Apps  Music  2013-11-11 09:21:23

Motorola's Moto X is a solid phone, but part of its appeal are the customization options that allow users to engrave things into the back, change the color and even material of the back case and more via the Moto Maker online tool. But that started out as an AT&T exclusive, and remained so until today, when it's expanding to Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in the U.S.Motorola's customization features are available for phones starting at $100 for a 16GB Moto X on a two-year agreement, but there's no option yet to use the wood backs Motorola previewed back when it first launch the device. The wood backs are expected to come with an extra $50 price there's been nothing firm on when to expect those beyond sometime during the end of this year.The Moto X is actually a strong contender for best available Android phone, despite its cost and somewhat mid-tier specs, thanks to the unique features Google and Motorola have built in.  2013-11-10 07:16:12

Apple is developing two next-generation iPhones with larger, curved glass screens set for release late next year, reports Bloomberg. The new iPhones will feature displays at 4.7 and 5.5 inches, with the report also claiming that Apple is working on enhanced touch sensors that incorporate pressure sensitivity for later iPhone models after next year. iPhone 5s vs. 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note III (Source: Two models planned for release in the second half of next year will feature larger displays with glass that curves downward at the edges, said the person, declining to be identified as the details aren’t public. Sensors that can distinguish heavy or light touches on the screen may be incorporated into subsequent models, the person said. The new iPhones will be Apple’s largest at screens of 4.7 and 5.5 inches, the person said, approaching in size the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 that Samsung Electronics Co. debuted in September.  2013-11-09 15:45:20

A judge overseeing document handling in the Apple-Samsung case said Friday that it appears Samsung’s outside lawyers did indeed violate an order that should have kept them from sharing certain documents with the Korean Electronics giant.Nokia filed a motion in July arguing that Samsung’s lawyers had breached the protective order designed to keep business agreements obtained for the case away from the company itself. Apple filed a motion in August asking for sanctions and the right to investigate how Samsung officials came to know the details of Apple’s licensing agreement with Nokia.Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said he has finished pouring through boxes and boxes of Samsung documents trying to get to the bottom of the ongoing dispute.“Having finally crawled out from under the boxes, it appears to the undersigned that if anything was breached, it was this court’s protective order, and that sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted,”.  2013-11-08 15:06:07

Apple and Microsoft both expressed interest in acquiring portions of BlackBerry, according to a new report from Reuters. BlackBerry's board ultimately elected not to break up the company, despite Apple's interest in its intellectual property and patents. According to the report, the company also had discussions with Microsoft, Cisco, Google, and Lenovo.BlackBerry Ltd's board does not believe a break-up of the Canadian smartphone maker is currently in its best interests, even though Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring parts of the company, according to people familiar with the discussions. The board rejected proposals from several technology companies for various BlackBerry assets on grounds that a break-up did not serve the interest of all stakeholders, which include employees, customers and suppliers in addition to shareholders, said the sources, who did not want to be identified as the discussions were confidential.  2013-11-06 04:57:33

It's time to start getting used to discussing WQHD resolution, or 2560 x 1440 pixels, in relation to smartphones. Samsung's Analyst Day gathering today shed some light on the company's future plans, and the display category was highlighted by the promise of 560ppi AMOLED panels for phones. Combine that with the 1440p resolution and you get a 5.2-inch handset — the same dimensions as on LG's 1080p G2, but with 78 percent more pixels. And if that's not enough, we're told to look forward to 4K resolutions — also known as Ultra HD or 3840 x 2160 — in 2015.  2013-11-05 14:17:07

Nike's second-generation FuelBand SE is now available for purchase from the Online Apple Store and is available from select retail locations beginning today according to Apple's Personal Pickup options. The FuelBand SE looks similar to the original Nike FuelBand, but adds colored accents in yellow, pink, and red. It also incorporates Bluetooth LE (4.0), which significantly cuts down on power usage when paired with the iPhone 4s or later. Like the original, the FuelBand SE is designed to track movement and activity. NikeFuel is a single, universal way to measure all kinds of activities—from your morning workout to your big night out. This uniquely designed metric applies to whole-body movement no matter your age, weight, or gender. FuelBand tracks how much, how often, and how intensely you move. So go ahead and set a daily NikeFuel goal for how active you want to be. You'll receive move reminders for an extra push to get you moving every hour.  2013-11-05 12:41:12

As one of the most successful businesses to ever come out of Canada, BlackBerry has deep ties to its home country. Such deep ties, in fact, that Canada's government outright rejected the idea of Lenovo taking over the struggling telecom company. That's according to a report from The Globe and Mail, which says that Ottawa officials "made it clear" that any bid from a Chinese company would be denied by the government over national security concerns, immediately dooming any potential deal that may have been on the table. The government made its position known "over the last one to two months," the report says.  2013-11-05 11:20:40

Apps and devices that track motion are of questionable use value – it's true that they provide a general idea of a user's activity level, but that can very wildly from reality, since there's often very little involved in the motion tracking algorithms involved beyond detecting motion and counting that as a step. It's not often the fault of these devices: as humans, we're very inconsistent and unreliable in terms of where we keep these things.Sometimes, your phone's in your pocket. Sometime it's in a bag. Sometimes it's in a holster, if you miss your BlackBerry very much. But the point is, it's not always in the same place, and where it's stored can make a huge difference in terms of how accurately it gathers and reports information about the motion and activity of its owner.A team at Northwestern University wanted to make activity tracking more accurate, without forcing humans to be more consistent in how they use and carry their devices.  2013-11-04 23:40:12

Nike+ Move, the fitness-tracking app shown off by Apple at the iPhone 5S announcement event, is now available in the App Store. Move makes use of the iPhone 5S's M7 motion coprocessor, which continuously records movement data from the phone's gyroscope, accelerometer, and compass. The app collates this information to give you feedback about your activity and measures it in NikeFuel, in much the same way as Nike's wrist-worn FuelBand.Since the M7 chip constantly gathers data in the background, Nike+ Move launches for the first time with ten days of activity information already stored in its history.  2013-11-04 14:44:15

AT&T said Monday that it saw a strong increase in iPad business with the launch of the iPad Air, with activations double those from last year’s launch weekend.“iPad activations on AT&T increased more than 200% over the past three days compared to last year’s launch weekend, driven by consumer excitement around the new iPad Air and the popularity of AT&T Mobile Share, which lets customers add an iPad to their existing data plan for just $10 a month,” AT&T said in a statement. “We also saw strong demand for AT&T Next, which offers customers an iPad for $0 down on the nation’s fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network.”An AT&T representative clarified that sales were double those of a year ago, not triple as the statement implied.The iPad Air launched on Friday. Apple has yet to break out sales figures for the thinner, lighter model of its full-size tablet. An updated iPad mini is due to go on sale late this month.  2013-11-10 22:44:16

Handset maker Oppo unveiled the N1 in September, a 5.9-inch Android smartphone with a full HD display and a 13-megapixel camera fitted to an adjustable hinge.Today, the phone has finally gone on sale in China for CNY3498 ($574) on Oppo’s website. Only 10,000 units are available though, on a first-come-first-served basis.Oppo claims that the N1 camera, constructed from 67 different components, is the first to feature a six-piece lens design in an Android smartphone. It remains to be seen when the phone will roll out to other international markets, but in any case, it is coming up against a lot of competition such as the iPhone 5s, Lumia 1020 and Xperia Z1.  2013-11-10 05:01:26

Apple is said to be working on two curved display iPhone models for the “second half of next year,” according to a source speaking to Bloomberg, with a likely released planned for the third quarter, and building better touchscreen sensors that introduce fine pressure sensitivity for later devices to be introduced after that.These new iPhones for 2014 would come in 4.7 and 5.5-inch flavors, according to the report, meaning that Apple would be introducing not one, but two different models at the same time, in theory. We've seen reports of Apple working on different models of large-screen devices in the past, including one from the Wall Street Journal that suggests it's been working on different tests of devices with screen sizes between 4.8 and 6 inches. This is the first time we've really heard firm information about a possible release date for said devices, from a source as generally reliable as Bloomberg.  2013-11-09 09:51:45

Alaska Airlines photoYou may not have to interrupt that movie, book or game next time you’re flying on Alaska Airlines. The Seattle-based airline just announced that passengers will be able to use electronic devices from gate-to-gate, starting this morning.“Our customers have long wanted to be able to read a book, listen to music or watch a movie on their electronic devices whenever they’re onboard one of our flights,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing, in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have FAA approval giving our customers the flexibility and better onboard experience they want.”Other airlines have already made the switch, following new regulations implemented by the FAA late last month. You still can not connect to wi-fi below 10,000 feet, so email and other Web-based tasks will not be possible at lower altitudes.Laptops and other larger devices also must be stowed during takeoff and landing.  2013-11-06 08:10:39

2015 looks to be a big year for Samsung. In its big analyst event in Korea last night, the electronics giant laid out its plans for the future and answered concerns about its current business. Most notably, Samsung says by 2015 it will have mobile devices with foldable displays, as well as major advancements in its processor and memory technology, the Wall Street Journal’s live blog reports. Out of nowhere, Samsung also made the term “phablet” seem a bit less obnoxious with its own term for big screen phones, “fonblet.” The company claims it was the pioneer of that new category of big screen phones with handwriting recognition. Why all the early details? Samsung is likely trying to sway investors who may be worried about slowing smartphone sales (the Galaxy S4 reportedly didn’t sell as well as some hoped, which led to a huge stock hit).  2013-11-06 01:49:29

Nokia’s Lumia 1520 looks set for a release on AT&T next week. The Microsoft Store is now accepting pre-orders with a release date of November 15th for $199 on contract. Following similar deals for the Lumia 900, 920, and 1020, AT&T is the exclusive carrier for Nokia’s latest Lumia 1520 Windows Phone. The 6-inch handset is available in black, white, yellow, and red at AT&T, with off contract pricing set at $549.While the Lumia 1520 is launching on AT&T shortly, there’s no word on full international availability just yet. AT&T’s variant is unique as the built-in Qi wireless charging has been removed in favor of optional shell accessories that make use of the rival PMA standard.  2013-11-05 14:09:22

Apple's new iPad Air marks a significant technological step forward for the company, improving performance while reducing the device's volume and weight by over 25%. Much of the size and weight savings have been enabled by improved power efficiency, allowing Apple to reduce the device's battery thickness and capacity by roughly the same 25%. Component thickness reduction in iPad Air As noted in IHS iSuppli's component cost analysis released earlier today, the iPad Air now uses just 36 LEDs to light its display, down from as many as 84 in previous generations. Apple has also reduced the thickness of the display assembly, and so it appears that the display is indeed one the areas where Apple has been able to make the most improvement on size and weight, both in the components themselves and in the battery capacity needed to drive them.  2013-11-05 11:22:32

T-Mobile said the arrival of the iPad on its network allowed the company to sell more tablets last Friday than it sold during the entire prior quarter.T-Mobile didn’t provide a specific sales number, but its claim jibes with those made by other carriers. AT&T said on Monday that the launch of the iPad Air saw Apple tablet sales triple those from last fall’s iPad launch weekend.T-Mobile has made much of an offer that gives tablet customers, including those buying the iPad Air, 200 megabytes of data for free each month. “This is a fantastic offer,” marketing chief Mike Sievert said in an interview following the company’s quarterly earnings report.However, the launch of the free-data offer was somewhat overshadowed by glitches in which some customers were either charged or told they would need to sign up for a monthly plan in order to get the free data.  2013-11-05 06:30:14

There’s a new iPad in town, and that means that folks at the research firm IHS are once again doing what they do best: Taking it apart for a look inside.In the latest of its teardown analysis reports obtained by AllThingsD, the firm says Apple’s iPad Air (See Walt Mossberg’s review here) costs between $274 and $361 to build depending on model. The device sells at retail for a starting price of $499 for the base 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi only model and for as much as $929 for a 128-gigabyte model with Wi-Fi plus cellular data service. I talked with Andrew Rassweiler, the analyst who oversees the teardown work at IHS’s lab in Los Angeles. “What I expected to see inside was basically an iPhone 5S with a bigger display,” he said. “That was a little true, but a little not.”Some key changes occurred on the iPad Air from the third generation iPad, which was the last full-sized model IHS studied.  2013-11-04 23:00:05

LG's G Flex, the company's first smartphone with a curved OLED display, may have leaked via press renders and Argentinian TV shows before its eventual announcement, but today marked the first time we were able to see the device for ourselves. LG held a press conference in South Korea to announce launch details and provide us with an opportunity to see just how that curved screen works out in practice.Before you even notice the curve, you'll be taken aback by the sheer size of the G Flex. At six inches from corner to corner, the display beats out colossal rivals such as the HTC One Max despite having a comparatively low 720p resolution.  2013-11-04 14:15:01

T-Mobile figures that by giving tablet users free data, it might turn a few of them into paying customers.But it turns out that giving away data is sometimes harder than it seems. T-Mobile’s operations — both human and computer-based — were just not set up to have a nonpaying relationship with customers. As a result, some of the company’s new tablet customers were erroneously charged $10 per month for data that was supposed to be free. T-Mobile has since corrected the problem, and plans to issue refunds to affected customers.“We had a technology glitch and a training issue that caused some people to believe [they were being charged] — and some people to be charged,” T-Mobile chief marketing officer Mike Sievert said in an interview.

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