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Sony outs a video to help you unlock the bootloader of your Xperia smartphone

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Sony released an official video to help users unlock the bootloader of their Xperia smartphone. The clip is available on the official SonyXperiaDev YouTube channel and is 5 minutes and 42 seconds long.

As expected, Sony warns all Xperia smartphone users about the risks that unlocking a device’s bootloader carries. Read more »

Google Maps gets lane guidance in some European countries

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On both iOS and Android, the Google Maps app has today received support for lane guidance for highways in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Ireland.

Lane guidance does what you’d expect it to, given the name. It ensures you’re always on the right lane, when you’re in turn-by-turn navigation mode. Read more »

Nexus 9 Magic Cover can now be ordered from HTC

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Since the Nexus 9 tablet was announced, we’ve been expecting its two cover accessories to become available. They have both been up for pre-order for quite a while, but only the keyboard folio has so far actually started shipping. Until today, that is, when the Magic Cover for the Nexus 9 is finally in stock at HTC’s US-based online store.

The cover costs $39.99, like previously unveiled, but there is a huge caveat you need to take into account: only the ‘Coral Amethyst’ color is available right now (the one pictured above). Read more »

BBM gets stickers in group chats, new design on iOS, support for Android 5.0 Lollipop

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BlackBerry’s well known messaging app, BBM, has today been updated to version 2.6 on iOS, Android, and the company’s own smartphones.

The update adds one of the most requested features, which apparently was the support for sending stickers in group chats. Read more »

YouTube now lets you easily create animated GIFs from (some) videos

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YouTube is apparently testing a new feature to be added to the Share menu which you can find underneath each video on the site. Alongside sharing via social networks, emailing someone a link to the video, and embedding it on your website, on certain channels a GIF option has magically appeared.

And yes, this is exactly what you think it is – an extremely easy way to create animated GIFs. For now, the feature only seems to have surfaced next to videos uploaded by PBS’ Idea Channel. Since Google hasn’t officially announced the automated GIF maker, this may be just a test – or an extremely slow rollout. Read more »

Apple now requires cases to protect its devices from 1 meter drops

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In an effort to ensure better protection of its hand-held devices, Apple has reportedly updated its Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing guidelines for case manufacturers.

The new guidelines require manufacturers to ensure that their cases are able to protect Apple devices from drops up to 1 meter (3.2 feet) onto a hard surface in any orientation. In addition, the Cupertino-based company has also made it mandatory for cases to provide a buffer of at least 1mm between the cover glass and a flat surface, either by covering the display entirely or having the front lip protrude slightly from the glass to keep it from touching the surface. Read more »

Amazon Android app disappeared from Google Play store

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Amazon’s primary Android app is rather mysteriously missing from the Google Play store. The application is not completely gone of course, but has been pulled from the official store and no longer pops-up in searches, although it is accessible through a direct store link.

This comes as a direct consequence of Amazon’s fairly recent addition of an “Apps and Games” section into its main application. The functionality was mostly their own app store baked right into the primary shopping software. This was a huge leap forward for the Seattle-based online giant as it allowed for applications to be delivered seamlessly to devices, instead of having to be download from the website and side-loaded like before. Read more »

Update to Google Fit for Android adds support for new activities

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Hot on the heels of Android Wear’s firmware bump, Google Fit for Android received a major update as well. The latest version of the search giant’s health and fitness suite brings new features to the platform.

Google Fit now supports manual entry for over 100 new activities. Read more »

Candy Crush Saga is now available for Windows Phone

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The ultra-popular, incredibly time wasting mobile game Candy Crush Saga is now available for Windows Phone devices. The title is available to install for free from the Windows Phone Store.

Candy Crush Saga for Windows Phone looks and plays just like its iOS and Android counterparts. Read more »

Google’s app for iOS receives the Material Design treatment

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After we’ve seen it update all of its Android apps to use the Material Design that it’s so proud of, Google has now apparently moved on to iOS. So the Google search app for Apple’s mobile OS is today getting an update to version 5.0.0, and one of the biggest new things is the addition of the Material Design language.

Additionally, there are a few new features in tow too. The Recents view shows you the pages you recently visited, the Google button lets you start a search with just one tap (wherever you are in the app), and Google Maps allows you to explore interactive maps, nearby places, and Street View right inside the search app (though only on iPhone for now). Read more »

Microsoft announces January 21 event for Windows 10 consumer presentation

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Microsoft will hold a Windows 10-related event on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. Terry Myerson, Joe Belfiore, and Phil Spencer from the Operating Systems Group will all be speaking, as will CEO Satya Nadella.

The company has only published its official invite for now (which you can see above), choosing not to specifically say what the event will be about. However, a rumor from last month said we’d hear all about the consumer-facing features of Windows 10 for PCs “towards the end of January”. So this seems to be that. If so, then on this occasion Microsoft will also talk about Windows 10 on phones and tablets for the first time. Read more »

Chromecast guest mode lets your friends connect without using your Wi-Fi

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Today Google has announced “guest mode” for its Chromecast HDMI streaming dongle. This new functionality lets people connect to your Chromecast without having to also be on the same Wi-Fi network as the dongle.

Previously, anyone who wanted to send stuff to a Chromecast had to have their mobile device connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the streaming device. Not anymore, though. Read more »

Speed test pits the iPhone 6 against the Nexus 6 and Galaxy Note 4

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The age-old question – which device is faster? – has received an answer in a video, at least when it comes to the two current ‘kings’ of Android and Apple’s finest. Someone decided to pit the iPhone 6, Motorola Nexus 6, and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 against one another in a speed test of sorts.

The test itself is pretty simple. At the beginning, a timer is set on each device. Then, various apps and games are started, and the full desktop Amazon home page is loaded in the browser. Once one of the apps (or the website) has fully loaded, a tap on the Home button comes and it’s on to the next one. Read more »

Polaroid’s Android-powered Socialmatic camera with built-in printer coming next month

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Polaroid’s Socialmatic camera, which was announced at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, is now available for pre-order from Amazon for $299.99, with availability set for January 1. The device will come in white and black color options.

The USP of the camera is that it lets you print out photos in less than a minute as well as share them on social networks like Facebook and Instagram. The device runs a customized version of Android and features a 4.5-inch display, 14-megapixel camera on the front, 2-megapixel camera on the back, and 4GB of internal storage (which can be expanded by up to 32GB via a micro SD card). It also has stereo speakers and a microphone. Read more »

Check out Oppo’s official R5 torture test

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Oppo has released a rather quirky promotional video for the new Oppo R5. It is all centered around one of the handset’s most prominent features – its 4.85mm body. This is truly an admirable accomplishment in smartphone terms, but maybe not quite as razor-sharp, as the following video seems to imply. The concept is quite original and very much in tune with today’s gorilla-marketing strategies, but perhaps borders a bit on the comic side as almost any device can be smashed into fruit with mostly the same amount of visual carnage.

The Snapdragon 615- powered flagship is in fact quite durable with its 155g 3D-welded aluminum body. Using it as a hammer, however might have also been a step too far. The frame seemed to fair quite well under the ridiculous abuse Read more »