Apps  Music  2014-07-15 07:39:43

This time last summer, Fred Liu and Ben Ho were still stepping up to higher ranks within HTC to fill the void left by departing top-level executives. Now, according to a Bloomberg report, they're emulating their predecessors by also resigning from their roles. Liu had been HTC's President of Engineering and Operations since replacing Matthew Costello in June 2013 whereas Ben Ho managed the company's marketing efforts since late 2012. Ho, in particular, has been prominent in communicating HTC's long-term plans to worried investors and analysts, and his job hasn't been made easy by a continuous exodus of high-ranking HTC officials.  2014-07-14 21:04:02

Apple's iOS 7 adoption rate continues to grow, even as the release of iOS 8 approaches. As of yesterday, 90 percent of devices connected to the App Store are running iOS 7, according to new numbers posted on Apple's App Store developer support page. The new milestone, which comes 10 months after the operating system's original release, is a three percent increase from installation numbers of 87 percent back in April. As adoption of iOS 7 has climbed, iOS 6 installation rates have dropped slightly, going from 11 percent in April to 9 percent on July 13. Earlier operating systems continue to run on two percent of devices. Apple's mobile operating systems have traditionally seen quick adoption rates due to the company's easy over-the-air updates, and just three months after being released, iOS 7 was on 74 percent of devices. iOS 8, coming this fall, will undoubtedly see a similarly rapid adoption rate, overtaking iOS 7 in a matter of weeks.  2014-07-10 05:18:20

Apple's iPhone 6 will feature a new haptic feedback technology when it ships later this year, claims Chinese mobile phone information site Laoyaoba (Google Translate, via GforGames). Citing inside sources, the report claims that Apple will ship the iPhone 6 with a tactile feedback linear motor, which can allow the user to feel subtle vibrations depending on different app scenarios and even on specific areas of the touch screen. The report also notes that this new haptic feedback motor will cost twice or three times as much as the $0.60 vibration motor found in the iPhone 5s. Apple has expressed interest in haptic technology in the past, filing a patent on the subject in 2009. That patent discussed the idea of allowing users to "feel out" the different elements on a web page with haptic feedback, noting that the lack of such a technology was a disadvantage for the iPhone's multi-touch screen.  2014-07-09 23:30:57

The company announced today a flexible 18-inch panel made of organic light-emitting diodes, or OLEDs, as well as a new transparent OLED panel in the same size thats beats previous models on light transmittance and haze. The research could result in the creation of more, and larger, devices with transparent or flexible displays. That means devices no longer need to stay straight, the way they do when displays are made of glass. It could also represent a challenge to competitors like Samsung. The new display boasts 1 million megapixels and can be rolled up to a radius of 3 cm. The company figures now that it can produce rollable televisions larger than 50 inches. The new transparent OLED panel cuts down on a hazy quality in images, by increasing light transmittance to 30 percent.  2014-07-03 04:56:57

Apple will look to announce the iPhone 6 on Monday, September 15th ahead of a launch on Thursday, September 25, according to various Chinese media reports citing "inside sources" (Google Translate, via GForGames). The sources also claim that the larger 5.5-inch iPhone will be called the "iPhone Air", with the 16GB version selling in China for 5,998 yuan ($965). Meanwhile, the 4.7-inch version will reportedly start at 5,288 ($850) for 32GB, which is the current price of the 16GB iPhone 5s in China. The report contrasts a story from Chinese web portal Tencent last month claiming that Apple would launch the 4.7-inch iPhone on Friday, September 19, which would be in line with the past two iPhone launches. Apple typically launches new products on a Friday, while a Thursday launch would be unlikely. Furthermore, Apple abandoning on the 16 GB model on the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 would make it likely that the company does not include such an option on the bigger 5.5-inch version.  2014-07-02 18:06:00

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants Amazon to update some of its policies regarding in-app purchases, but the retail giant is having none of it. According to documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal the company is facing a lawsuit that...  2014-07-02 14:55:42

Android tablet owners pining for Microsoft Office can afford to crack a smile of anticipation as a purpose built version encompassing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint should arrive later this year. “Our goal continues to be to delight users wherever they are and on whatever device they are using by giving them the full power of native Office apps,” so said incoming Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a blog post entitled “A cloud for everyone, on every device” back in March. Now, The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is seeking help for a private beta test of the Office for Android tablets application. Interested parties can register for a chance to get their hands on a pre-release version at Microsoft’s SharePoint website.  2014-07-02 00:57:15

Last year, Apple launched its iPhone trade-in program at its retail stores across the United States, as customers could receive up to $250 for turning in an eligible device. Now, iPhone in Canada notes (via 9to5Mac) that Apple has reduced the value of iPhone trade-ins, with customers in the U.S. and Canada now only receiving up to $225. Before the change, the value of iPhone trade-ins had climbed to $275. Before (left) and after (right) maximum iPhone trade-in values as listed by Apple The adjustment comes as older iPhones typically lose their value over time, with Apple likely gearing up to launch the iPhone 6 this fall. Apple started the program before the release of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c last fall, with the company noting that it would discard of older iPhones in an environmentally conscious manner. Since then, Apple has expanded the program to a number of countries, including the UK, France and Germany.  2014-07-01 15:36:48

T-Mobile will be the first major US carrier to release a Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone. The company is launching Nokia's Lumia 635 this Saturday, July 5th. But you'll only be able to buy it from the Home Shopping Network on that date, and only with a prepaid Simple Choice plan. T-Mobile has apparently thought it best to stagger the phone's release; the following week on July 9th, Nokia's colorful, inexpensive device will go on sale at the carrier's website for $0 down and 24 monthly payments of $7 (totaling $168) on all postpaid Simple Choice plans. It'll then head to T-Mobile stores beginning July 16th for a "promotional price" of $99, and MetroPCS will carry the Lumia 635 as of July 18th.  2014-07-01 10:51:43

Nine new automakers have committed to supporting Apple's CarPlay in future models of their vehicles. Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Mazda, and Ram are joining the existing 20 companies that have already announced their plans to integrate CarPlay, Apple's iOS-powered dashboard for vehicles. Integrating smartphones with car dashboards has emerged as a new focus for Apple, as well as competitors like Google, though the car is less a battleground than it is an extension of their mobile operating systems, since a vehicle might be able to work with multiple types of phones.Even though CarPlay's features are basic, it still offers an experience far better than what you'd find on the average car's dashboard.  2014-07-14 22:19:00

If you're a developer eager to start tinkering with Google's Project Ara modular phone technology as quickly as possible, it's time to get in line. The company has started taking requests for test boards; if you fill out the form before July 18th and...  2014-07-10 06:30:17

Those in the US eagerly awaiting the LG G3 will soon have their patience rewarded. Joining the train of carrier announcements, Verizon has chimed in to say that LG's flagship will be descending on the masses this summer. And yes, according to the carrier, the smartphone will be compatible with its fancy XLTE service.  2014-07-10 04:52:00

Remember when the EU was told by the European Court of Justice that its policy of requiring telecom companies to record everyone's web and phone activity was illegal? As expected, David Cameron has announced that he'll pass emergency legislation...  2014-07-09 12:57:28

Is it going to rain today? Should I bring a jacket with me? Is it safe to plan a trip to the beach this weekend? Just a couple of years ago, answering any of those questions required watching your local news or tuning in to The Weather Channel to get a vague forecast that will probably change before you get where you’re going. But with smartphones, we can have insanely accurate weather reporting and predictions at our fingertips everywhere we go.  2014-07-03 01:58:30

Microsoft is currently preparing at least three new Windows Phone 8.1 devices for release this year, including a 4.7-inch mid-range "Superman" handset, a low-end "Rock" device, and its "McLaren" flagship Windows Phone with the new 3D Touch features. Leaked photos posted to popular Chinese microblogging site Weibo suggest there could be another Windows Phone 8.1 handset on the way, which may fill the mid-range gap and replace the Lumia 820. The mysterious device appears to use an aluminum frame with a polycarbonate back, a construction both the Lumia 925 and Lumia 930 use. WPDang speculates that this could be the Nokia Lumia 830.  2014-07-02 16:05:42

Amazon is fighting the US Federal Trade Commission's efforts to restrict in-app purchases on its phones and tablets, The Wall Street Journal reported today. The FTC argues that unauthorized in-app purchases made by children using Amazon's devices have affected "thousands" of parents, and the commission wants Amazon to agree to fines and more explicit restrictions on when and how in-app purchases can be made.For its part, Amazon believes that its current protections are getting the job done, and Amazon Associate General Counsel Andrew DeVore said in a letter that Amazon would "defend [its] approach in court" rather than agree to the FTC's restrictions. DeVore also said that Amazon has refunded any unauthorized purchases when parents contacted the company to request one.  2014-07-02 05:37:50

Microsoft may have released a basic Office app for Android phones almost a year ago, but the company is now building a suite designed specifically for Android tablets. The upcoming release, expected later this year, will join Microsoft’s Office for iPad version as the second major tablet-focused push for the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is currently preparing a private beta test for the Office Android tablet version, and is accepting participants through a special pre-release program. Companies and individuals can register their interest in testing pre-release versions of Office over at Microsoft’s SharePoint site.  2014-07-01 20:30:58

Microsoft chose one of the least blingy phones in its lineup to debut its new Windows Phone 8.1 operating system. The Nokia Lumia 635 will become available Saturday on T-Mobile. The bad news is that you can only buy it that day on the Home Shopping Network — and only then with a prepaid Simple Choice plan. Microsoft announced the Lumia 635 (along with the 630 and the 930) in early April. T-Mobile will begin selling the phone on its own website on July 9 for no money down and 24 monthly payments of $7. That adds up to a cost of $168 over the course of the two-year contract. The new phone will show up in T-Mobile stores on July 16 for a promotional price of $100. MetroPCS will start carrying the Lumia 635 on July 18.  2014-07-01 12:10:10

This week he folks at T-Mobile USA have brought the newest Windows Phone 8.1 device to their ranks, complete with Cortana. This is the Nokia Lumia 635, a device that’ll be the direct successor to the Lumia 521, the hottest-selling Windows Phone device in T-Mobile history.  2014-07-01 10:49:28

While we've seen plenty of mockups and more recently a few claimed legitimate exterior parts such as rear shells and front panels from the iPhone 6, little in the way of internal parts as surfaced so far. But three new photos surfacing today (via show what are claimed to be a pair of flex cable parts from the iPhone 6. The photos are of fairly poor quality and it is not specified whether the parts are from the 4.7-inch or 5.5-inch model, but the parts do closely resemble legitimate parts from other devices and an Apple logo and Apple-style part number are present on one of them. iPhone 6 volume/mute flex cable Unlike on the iPhone 5s, where a single part houses both the left side volume buttons/mute switch and the top power button, these iPhone 6 parts show the two areas on separate flex cables. This change would seem to be consistent with the larger size of the iPhone 6 and the reported shift in the location of the power button from the top edge to the right edge.

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