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Google Contacts wants to (eventually) be your online address book

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Google’s social network may not be doing so well, but the company hasn’t given up on connecting people. The latest venture is Google Contacts – an online address book. It’s still in the preview stages but you can try it out today (unless you are a Google Apps user).

Contacts pools together info from your phone’s contact list and your contacts’ Google profiles. Read more »

iOS 8 adoption rate reaches 75%, iOS 7 still going strong

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iOS 8 adoption got off to a slow start – it took three weeks to achieve 40% share. iOS 6 and 7 before took only a week to hit 50%. Now, close to half a year after iOS 8 was unleashed to the public, it has clawed its way up to 75%, Apple says.

Version 8 has already had one minor update (v8.1) with the next one (v8.2) expected in about a week and the one after that (v8.3) already seeding to developers. Read more »

Hackaball – a smart programmable ball that reimagines old-school games and empowers creativity

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Hackaball is the brain child of a group of entrepreneurs who long to revive more traditional social kid games by giving them a new tech twist. What seems like a simple rubber toy has been carefully designed so that it can compete with all the distraction and allure of modern-day tech.

The goal, of course, is to weave the young generation away from the screen and promote more social outdoor activities, but the toy seems to be equally appealing to adults as well.

The Hackaball is packed full of electronics, including – a set of LED’s, a speaker, gyroscope, accelerometer, vibration motor, rechargeable battery and, of course as small processor with a little bit of memory to make it come alive. Read more »

Glympse location sharing app gets more car-friendly with a car mode and MirrorLink integration

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Glymspe has released a new application today, which is meant to simplify the usage of the location sharing service within vehicles. The new application is essentially an add-on to the main app and provides a new simplified dashboard interface as well as MirrorLink compatibility.

If you are unfamiliar with what Glympse does, it is basically a very user-intuitive location sharing service. It is meant to quickly tell your contacts where you are and when you are arriving all in a very simple manner.

To do so, you just fire up the app, select a contact and a period for active location tracking and simply hit send. The recipient will then receive a link where he or she can track you current whereabouts until the period you specified expires. Read more »

iOS support may be coming to Android Wear, unofficial options are already here

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Sources claim that Google is working on iOS support for its Android Wear smartwatch platform, which couldn’t come sooner with the Apple Watch launch.

In the meantime several developers have created their own solutions. Read more »

Check out the camera and video samples of the Xiaomi Mi Pro Action Camera

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Xiaomi Mi Pro Action Camera went official just two days ago but it is already in the wishlist of lots of people. The small portable camera, also known in Asia as Xiaomi Yi Action Camera, packs a 16MP Sony Exmor R sensor with F/2.8 aperture and 155-degree wide lens. It is also capable of capturing videos up to 1080@60 fps, 720p@120 fps and 480p@240 fps.

Xiaomi posted quite a few official camera and video samples of the Action Camera and you can now check them out. Read more »

NVIDIA unveils a SHEILD Android TV-based gaming console at GDC 2015

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NVIDIA has introduced a new living room entertainment device – SHIELD gaming console at the Game Developers Conference 2015. The SHIELD gaming console boasts of being world’s first Android 4K TV and is powered NVIDIA’s own Tegra X1 mobile chipset. Priced at $199, NVIDIA SHIELD gaming console bundles the SHIELD Controller.

The SHIELD can act as a set-top box and a gaming console in one package – all thanks to the Tegra X1 mobile processor coupled with 256-bit Maxwell GPU and 3 GB RAM. Read more »

Samsung CEO clarifies the absence of Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

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Samsung CEO J. K. Shin impressed the audience by stating that engineering is his first language at the on-going Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. But the features and improvements of the new Exynos 7 series mobile chipset used in Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge were barely talked about.

While the Exynos 7420 powers both new Galaxy models, the absence of Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 mobile chipset in any of the possible variants actually surprised many. Read more »

Uber acquires San Jose-based mapping tech startup deCarta

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Ridesharing company Uber has acquired deCarta, a San Jose-based startup that provides a software platform focusing on location and map services, including in-map search, location APIs, and turn-by-turn navigation. The financial details of the acquisition, which was first reported by Mashable, were not disclosed.

The deal, which will close later this week, will see Uber acquiring the startup’s technology and talent: 30 out of 40 deCarta employees, including its CEO and President Kim Fennell, will remain with the company. The mapping company will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uber, although it will still use its own name. Read more »

Google changes its stance on Android Lollipop disk encryption from mandatory to optional

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Last year, when Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop, one of the key features was full disk encryption that would make it impossible for someone to get data off your device even if they had the device. While this worked in a very specific scenario (it required having a passcode lock on the phone) it was still more secure than before.

Unfortunately, this came with a terrible performance penalty, as noted by AnandTech and Ars Technica in their reports, where the new Nexus 6 with disk encryption was slower than the older Nexus 5 in several tests due to its permanently enabled encryption feature. Read more »

Sony Playstation 4 sales reach 20 million units

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Sony announced that it sold more than 20 million Playstation 4 units as of March 1 (20.2 million to be more precise). The hefty number indicates units in customers’ hands, not ones that have been shipped to retailers.

Unsurprisingly, Sony Playstation 4 marks the fastest growth in the history of the gaming franchise. Read more »

Project Morpheus VR headset by Sony is coming in 2016

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The Project Morpheus VR headset for PlayStation 4 by Sony will launch in the first half of 2016. The Japanese tech giant unveiled a new prototype of the device today during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Sony first unveiled Project Morpheus last year. Read more »

Pebble Time becomes the most funded Kickstarter to date

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Pebble Time is now the most funded Kickstarter project to date. With over $14 million from backers, the smartwatch topped the previous champion Coolest Cooler by a cool million (the original Pebble is number three on the list).

The impressive feat was achieved only a week after the Pebble Time project kicked off. Read more »

Google is rumored to be working on Android Wear app for iOS

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A new rumor out of France claims Google is currently working on releasing the Android Wear app for Apple’s mobile platform. As you might have imagined, this would enable smartwatches running Android Wear to work with iPhones and iPads.

As this is nothing but an unconfirmed rumor at this point, the usual pinch of salt is advised. The new app for iOS could be launched during Google’s I/O developer conference in May, but it might get officially teased even sooner – so as to make (at least some) people think twice about buying an Apple Watch. Read more »

AT&T launches a case which enables LTE on the Wi-Fi iPad Mini on March 20

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AT&T is announcing that it will release the Modio LTE case for iPad Mini models on March 20. This is an intriguing concept – it’s a case that will bring LTE connectivity to Wi-Fi-only small iPads. It will work with the iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2, and the original iPad Mini too.

The flip side is that you’ll need to sign a two-year contract if you want to get the Modio case for just $49.99. That’s right, we’re talking about a long-term commitment for a tablet case. That’s quite odd, but luckily you can also purchase it with no strings attached, though in that case you’ll need to shell out $199.99. Read more »