Author Archives: Vlad
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BBM gets Timed Messages and Message Retraction across platforms

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BlackBerry’s Messenger app has received an update today, which brings with it two new features. Timed Messages allows you to set a timer when sending a message. When that expires, the message you sent will disappear from the BBM chat.

With Message Retraction, you can ‘take back’ something you sent – after the fact. The message disappears from the chat for the person you sent it to as soon as you retract it. Read more »

Google Now and Siri beat Cortana at answering tough questions

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Now that all three major mobile platforms have their own personal assistants, we’re all wondering how well each of them performs at different tasks. The latest study doesn’t look good for Cortana, Microsoft’s attempt in this space.

This particular test is all about tough questions. Google Now, Siri, and Cortana were all asked difficult things, through a random question generator created by two developers. Read more »

7-inch Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2 rugged tablet gets official

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Complementing the two 5-inch tablets it announced back in June, Panasonic has today unveiled the Toughpad FZ-B2. This is a 7-inch extremely rugged tablet that is “designed for business”.

It will become available in Europe in December. In the UK, it will be priced at £591 + VAT, which means £709 inclusive of VAT. It should land in the US in February 2015 for $1,299. Read more »

Google Play Movies & TV app for Android gets Material Design and info cards

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Today Google has announced a new update for its Play Movies & TV app for Android. The new version of the app will roll out over the next week, and will bring with it a couple of important new features.

First off, like all of the recently updated apps made by Google, Play Movies & TV will get a do-over inspired by the company’s own Material Design guidelines. Read more »

Google Fit app lands in the Play Store

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Google Fit has arrived in the Play Store. The app is meant to be the central repository for all your fitness-related data. It automatically detects whether you’re walking, biking, or running.

It lets you set and monitor fitness goals based on your activity levels, and it can be connected to other apps too – Strava, Withings, Runtastic, Runkeeper, and Noom Coach being name dropped by Google in its official announcement. Read more »

Nexus Player will only arrive in Europe next year, rumor says

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The Asus Nexus Player set-top box was unveiled by Google alongside the Nexus 6 phablet and Nexus 9 tablet earlier this month. While the console will become available in the US in early November, it looks like it may take its sweet time reaching Europe.

Google didn’t announce any specific plans for a release of the Nexus Player outside of the US, and now a rumor claims it will only make it to European countries sometime during the first quarter of 2015 (so before the end of March). Read more »

Amazon launches Fire TV Stick to battle Google’s Chromecast

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If the recently unveiled Nexus Player is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Fire TV (among other competitors), then Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick is surely meant to compete head-on with Google’s Chromecast.

The streaming HDMI dongle has enjoyed great success, thanks primarily to how affordable it is. And now Amazon joins the fray with its very own such device, one that it (obviously) touts to be superior to the Chromecast. Read more »

Samsung’s newest ads for the Galaxy Note 4 are all about the camera and S Pen

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Samsung is continuing its promotional campaigns for the Galaxy Note 4, its latest flagship phablet. The company has released two new ads for the device, one focusing on its camera and the other on the S Pen stylus that comes bundled with the Note 4.

The S Pen is touted as nothing less than a “magic wand”, while the front facing camera is “so wide, you can selfie with, like, everyone“. Read more »

Samsung Gear Live now receiving update to Android Wear 4.4W.2 too

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Following in the footsteps of the LG G Watch and the Moto 360, the Samsung Gear Live is now in the process of receiving an update to the latest version of Android Wear.

This is the same build that has rolled out to the other aforementioned smartwatches a few days ago. After applying the update, you’ll be on Android Wear 4.4W.2, build number KNX01Q. Read more »

Sony SmartWatch 3 now up for pre-order at Verizon

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Sony’s first smartwatch to run Android Wear, the SmartWatch 3, is finally up for pre-order – yet just at Verizon of all places. It’s already been listed in the Play Store, but you’ll only be able to get it from there at some (still unannounced) later point.

The wearable is priced at $249.99 over at Verizon’s online store, and it’s due to start shipping by October 30. Read more »

Amazon Fire TV is out in the UK

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The Amazon Fire TV has become available in the UK today. This comes right on schedule, as October 23 has been the announced release date for the UK ever since the mega retailer started taking pre-orders for the box last month.

To get a Fire TV, you’ll need to agree to part with £79 of your hard earned cash. The game controller for the Fire TV is sold separately, and it’s priced at £34.99. It’s available to order too. Read more »

Rovio’s Retry is a frustrating new game with 8-bit graphics

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Rovio has gone the 8-bit route, emulating the incredible success that was Flappy Bird. The company’s first game to use pretty much the same formula is now available to download on iOS and Android. It’s called Retry, and you’ll be doing a lot of that while you play it.

It’s no Angry Birds, that’s for sure. Like Flappy Bird before it, Retry is easy to learn but frustrating to play and master. It’s hard but addictive. It’s not a full-on Flappy Bird clone, however, coming with some interesting twists of its own. Read more »

Google Earth 8.0 for Android adds new 3D tech, quicker map updates

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Google has just announced a pretty big update for the Google Earth app for Android. The new version will be rolling out over the next week, bringing with it faster and smoother transitions as you’re zooming in.

Mountains and cities get sharper 3D views too, thanks to an overhauled 3D rendering technology that was built from scratch. This is, in fact, the first big upgrade for the 3D tech since Google Earth launched 10 years ago. And more 3D updates are promised for the coming months. Read more »

Google launches Inbox by Gmail, a brand new take on email

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Google has just unveiled a new service. It’s called Inbox, and it uses the data in your Gmail account. But it presents this to you in some pretty interesting new ways.

It’s designed to “focus on what really matters”, the company says. It does this by surfacing important information from emails, and by letting you add reminders to your new inbox. Read more »

Nexus 9 accessories can now be pre-ordered from Amazon

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The HTC Nexus 9 tablet itself went up for pre-order last week. And now you can pre-order both the Keyboard Folio for Nexus 9, as well as the Magic Cover for the tablet from Amazon.

The former of those will cost you $129.99, while the latter is priced at $39.99. The Magic Cover comes in four different hues. You can choose from black, ‘coral amethyst’, ‘lime stone’, and ‘mint indigo’. Read more »