Wednesday, September 3, 2014
- HTC now offering 100GB of free Google Drive storage for One M8, One Max, One Remix and more
- Sony Xperia Z3 leaks in copper alongside new E Ink SmartBand
- Verizon HTC One M7 receiving Android 4.4.3 and Extreme Power Saving mode this week
- Leaked: Sony’s E-mount compatible APS-C sized lens camera for Android devices
- Android Deals: $200 off the Galaxy S5, 75% savings on Jump Desktop, and more
- This Amazingly secure Android phone was able to discover fake cell phone towers
- Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact leak shows off full hardware specs and fun new colors
- Google plans to update Android Wear watches early and often; first roadmap of features outlined
- ASUS to undercut competition with sub-$199 price point for ZenWatch Android Wear smart watch
- Meizu officially launches MX4: 5.36-inch 1080p display, 8-core CPU, 20 megapixel camera and more
- Samsung introduces Swarovski-encrusted Gear S (because crystals make everything look better)
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 06:10 PM PDT
It’s one of our favorite HTC perks: getting a free bump in cloud storage for doing nothing. Back in the day, you may remember when HTC teamed up with Dropbox for bonus cloud storage after purchasing one of their devices. More recently, it’s Google supplying the cloud storage, offering up a bonus 50GB as part of the “HTC Advantage.”
Today, HTC announced that they’ll now be doubling that number, providing a grand total of 100GB of Google Drive storage on top of whatever you have now. The bonus applies to newer HTC devices like the HTC One M8, HTC One Max, HTC One Remix, HTC Desire 816, or HTC Desire 610.
In case you’re wondering, the additional bump in cloud storage is guaranteed for 2 years, after which you’ll need to pay up or simply make do with Google’s 15GB of free storage. When it comes to other devices, HTC says specific 2013 models (HTC One, HTC Butterfly S, HTC One Mini and HTC Desire 601) get a 25GB increase in Drive storage after upgrading to to Sense 5+ or 6. It’s not much, but better than nothing.
To claim your Google Drive storage, simply open the Google Drive app on your phone and redeem the offer that pops up. Those already enjoying the previous 50GB offer will only see a nice little 50GB bump. Cheers.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 04:04 PM PDT
Earlier today we saw a few images of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact leak out onto the interwebs ahead of Sony’s IFA event scheduled for tomorrow. While the Z3 Compact showed a wide range of colors — black, white, orange, and green — it seems Sony could have a color reserved solely for its bigger brother, the Sony Xperia Z3.
Shown in a leaked promo image for the device, the Sony Xperia Z3 is pictured with an interesting copper paint job, different from the usual gold/white color trend we’ve seen in recent months. What’s more is you’ll notice a still unannounced wearable featuring an E Ink display, rumored to launch as the “SmartBand Talk.”
No word on what kind of functionality Sony’s SmartBand will offer (looks more like a fitness band than full fledged smartwatch), but with an E Ink display, you can bet the selling feature will be on its battery life. We wont have to wait much longer before we learn more. Sony’s IFA keynote is tomorrow at 10AM PT, so stay tuned for more.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 02:52 PM PDT
As HTC continues to support their older flagship line — the original HTC One (M7) — the manufacturer’s US base of operations announced today on Twitter that they have received approval from Verizon regarding their Android 4.4.3 update.
Aside from being infused with the same OpenSSL security fixes as you’ll find on stock Android 4.4.4 devices, One M7 users can also look forward to HTC’s Extreme Power Saving mode — a feature you simply can’t get on stock Android.
No word on the exact day the rollout will begin, but keep an eye out. It’s going to be a busy week.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 01:58 PM PDT
After Sony’s IFA invite hinted as much, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find the manufacturer has been hard at work on an all new lens camera. Last year’s models — the QX10 and QX100 — were met with relatively fair reviews, but it seems Sony could be changing things up for this year.
The folks at Sony Alpha Rumors nabbed the leak showing press renders for the all new Sony QX1, an attachable APS-C sensor for mobile devices. Unlike last year’s models which were essentially an entire camera squeezed inside a lens-style body, the QX1 ditches the lens completely and accepts the same Sony E-mount lenses as the Sony a500, a600, and NEX 5T or other NEX interchangeable lens cameras. This opens up a new world of possibilities when shooting from your mobile device.
The real question on everyone’s mind is how much Sony was able to cut on costs by essentially stripping away one of the more expensive components in digital cameras: their display. According to sources, the Sony QX1 will retail for around $400 body-only, or $650 with a 16-50mm lens. Of course, for those who’ve already invested in Sony’s mirrorless cameras (that’s really who Sony is targeting here) all those lenses will work just fine on the QX1.
Tomorrow is Sony’s IFA event in Berlin, where we’re sure to learn more about the Sony QX1 and more. Stay tuned.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 12:32 PM PDT
What's in the old Android Deals goody bag this week? How about savings on a new Galaxy S5 or LG G Watch? Steep discounts on remote desktop software for Android and Disney's Castle of Illusion? We've even got the tipoff on some audiobook and eBook deals that will give your brain a bit of exercise. Remember, all deals were active at time of posting but they won't last forever. Read on and act quick to save.
Hardware & Accessories
Take $200 off the price of an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5 for AT&T. Normally priced at $649.99 off-contract, Samsung's latest flagship device can be yours for only $449.99 as part of eBay's Daily Deals. The savings of over 30% also include free shipping. Act fast before supplies run out and this deal ends. [eBay]
Get a 50% discount on a 4G-compatible Nexus 7 with 32GB of storage and pick up this Jelly Bean-powered tablet for only $159.99. Google's 7-inch slate features an HD display and will soon be among the first to receive the highly-anticipated Android L update. [eBay]
Save $50 on an LG G Watch when you buy from Best Buy and be among the first to own an Android Wear-powered smartwatch. This smartphone companion and stylish timepiece sees its regular price of $229.99 slashed to $17.99. [Best Buy]
Become a master at presentations with the discounted X-Presenter Smart bundle. For $23.99 (50% off the regular price), you get the X-Presenter Smart Laser laser pointer and USB dongle, which turns any smartphone with a headphone jack and the X-Presenter app into the ultimate presentation tool. [AndroidArea]
Knock more than 50% off the price of select ruggedized cases for all the latest Android smartphones. These protective cases are reduced to prices as low as $10 and are available for handsets like the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5, and HTC One M8. [Amazon: LG G3, Galaxy S5, One M8]
Apps & Games
75% Jump Desktop for Android: Control your desktop from anywhere with your Android phone using Jump Desktop. This easy-to-use remote desktop software for mobile devices gives you access to all of your applications and files without the need to lug around a laptop or log into a PC. [AndroidDeals]
Music & Media
Download The Four-Hour Chef audiobook for free and improve your culinary skills almost instantly while learning valuable lessons that could even better your life beyond the kitchen. Tim Ferriss guides you through the building blocks of cooking in this free release normally priced at $20. [AndroidArea]
Save 85% on a selection of eBooks for Students and get ready for the new school year (or do some learning on your own time). With over 1000 titles to choose from, there is a little something for everyone. [Amazon]
[Find any great deals not included here? Be sure to send them our way or share in the comments below!]
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 12:09 PM PDT
We’ve always been suspicious of folks being able to snoop in on phone conversations or intercept data, but there isn’t much we can do to prove that happening or to prevent the foul act. One secure phone seems to have changed that, however.
ESD America’s GSMK Cryptophone 500 (which is basically a Samsung Galaxy S3 with custom software and security) is device said to be used by many international and corporate organizations as well as private clients who demand more privacy and security. It was taken on a roadtrip from south Florida to North Carolina. Here’s the sales pitch for the phone to potential buyers:
Said “hardened” operating system is Android, and it’s been loaded up with security apps and solutions for those who require more than your elementary PIN number.
Along the way, ESD was able to use a built-in function that allows them to monitor and identify the cellular towers it connects to — they found that they’d encountered 8 of them in that sizable drive, many of which sat upon government buildings. They weren’t able to pinpoint the origin of the interceptors, though considering those things are expensive to acquire and assemble we’re sure they had to come from some pretty authoritative entities.
WLS reports that a phone connected to one of these non-carrier towers could be subject to eavesdropping, as well as vulnerable to malware and/or spyware that can be loaded up remotely. It’s a scary thought, though we’re not sure any of it would be used maliciously if they’re of government origin.
We all know the NSA and Department of Homeland Security have the capability and permission to intercept calls to protect the country from potential terrorist threats, so it’s not at all surprising to learn such devices are in use. The scary part is the fact that you can randomly hop onto said networks at any time for seemingly no reason.
It’s important to note that any phone is susceptible to hopping onto these networks, and not just Android phones like WLS suggests. Android isn’t some security nightmare — it actually seems to be a hero here, as we’re sure no iPhone or Windows Phone has the capability to detect fake towers like the Cryptophone 500 did.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 11:49 AM PDT
We’re barely a day away from Sony’s big IFA 2014 unveiling in Berlin but before the manufacturer even has the chance to make anything official, leaks of their upcoming devices continue to spill out onto the interwebs. Today, the folks at the Ausdroid have gotten their hands on some exceptionally nice images of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, pictured as it shows off it’s more petite size in a wide range of color options.
While we’re pretty sure all the colors shown — white, black, green, and orange — wont be available in every market, it’s nice to see Sony being more upfront about color options instead of releasing them a few months into a device’s life cycle. According to the tipster, the Xperia Z3 Compact will feature a smaller 4.6-inch 720p display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 20.7MP camera, and 2600mAh battery. All this in a size that wont stretch your pockets.
When it comes to the full-sized Sony Xperia Z3, we’ve seen enough leaks in the past to know what we can expect when it become official. Sure enough, today’s leak from the Xperia Blog looks like what we’ve seen before, only this time it seems Sony may have included full hardware specs listed off on the back of this unit. It’s like this test unit was screaming to be leaked. Here’s what is being listed on the window sticker:
Everything here seems to check out but we will say, we still find it a shame that in this day and age, a manufacturer can launch a flagship smartphone with barely 16GB of internal storage — micro SD slot or not. It’s actually one of the few gripes I had with the previous model, the Sony Xperia Z2.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 09:25 AM PDT
One of Google’s visions with Android Wear was to provide a platform that would allow everyone to get timely updates no matter which device they bought. They’ve gone as far as mandating a block on deep customization by OEMs, effectively eliminating the possibility of OEMs using custom skins that might hold updates back.
All of that is because Google obviously wants to grow the Android Wear platform fast in its infancy. Engineering director David Singleton spoke to CNet about future upgrade plans, noting that they want the updates to be both plentiful and fast. Going into detail, Google mentioned one of the first things they wanted to implement is support for GPS without the need to pair to an Android phone. This is certainly an important factor for the horde of smart watches with 3G radios we’ll eventually see.
Google also mentioned adding support for pairing a Bluetooth headset directly with a smart watch, so you can listen to tunes that are loaded up on the smart watch itself or from a streaming app. Rounding the list of things they want to do is an API for custom watch faces. For the more immediate future, Google says an incoming update this week will improve voice commands and the navigation experience.
Google didn’t go into grave detail about much else, though we’re sure they have many more features lined up to help push Android Wear to the next level in a few short months. Let us know what you’d eventually like to see in the comments below.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 07:58 AM PDT
ASUS is often a brand you can count on to deliver lower prices while still offering a good deal of quality. They could be looking to continue that trend with their Android Wear-based ZenWatch smart watch. CEO Jerry Shen confirmed to FocusTaiwan that the company would be looking to target a price tag beneath $199. This would effectively make it the cheapest Android Wear smart watch on the market as the cheapest available right now is Samsung’s Gear Live ($200).
Unfortunately we don’t know much else about the device, though Shen mentioned you could use it by itself or with an Android phone if you so choose. We’re not sure if that’s a tip to possible 3G radios, but the CEO did make it a point to mention that the device would enable the user with more features when paired.
Beyond that, what we’re to see once ASUS takes to Berlin tomorrow is still up in the air. We know the smart watch most certainly won’t be circular if their latest teasers are anything to go by, though whether or not that’ll matter more than its attractive price tag remains to be seen. We’ll be a lot more knowledgeable at some point tomorrow.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 07:31 AM PDT
Meizu has officially launched their latest flagship smartphone — the Meizu MX4. The device is absolutely ridiculous in the specs department, and it doesn’t look too bad on the outside either. Here’s what you can look forward to should you buy the $300 wonder (currently available for pre-order from OppoMart):
That doesn’t sound bad at all for $300, right? The phone is machined with an aluminum alloy material, and also has 2.36mm thin bezels — not quite edge-to-edge, but not so shabby, either.
Uortunately the device is already out of stock (not surprising at that price tag), but OppoMart is sure to be getting more in stock in due time. Meizu’s products might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they won themselves a few new fans with this release. The MX4 is set to ship later this month, so let us know if you’ll be looking to purchase one in the near future.
Posted: 02 Sep 2014 06:20 AM PDT
Swarovski crystals on a smartphone? Meh. On a smart watch? Why, now you’re talking Samsung! The company has introduced a version of the Samsung Gear S that has Swarovski crystals encrusted on the watch band. The new blingage gives the Gear S an eye-catching look, and looks perfect for anyone concerned with style.
The Gear S didn’t need much help on its own with a curved display design that makes it stand out from other smart watches. Samsung says the device is made with a completely new Swarovski product called Crystal Fine Mesh (obviously not to be confused with fine crystal meth).
In case you didn’t catch the news last week, the Gear S is Samsung’s first smart watch with dedicated 3G radios, meaning you can use data and make calls with the device without having to be paired up to a smartphone via Bluetooth. It doesn’t offer much more than that over their other Tizen-based smart watches, though that might be reason enough for someone to throw hard-earned dollars at it.
Samsung didn’t have any pricing info to share, but we at least know you’ll be able to find it on their website and in one of their few Samsung Experience retail stores starting next month. Samsung also let slip that their next flagship device will also see some Swarovski love, and we’re all but certain they’re talking about the Galaxy Note 4. We should be hearing a LOT more from the South Korean company tomorrow.
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Here is your customized Phys.org Newsletter for September 2, 2014:
Spotlight Stories Headlines
SCIENTISTS CREATE RENEWABLE FOSSIL FUEL ALTERNATIVE USING BACTERIA
COOL CALCULATIONS FOR COLD ATOMS: NEW THEORY OF UNIVERSAL THREE-BODY ENCOUNTERS
SINGLE LASER STOPS MOLECULAR TUMBLING MOTION INSTANTLY
RESEARCH SHOWS SEVEN-YEAR-OLDS CAN THINK STRATEGICALLY
DISCOVERY HINTS AT WHY STRESS IS MORE DEVASTATING FOR SOME
NEW SYNTHESIS METHOD MAY SHAPE FUTURE OF NANOSTRUCTURES, CLEAN ENERGY
NEW METHOD FOR NON-INVASIVE PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING
RESEARCH IN RODENTS SUGGESTS POTENTIAL FOR 'IN BODY' MUSCLE REGENERATION
GIANT GARBAGE PATCHES HELP REDEFINE OCEAN BOUNDARIES
EARLY CEREBELLUM INJURY HINDERS NEURAL DEVELOPMENT, POSSIBLE ROOT OF AUTISM
BIOCHEMISTS FIND NEW TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR STAPH INFECTIONS, INFLAMMATORY DISEASES
EXTINCTIONS DURING HUMAN ERA WORSE THAN THOUGHT
SCIENTISTS MAKE DISEASED CELLS SYNTHESIZE THEIR OWN DRUG
BRAIN CIRCUIT DIFFERENCES REFLECT DIVISIONS IN SOCIAL STATUS
LAB UNVEIL NEW NANO-SIZED SYNTHETIC SCAFFOLDING TECHNIQUE
Latest News On TECHNOLOGY:
APPLE'S SHADOW LOOMS LARGE AT BERLIN ELECTRONICS SHOW
Berlin's gigantic IFA consumer electronics fair opens this week, with the shadow of Apple looming large even if the iconic US brand traditionally snubs the event.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-apple-shadow-looms-large-berlin.html#nwlt
NETFLIX UNVEILS NEW WAY TO SHARE RECOMMENDATIONS
Netflix is giving its Internet video subscribers a more discreet way to recommend movies and TV shows to their Facebook friends after realizing most people don't want to share their viewing habits with large audiences.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-netflix-unveils.html#nwlt
ROBOTS UNLIKELY TO TAKE BIG BITES OUT OF EMPLOYMENT, EXPERT SAYS
Advances in artificial intelligence and robotics mean that machines will soon be able to do many of the tasks of today's workers. And not just blue collar jobs in areas such as manufacturing, but even in such white collar occupations as lawyers, doctors and – gulp – journalists.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-robots-big-employment-expert.html#nwlt
FBI SAYS IT'S ADDRESSING NUDE CELEBRITY PHOTOS
The FBI says it is addressing allegations that nude photos of several female celebrities have been stolen and posted online.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-fbi-nude-celebrity-photos.html#nwlt
TOP SOUTH AMERICA HACKERS RATTLE PERU'S CABINET
The Peruvian hackers have broken into military, police, and other sensitive government networks in Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela and Peru, defacing websites and extracting sensitive data to strut their programming prowess and make political points.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-south-america-hackers-rattle-peru.html#nwlt
COURT HALTS RIDESHARING SERVICE UBER IN GERMANY (UPDATE)
A court has barred ridesharing service Uber from operating in Germany, the latest shot in the popular app's fight with taxi drivers worldwide.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-court-halts-ridesharing-uber-germany.html#nwlt
THREE WAYS YOUR PERSONAL PHOTOS ARE VULNERABLE TO HACKERS
Recent reports of celebrities having nude or risqué photos of themselves leaked online highlights the serious risk of hackers getting access to our personal pictures.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-ways-personal-photos-vulnerable-hackers.html#nwlt
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW PROGRAM TO EVALUATE PROMINENT INDIVIDUALS' PERSONALITIES
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed a new program that automates classification of personality traits of prominent individuals—both friend and foe—according to a paper soon to be published in the American Intelligence Journal.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-prominent-individuals-personalities.html#nwlt
APPLE SAYS CELEBS HACKED IN 'TARGETED ATTACK' (UPDATE)
Apple said Tuesday a "targeted attack" led to the release of nude photos of celebrities including Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence but insisted there was no breach of its cloud storage system.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-apple-celebrity-accounts-compromised.html#nwlt
HOME DEPOT PROBES POSSIBLE CREDIT CARD DATA BREACH (UPDATE)
Home Depot may be the latest retailer to suffer a credit card data breach.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-home-depot-hacking-victim.html#nwlt
CELEBRITY HACK PUTS FOCUS ON INTERNET 'CLOUD' (UPDATE)
If actress Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton knew little about the Internet "cloud," they would not be alone, but the recent theft of their intimate photos has served as a wake-up call.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-celebrity-hack-focus-internet-cloud.html#nwlt
GOOGLE'S CORPORATE PRODUCTS DIVISION CHANGES NAME
Google is hoping a new brand will help sell more of its services to other companies.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-google-corporate-products-division.html#nwlt
US COURT HEARS DEBATE IN NSA PHONE RECORDS CASE
A federal appeals court has expressed concern about the government's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-court-debate-nsa-case.html#nwlt
CELEBRITIES' NUDE SHOTS REMOVED FROM SOME WEBSITES
As federal investigators worked Tuesday to determine who stole and posted nude photos of several female celebrities online, the images continued to be removed from various sites.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-celebrities-nude-shots-websites.html#nwlt
FUTURE SOLAR PANELS
Conventional photovoltaic technology uses large, heavy, opaque, dark silicon panels, but this could soon change. The IK4-Ikerlan research centre is working with the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country within the X10D European project on new materials to produce solar panels in order to come up with alternatives to the current panels. What is needed to improve the functioning of cells with a large surface are materials that cost less to produce and offer greater energy efficiency.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-future-solar-panels.html#nwlt
CALIFORNIA QUAKE POINTS TO RESEARCH ADVANCEMENTS IN RETROFITTING OLDER BUILDINGS
The 6.0 earthquake that rocked Napa, California, on Aug. 24 is placing the spotlight on efforts by property owners and municipalities to retrofit older buildings and improve their ability to withstand earthquakes.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-california-quake-advancements-retrofitting-older.html#nwlt
TURKEY HOSTS INTERNET FORUM, DESPITE ONLINE CRACKDOWN
Turkey has begun hosting a major UN-backed forum on Internet governance, despite sharp criticism that it is one of world's leading offenders on limiting Internet rights.
Full story at http://phys.org/news/2014-09-turkey-hosts-internet-forum-online.html#nwlt
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