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Samsung ChatOn gets SMS support

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Samsung has added SMS and MMS support to its own chat client – the ChatOn. The app comes pre-installed on every Galaxy smartphone since the Galaxy S II and has extensive IM functionality.

I think the SMS/MMS support is long overdue though, since both Viber and Hangouts already have this functionality. Even the Facebook Messenger has had it until recently, but it was dropped due to low user interest. Read more »

Canalys: tablets have caught up to laptops

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The PC market as defined by analyst firm Canalys – desktop computers, laptops and tablets (devices with 7″+ screens) – is experiencing a major shift. The firm predicts that next year, tablets will make up half of the total PC market. And the PC market is growing (despite the declining shipments of desktops and laptops) thanks to a huge spike in tablet sales.

Tablets are almost there already – in the third quarter this year they accounted for 40% of the PC market and the shipments in terms of units was a hair short of the shipment numbers of laptops. Read more »

Futuremark delists HTC, Samsung handsets for cheating

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Futuremark, the software developer behind 3DMark, has removed the performance scores of four Samsung and two HTC devices from its benchmark database. The reason is simple – the devices were suspected in altering their behavior during testing thus breaking the Futuremark rules and are considered cheating.

The six devices that were delisted from the Futuremark scoreboard are Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (Octa), Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (S800), HTC One, HTC One mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition (Octa) and Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 (S800). Read more »

Google shows off Nexus 5 camera in new videos, fails to get the irony

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Google has released three new videos showing off the camera functionality on the new Nexus 5. The first video showcases the Photo Sphere feature, which was first seen on the Nexus 4, and lets you capture 360 degree panoramas. The second shows the new HDR+ feature and the last one shows the Auto Awesome feature, that generates animations from your burst shots.

All this would have been great had the camera on the Nexus 5 not been so underwhelming. The image quality is mediocre at best and the camera software itself, other than a couple of tricks, is utterly basic with a messed up viewfinder. Read more »

Assassins Creed: Pirates for smartphones and tablets goes official

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Shortly after Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag made its way to consoles and gaming rigs, Ubisoft took the wraps off a new addition to the popular franchise, made specifically for gaming devices. Titled Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, the game will be available for iOS and Android devices on December 5 for $4.99.

Assassin’s Creed: Pirates will utilize a new 3D graphics engine, designed specifically for mobile devices. Read more »

New Tegra 4-powered Nook leaked from GFXBench

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Barnes & Noble has had a hard time recently (heck, most manufacturers have had a hard time recently) competing with the runaway success that has become Amazon’s Kindle tablets.

In an attempt to pry away some market share, B&N looks to be working on new versions of its popular Nook tablets line as revealed by the popular GFXBench GPU benchmarking tool. Read more »

Gameloft shows the benefit of MediaTek’s octa-core CPU

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MediaTek announced its latest true octa-core MT6592 chip last week and now the company has teamed up with Gameloft to showcase what the hardware is capable of.

More specifically, Gameloft has enhanced its Modern Combat 5 shooting game to take advantage of MediaTek’s latest octa-core CPU. Because of the additional oomph, the game maker is capable of adding a lot more textures, visual candy and effects to the gaming engine. Read more »

Eric Schmidt posts a lengthy guide for switching from iPhone to an Android handset

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Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt surely surprised us on this otherwise quiet Sunday. The top executive posted a lengthy guide for switching from an iPhone to an Android smartphone on his personal Google+ account.

Unsurprisingly, the guide takes a couple of jabs at Apple. Read more »

CyanogenMod 11 ROM based on Android 4.4 KitKat hits the Samsung Galaxy S4

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Samsung will be releasing an official Android 4.4 KitKat software update for its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to wait until January, today a CyanogenMod 11 ROM based on the latest version of Android has been released for the phone.

The ROM is in currently in Alpha, so it’s only suitable for enthusiasts and people who are willing to help with finding (and fixing) bugs. Read more »

‘Strata’ for iOS, Android and Windows Phone 8 game review

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There are games that are fun. There are games that look great. And then there are games that do both. Strata is one such game that has been lauded for both its design and gameplay when it first released on the Mac and recently it arrived on mobile as well. Let’s take a closer look at it.

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LG G Flex goes through the horror of a drop test

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LG G Flex is one of its kind smartphone that comes with a truly flexible body, screen and even a curved battery. The folks at Android Authority have taken the shinning new device for a ride in their drop test to check out the durability of the smartphone.

LG G Flex has a unique ability to self-heal bruises and minor scratches, but is that and its flexible body enough to survive a crash against the pavement? Well, let’s find out. Read more »

Xolo Q900 review

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Xolo is working hard, trying to make a name for itself in the budget conscious market. The company is flooding the market with its mid-range smartphones in an attempt to offer a little something for everyone.

Xolo Q900 is the latest mid-range offering, powered by MTK6589 chipset with four Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.2 GHz and the PowerVR SGX544 GPU. Read more »

Android 4.4 KitKat now seeding to the cellular-enabled Nexus 7

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Google has rolled out the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update for the Cellular edition of the Nexus 7 slates. It should be available for both 2012 and 2013 models of the tablet.

The KitKat update has already landed on the Wi-Fi only versions of Nexus 7 as well as on the Nexus 4 smartphone. Read more »

Google’s Nexus 7 (2013) gets discounted to $199

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As if the Nexus 7 wasn’t already a desirable enough tablet, the 2nd generation model has been discounted to last year’s prices from several top retailers.

The 16GB WiFi-only model can now be had for $199, while the 32GB variant will run you $239. Read more »

Google Play store update brings Designed for Tablets to default

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Android is the undisputed leader in smartphones but has seen criticism when it comes to tablets as many of the apps for those are nothing more than a blown up phone versions.

With its new update to the Play store Google tries to remedy that somewhat by making the Designed for Tablets view the default one – it lists apps that should be tablet-optimized. Read more »