear S, a Tizen-powered smartwatch with its own voice and data connection, launched about a week ago in its home country of South Korea and apparently passed 10,000 sales on Day 1. The 3G-enabled smartwatch went on sale on November 5 through local carriers SK Telecom and KT.

This number doesn’t include sales from other regions where the Gear S launched. Read more »

Facebook Messenger reaches 500 million monthly active users

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This year Facebook split off the chat functionality from its main app into a separate Messenger app, which pretty soon became a mandatory download for those who use Facebook for chatting. Despite the bombardment of 1-star reviews from unhappy users, the Messenger app reached 500 million downloads in late August.

Now, the social network has announced that the app gets 500 million users each month. Read more »

Sony demoes early build of Android 5.0 Lollipop on Xperia’s Z1 through Z3

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Sony has committed to bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop to its Xperia Z family and today it revealed the first step – an early development version of the new OS running the Xperia Z1, Z2 and Z3.

The software is not suitable for daily use, but will give developers a chance to start working on their projects sooner. Read more »

New wrist straps let you change the look of the Samsung Gear S

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The Samsung Gear S is available only in Black or White but now the you can add a splash of color to it with five Wrist Straps. There’s also the Bangle Strap, which only comes in black and white, but is wider than the original strap, so it still gives the smartwatch a makeover.

The Wrist Straps have narrow bands that go around the body of the Gear S watch so they add color to its otherwise black face (even the White model has a black front panel). Read more »

Opera Mini 9 for iOS brings video compression to eliminate buffering

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With dropping prices for mobile data and faster speeds with increasing LTE coverage, Opera Mini and its compression technology has been fading in recent years. Opera is still kicking around though and it just released Mini version 9 for iOS with what the team thinks is a compelling feature – video compression.

Currently 53% of the global mobile data is taken up by streaming videos, so it’s a big market. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge hands-on

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Samsung is looking for applications for its bendy Super AMOLED screens and while it was mostly for show on the Galaxy Round, the Galaxy Note Edge challenges the rule of flat-screened UI of smartphones with its unique Edge screen.

The right side of the screen bends around to the side of the device and while it’s technically a part of the screen, it acts as a separate, utility screen. Read more »

Amazon Prime users now get unlimited photo storage

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Amazon increased the price of its Prime service early this year but it keeps adding new features to make it worth the $100 a year. The latest addition is that Prime members get unlimited photo storage for free.

Photos go in the Amazon Cloud Drive where they can be viewed on various smart devices – from smartphones to certain Smart TVs from Samsung and LG and, of course, through Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. Read more »

Microsoft rebranding Nokia apps, memories.nokia.com to shut down

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Microsoft is discontinuing the Nokia brand for its smartphones and is in the process of renaming Nokia-branded apps to “Lumia”. Some apps have already been rebadged but for some it’s a little harder – Nokia Cinemagraph used to host shared images on memories.nokia.com, but that’s shutting down and “memories” will be deleted come January.

Cinemagraphs stored on your phone will not be affected but if you have any on the Nokia site you’ll have to manually download a copy. Read more »