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Google launches Maps Ocean, allows you to scuba dive into the Great Barrier Reef from your chair

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Ever wanted to go scuba diving into the Great Barrier Reef, but never seem to have the money or time to undertake it? Don’t worry, Google has got you covered with its latest addition to the Google Maps service: underwater panorama and “Street View” of six of the world’s greatest underwater spots.

Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? That’s because it is and Google has gone into great depths (get it?) in making this possible. The places Google allows you to visit in its latest Maps feature include the Great Barrier Reef, and places in the Philippines and Hawaii. Read more »

Barnes & Noble officially announces the 9-inch Nook HD+ and 7-inch Nook HD tablets

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Not inclined to stay indifferent to the current fast growing market for affordable tablets, Barnes & Noble has announced its latest soldiers to join the fight – the 7-inch Nook HD and the 9-inch Nook HD+.

The 7-inch Nook HD is a direct answer to Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s recently unveiled Fire HD and offers a lot of bang for the buck. Read more »

Nokia Asha 306 drops by the office, will stay around for a review

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The Nokia Asha 306 is part of the latest crop of fully touch-operated S40 phones. It is nearly identical to the Asha 305, except that one was a dual-SIM phone and this one has Wi-Fi.

The Nokia Asha 306 relies on a 3″ WQVGA resistive touchscreen – the capacitive units are reserved for the Asha 311 in this family. It’s not as sensitive as we would have liked, but it is multi-touch enabled, which comes in handy in the Gallery. Read more »

Apple head of Marketing comments the iPhone 5 scratches, says they are normal

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It’s known that the aluminum shell of the iPhone 5 has been plagued by chipping issues and that has certainly made a lot of iPhone 5 owners quite unhappy. One of them even wrote an email to Apple’s Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller and much to his surprise, he got a response.

9to5Mac has verified the authenticity of the email, but this is hardly the response the user was hoping to get. Read more »

TouchWiz-specific hack can hard reset Galaxy S III and other Galaxy phones through their web browsers

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Samsung Galaxy smartphones with the TouchWiz UI skin are susceptible to a USSD code hack, which triggers an unstoppable factory reset. The hack itself is easily triggered from malicious websites, QR codes or sent by NFC and wipes users’ phones immediately.

In order to successfully run onto a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, the hack must be either dialed in directly in the phones dialer or opened from a website using the stock browser. Read more »

Adobe upgrades Photoshop Elements to version 11, offers new bundles with Premiere Elements

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Adobe today released an update to its Elements and Premiere Elements applications, bringing their version number to 11.

The software is lighter than Photoshop but still pretty powerful. In addition Adobe will offer a discounted bundle of the two services – $150 for new customers and $120 for updating ones. Read more »

Google may actually be enjoying Apple’s Maps mishaps

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As of iOS6, Apple replaced the well-known Google Maps app with one of their own. And ever since its launch, there’s been strong controversy surrounding it. Map data and POIs have frequently been found to be inaccurate by users around the world and satellite imagery has been rather spotty, interchanging between high and low res, different times of day and even seasons all on the territory of one and the same town.

The new Maps app has been rushed to the market and it’s far from ready for prime time. And that got the anger of users, who have been voicing their discontent online quite loudly (and originally, too). Read more »

Android AOKP Build 3 is now live

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The creators of the custom Android Open Kang Project have just released build 3 of their popular custom Android ROM.

This release fixes many of the issues from build 2, which came released last week, and adds a few features from CyanogenMod as well. Read more »

Chrome for iOS update brings iPhone 5 support, squashes Gmail bug

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Apple may be working hard to get rid of preinstalled Google apps on iOS devices iPhone, but Google is pushing the other way with high-quality apps like YouTube and Chrome. GOOG just updated the Chrome for iOS to make it compatible with the new iPhone 5 and it also fixed a Gmail-related issue.

The latest version of Chrome for iOS is 21.0.1180.82 is out and you can update from the App Store (the app itself will also notify you when there’s an update available). Read more »

Google updates Play Books application

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Google has released an updated version of the Google Play Books application for Android. Some of the biggest complaints with this application were the lack of dictionary, note taking and highlighting abilities and Google has addressed all of them in this update.

As you can guess, you can now add highlights to the text and take notes while reading books. There is also a built-in dictionary now, so you can quickly look up a word. Read more »

Nokia Asha 308 and 309 promo videos surface

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Nokia just unveiled the two latest additions to its Asha lineup and to convince you of their worth, it has dedicated a promo video to each of them. The Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309 each got just over a minute of footage, highlighting their key strengths.

Check out the two short clips here: Read more »

Sony Xperia T battery life test completes, results are inside

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The Xperia T is Sony’s first go at a Snapdragon S4-powered phone (not counting the Japan-only Xperia GX), and should give us an idea what to expect from the similarly spec’d Xperia TX and Xperia V.

The Sony Xperia T features a 1850mAh battery, which is one of the biggest we’ve seen in a Sony smartphone. Remember the 1305mAh batteries in a few fairly recent Xperias? Yeah, that wasn’t enough. Read more »

iOS 6 update hits 100 million installs

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Today Apple announced the iPhone 5 broke a new record – 5 million units sold in the first three days of its market availability. The press release contained some statistics about the iOS 6 updates as well.

According to the issued statement the iOS 6 landed on more than 100 million devices already, excluding the iPhone 5 units. Read more »

Intel working on new chipset with dual-core Atom CPU and LTE

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Intel currently has only one smartphone-ready SoC on the market, but it’s already found its way inside six phone models, the most recent (and high-profile) of which is the Motorola RAZR i. The chipset packs a single Atom CPU core (with Hyper-threading enabled) but it does lack LTE, which is a big buzz word recently (especially in the US, where the RAZR i won’t be available).

Well, things are about to change as Intel confirmed it’s developing its own line of LTE modems that will become a part of an upcoming chipset. Read more »

Was Apple aware of the iPhone 5 build quality issues?

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The chipping issues of the anodized aluminum back cover of the new iPhone caused a real storm this weekend and it seems the saga is not going to end anytime soon. Apple’s latest smartphone turned out to be way less durable than its predecessor and that made quite a lot of its early adopters angry.

And while build quality issues are not uncommon in an industry where time is so precious and technology is oftentimes pushed close to its limits, Apple might not be an innocent victim here. The latest development leads us to believe that the company was fully aware of the sensitive nature of the iPhone 5 back panel, but still proceeded with its manufacturing. Read more »