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Qualcomm will be forced to lower licensing fees in China after antitrust investigation

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The Chinese National Development and Reform Commission has been conducting an antitrust investigation of Qualcomm’s activities in the country for quite a while, and now we get an idea of what the outcome of that will be. Short version: not good for Qualcomm.

The mobile chip maker will have to pay “huge fines” for “monopolistic” behavior, but that’s not all. It will also be forced to lower its licensing fees in China, as well as give up on its “reverse patent license”. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom on AT&T receives update to Android 4.4 KitKat

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The KitKat update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom started rolling out back in July, but it amazingly managed to so far not make it to AT&T’s version of the device. Only now, many months later, can we report that the Galaxy S4 Zoom sold by AT&T is in the process of receiving the new software.

Of course, KitKat isn’t the latest version of Android anymore. Though given the fact that this is the first ever update that AT&T’s S4 Zoom has gotten, we wouldn’t bet on it seeing Android 5.0 Lollipop anytime soon. Read more »

Samsung’s WatchON TV and movie service goes away on December 31 everywhere but the US and Korea

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One of the many services that Samsung created a few years back is WatchON. It allows you to watch TV shows and movies, like so many other similar offerings out there. Apparently Samsung has finally realized how redundant WatchON is, and hence decided to shut it down, effective on December 31.

This will happen worldwide, except for two countries: the USA and South Korea. Over there WatchON will continue to exist even after this year ends. Read more »

You can now get three months of Spotify premium for 99 cents

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There is no doubt that Spotify has changed the music industry forever. The micro-purchasing, ad-supported streaming service that it offers has turned into more than a household name. If you are like most Spotify users, however, the words “try Spotify premium” have been drilled so deeply into your mind that hearing them while listening to music has become more or less the norm. If this is the case and you are among the millions hooked on Spotify’s set of features and experiences, than there has never been a better time to take the premium version out for a spin.

Now you can get three whole months of uninterrupted music listening pleasure for only 99 cents. Read more »

Google Messenger updated, now allows you to choose contact colors

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Just a few weeks after releasing it, Google has updated its Messenger app with the ability to allow you to choose your own colors for individual contacts, a feature requested by many. Earlier, the app used to do this automatically.

To access the feature, go to the “People and Options” button from the overflow menu and select the color you want to assign to the contact. In addition, the update also brings some Material Design related animations following complaints of a significant delay and lag in the old sliding animation. Read more »

Play Store version of PayPal app now includes fingerprint support for Samsung devices

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One of the main purposes of the fingerprint scanners, incorporated in various current devices is user authentication. But besides trivial tasks, like unlocking, which is often more of a novelty that an actual useful feature, fingerprint identification has a much more serious possible use – verifying online payments.

PayPal has had a successful partnership with Samsung, bringing the futuristic security feature through its Android application to supported devices. Until now, however, this was done on a separate branch of the PayPal app that was only distributed through Samsung’s own Application Store. Now the internet payment giant has taken another step forward in the utilization of the technology by incorporating support for fingerprint authentication in the Google Play Store version of the PayPal app as well. Read more »

AirDroid 3 released with new Windows and Mac apps

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AirDroid for Android has been given a major update in v3.0. The app now has companion desktop apps for Windows and Mac that brings iOS Continuity like features to your Android device.

With the new desktop app, you can get notifications from your phone on your computer. You can reply to SMS from your computer or pick up or receive calls (calls can only be answered from the phone, however). You can also mirror apps on your computer, so you can, for example, reply to WhatsApp messages from your PC. Mirroring apps only works on rooted devices for now. Read more »

Google News & Weather Android update brings new look, more features

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Google News & Weather for Android received a major update. Version 2.0 of the application features new features and refreshed design.

Users of the stock Android app can now utilize a sleek-looking dark color theme. Read more »

Official BlackBerry video showcases the upcoming Classic

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BlackBerry showcased the soon to be released Classic smartphone in an official hands-on video. The handset is already up for pre-order for $449 and will become available this month.

The short clip gives us a close look at the highly revered old school hardware keyboard and navigation buttons of the handset, as well as its browser and app stores. Read more »

Bluetooth 4.2 will carry new features and improved speed

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Bluetooth Special Interest Group announced version 4.2 of the wireless protocol. Bluetooth 4.2 delivers a number of improvements over its predecessor headed by the ability to connect to the internet.

The new Bluetooth version will be up to 2.5 times faster than past releases thanks to a tenfold packet capacity increase. Read more »

Google outs Device Assist app for Nexus line, Android One, and Google Play Editions

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There’s a new Android app in town from Google itself, and this one helps you understand what isn’t working right in your mobile device – be it a phone or a tablet. Device Assist provides tips and “proactive troubleshooting” when it auto-detects possible issues.

The downside here is that Device Assist is only offered for the Nexus line, Android One smartphones, and Google Play Edition devices – and only on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Read more »

Samsung ranked as world’s second-biggest R&D spender of 2014

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Barring Volkswagen, Samsung Electronics has surpassed all other global companies in terms of R&D spending this year, according to a report from Strategy&. The South Korean company has been ranked No. 1 among all technology companies and No. 2 across all industries.

According to the sustainability report 2014, the company has boosted its R&D workforce by 27% since 2010, which now stands at 63,628 employees. In 2012, Samsung opened an R&D center in Finland, followed by one in Silicon Valley the next year. This year, the company has spent around 6.4 percent of its total revenue, or $13.4 billion, on research and development. Read more »

Gangnam Style record view count broke YouTube, kind of

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The South Korean pop prodigy PSY can easily be crowned as one of the most viral sensations to ever explode online. The appeal of the singer’s unique art style and quirky performances seems to be so absolutely universal that it transcends cultural, age and language barriers worldwide.

This astonishing success story would, arguably, never be possible without the existence of YouTube as the amazing melting pot of social and cultural influences and trends that it has become. Read more »

Sony marks Play Station 20th anniversary with a limited retro-style PS4

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The original Sony Play station, one of the most revolutionary pieces of hardware to ever hit the console market has just turned 20. To celebrate this momentous event the Tokyo technology giant is releasing a limited set of units straight out of hardcore fan dreams.

The consoles at hand are a set of 12,300 unique Play Station 4s which are designed and manufactured to resemble the legendary first generation Play Station as closely as possible. The attention to detail is truly astonishing. The chassis, controllers and additional accessories all bear the signature 1994 style rubbery gray color, which is sure to bring a smile to any nostalgic gamer’s face. Even the cables look the part and complete the picture of something that feels as if it came straight out of a time machine. Read more »

Twitter revamps filters in its mobile app

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Twitter first introduced filters to its official app two years ago in December, now it’s time to actually make theм work well (the whole thing was a knee-jerk response to a soured relationship with Instagram).

The official apps for Android and iOS (which are rolling out today) abandon the 3×3 grid display for filters for a more traditional approach. Read more »