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Updated Google Play Services 7.0 will bring better performance and experience for both Android users and developers

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Today the new version of the all-important Google Play services framework was announced through the official Android developers blog. This new version is a major update, hence the version number 7.0 and brings about numerous new features, APIs and optimizations to existing features, which will allow both developers and users to make the most of their applications, mobile hardware and the services Google provides.

For anybody not exactly sure what Google play services is or what it does – it is probably best known as the app that helps you seamlessly update your other applications through the Play store. It is actually far more powerful than a simple update delivery system. It is actually a whole framework, or collection of functions or API’s which allow developers to easily access various hardware features on your device, as well as remote Google features, such as maps, authentication and others within their applications. Read more »

Qualcomm celebrating MWC 2015 by giving away HTC One M9, LG G Flex 2, and Xperia Z3

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To celebrate the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) happening this week in the Spanish city of Barcelona, Qualcomm has started a sweepstakes that allows US residents (age 18 older) a chance to win some really cool prizes. Dubbed #InventForBetter, the sweepstakes runs through Friday, March 6.

To enter, just sign into your Twitter account, follow Qualcomm, and then send a tweet answering the question “What’s the mobile invention you can’t live without? Your smartphone? 4G LTE? Apps?,” using the hashtag #InventForBetter. Read more »

Google is hard at work prepping Titan drones for internet delivery

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Most of you surely remember project Loom – Google’s amazing effort to bring internet connectivity to remote locations, through specialized balloons. This is just one of the company’s numerous projects that aim to revolutionize the modern world and it is already making astounding progress. However, as it turns out, the tech giant has yet another ongoing endeavor, which could potentially hold the key to seamless internet access worldwide.

Back in 2014 Google acquired an Albuquerque-based company, called “Titan Aerospace”, which specializes in designing and manufacturing unmanned aircrafts. Allegedly, the deal was sealed to snatch the company away from Facebook, which had set its sights on the business, but since then Google has definitely been making the most of its investment. Read more »

TP-Link announces new powerful Wi-Fi 802.11ac router with a touch screen

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Amidst all the commotion and announcements of mobile tech we often forget to mention some of the other tech innovation that debuts at the MWC. One item in particular grabbed our attention, mostly for its odd and interesting appearance.

TP-Link’s brand new Touch 5 router is the perfect combination of geeky awesomeness and useless over-accessorizing. It is a powerful, high-bandwidth wireless router, complete with its very own, built-in touchscreen. As you might have guessed, this screen is dedicated to settings and accessing various features, which sound convenient enough, but honestly, how often do you need to change your router setting to actually justify a separate screen control. Read more »

Google+ reimagined, Google Photos no longer part of it

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Google is apparently having a change of heart for its Google+ social network. For a long time the struggling platform was a top priority for the tech giant and one major consequence is that a lot of other Google services are still very intertwined with it.

Ever since Google’s decision to bind YouTube comments with Google+ the stage was set for a lot of controversy and polarizing opinion. And the discussion still rages on. The sad fact is that Google+ did not manage to catch on for a multitude of reasons and is mostly deserted compared to Facebook and other niche leaders. It seems the online giant has finally decide to back down on its push of the withering platform as a recent announcement made it clear that Google+ will be splitting into two separate services – Google Photos and “Streams”. Read more »

IKEA plans to bring new Wireless charging furniture to the UK

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With the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge finally official, the tech world is buzzing with comments on the new devices and the new features they have to offer. And while beastly Exynos processors and futuristic build and design are on everybody’s minds the people over at IKEA ate definitely most excited about another new feature of the S flagship – wireless charging.

What started out as a rather clunky, inefficient and even rather dangerous charging method, has really picked up recently, with major standards, such as Qi really pushing the technology along. Everything seems to be pointing toward a cleaner and wire-free future and the Swedish furniture giant is quick to capitalize on the new trend. The retailer has announced a new line of furniture, with built-in wireless charging components. Read more »

AMD shows little interest in the Chromebook market

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Chromebooks have definitely been on the rise lately and frankly we can see their appeal. They are ideal for a pure-online mobile experience on a budget and frankly nowadays you can get most of what you need through the abundance of online Google services, which you are most likely already relying on anyway. The point being that Chromebook definitely have their own place on the market, but currently they offer little hardware variety.

Of course, you can rightfully argue that most users of the budget machines don’t really care what is pushing the numbers inside the case, but the fact is that currently it seems only Intel is supplying processing power for the various portables. This is in no way mere chance and AMD really seems to have little interest or actual benefit from powering Chromebooks. Read more »

Samsung will be freezing salaries in South Korea for the first time in 6 years

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Samsung has definitely been on a row lately, especially in terms of new tech innovations as well as stable supply contracts and improved market positions. In today’s dynamic economy, however, this does not necessarily translate into immediate profit.

A few days ago the Korean giant released its earnings report for Q4 2014 and things were not as bright as Samsung would want. It’s not surprising then that in order to counter the negative tendency and regain former profit margins as soon as possible the tech giant will be freezing wages on its home turf in Korea, a report by Reuters suggests. Read more »

HTC One (M8) gets a new special Champions League edition

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With MWC right around the corner the One (M9) is definitely on everybody’s minds, but this definitely does not mean that HTC doesn’t have other agenda to attend to. You might remember that last September the company put out a limited edition version of its flagship device to honor the Champions League.

Apparently the experiment was fruitful as today another UEFA commemorative version of the same handset saw the light of day. The phone in question is, of course, the HTC One (M8), but this time around it is not getting a render of the tournament’s and cup. Instead the smartphone is engraved with the names of every past CL winner, since the first installment in 1992. Read more »

Samsung president says there is no technical difficulty in minimizing semiconductor technology down to 5nm

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Samsung has definitely been on a streak lately. And this does not refer only to the ever-growing mobile market or the TV segment with the new UHD niche. The Korean tech giant is hitting big in terms of technology innovations. Recent developments in 14nm production methods as well as improving market positions and stable supply contracts have turned the Koreans in a key industry manufacturer.

Amidst all of this success Samsung Electronics president Kinam Kim sounded naturally excited about the company’s future at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC). In his speech he went into detail about the relatively new concept of Internet of Things (IoT). According to Cisco Systems estimates there are currently about 14.4 billion devices connected to the internet, which is quite a lot considering that there are half as much people worldwide. He believes that by 2020 this number will grow to the whopping 50 billion. Read more »

Samsung has remained on top of global TV markets for 9 consecutive years

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Samsung is on top of the food chain when it comes to a lot of tech markets. If there is one thing the Korean giant is extremely good at it has to be display panels. Samsung has built a formidable reputation as a major innovator in this area as well as a top supplier both to third-party manufacturers and consumer markets.

According to DisplaySearch, a leader in global market research, Samsung Electronics has been holding the first place in annual TV sales worldwide for the last 9 years straight. In 2014 the Korean manufacturer accounted for 29.2% of the sales, a huge leap from 11.9% in 2013. The number is even more impressive for North America, where Samsung dwarfs competition with a 35.3% TV market share. Read more »

OnePlus challenges fans to create 3D-printable OnePlus One accessories

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OnePlus has a history of close engagement with fans for all sorts of feedback and guerrilla marketing tactics really seem to be working so far. The relatively small Chinese team has really managed to ramp up popularity and is now offering fans yet another interesting competition with a creative twist.

OnePlus is now starting what they call “possibly our coolest contest yet” and from the looks of it they are not over-exaggerating. The team has joined forces with the 3D-printing gurus at Ultimaker and YouMagine and is now challenging fans to unleash their creativity and design accessories for the OnePlus One. And when they say design they seriously mean it as in order for submissions to be taken under considerations they have to be made precisely using CAD software and ready for 3D printing. Read more »

Uber partners with SafetiPin mobile app to launch safety pilot in India

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Uber has announced a partnership with a map-based mobile safety app – SafetiPin to focus on the passenger safety and launch a pilot project starting February 25 and will stretch for 5 months in New Delhi, India

Mobile security app SafetiPin’s trained security auditors will work with Uber designated partner-drivers to capture night conditions with camera phones mounted on vehicles. These security auditors will also collect location data based on nine parameters – openness, visibility, luminance, walk path, crowd, security, gender diversity and location density, to derive the safety score. Read more »

Apple planning to begin car production by 2020, says Bloomberg

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Nearly a week after there were reports that Apple is secretly working on an electric vehicle, Bloomberg is reporting that the Cupertino-based company is planning to begin production of the vehicle by the year 2020. That’s an aggressive timeframe given that experienced automobile companies typically spend 5-7 years developing a car.

As per the report, Apple’s car team consists of 200+ people, which is inline with an earlier report that said hundreds of employees are working on the project. In the past couple of months, the iPhone maker has been hiring experts in technologies for batteries and robotics – recently, electric-car battery maker A123 Systems sued Apple for poaching its top engineers. Read more »

Get 100 GB free OneDrive storage through Bing Rewards now worldwide

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Cloud storage has become so widely spread and popular that most users rarely think about what service they are using and who is giving them all of the free online space. This of course is the desired effect with major players like Google Drive and Dropbox integrating their platforms so seamlessly with other applications that using them is as natural as your own hard drive. Microsoft is also big on the cloud storage scene, but oddly enough is generating far less hype, yet if you are on a recent Windows PC or a Lumia device, chances are that you already have a OneDrive account.

Just like the aforementioned Google service, Microsoft also offers 15GB of free storage out of the box. And while you may be thinking that you really don’t need another service to do the same the fact of the matter is that its client is already integrated in Windows 8 and newer version and puts you one click away from synching your files to the cloud. Microsoft has a limited time promotion through the Bing Awards program that can significantly sweeten the storage deal with 100 GB of free storage for two years. Read more »