Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Have y'all heard? Beyonce and Jay Z are expecting baby No.2

Of course I'm just being sarcastic. They are no longer divorcing, now they are expecting a baby? According to OK magazine, Jay Z and Beyonce are expecting their second baby. They even claim Jay Z has officially announced it to his staff. Really?
He's informed their entire entourage that they need to use relaxed voices, mellow lighting, and listen only to soft music, and he's said that all of the food Beyonce's eat should be organic. He's really doing his best to make sure that she's as comfortable and healthy as possible

Samuel Eto'o announces he's ending his international career

He wrote this on Twitter a few minutes ago...

‘Swing Copters’ for iOS and Android game review

After all the drama that followed the launch and success of Flappy Bird, one would have assumed the developer would never make another game. Yet here we are, with what is called Swing Copters.
Swing Copters is yet another masocore game from the evil mind of Dong Nguyen. Except this time it’s supposedly even more difficult. Because that’s what was lacking last time. More difficulty. Anyway, let’s see what this one feels like (other than painful).

WhatsApp now has 600 million monthly active users

Popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp crossed another major milestone recently. The company CEO announced on Twitter that WhatsApp is now service over 600 million monthly active users.

Google Slides is now available for Apple iPhone and iPad devices

Google released a standalone Slides application for Apple iOS devices. The app joined its already available Docs and Sheets relatives in the App Store.
As expected, Google Slides for iOS allows you to sync your spreadsheets with Android devices, as well as laptop or desktop computers. All you need is your Google ID.
Offline editing is available too. Your work progress will be saved to the cloud once you go back online. You can also edit and update already Microsoft PowerPoint files.

Fujifilm announces X30 premium compact camera

Fujifilm has announced the new X30 camera, the successor to the X20. The X30 retains the classic, retro camera style but brings with it many improvements.
The X30 has a 12 megapixel, 2/3″ X-Trans CMOS II sensor with an EXR Processor II. The lens is a fixed FUJINON 28-112mm, F2.0-2.8. On the back is a new 2.36M dot electronic OLED viewfinder with 0.005 second lag time and a tilting 3.0-inch 920k dot LCD.

Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million

Amazon has announced that it will be acquiring gaming video broadcasting service Twitch for $970 million in cash. This move comes somewhat out of the blue, especially since there were pretty strong rumors of Google/YouTube acquiring Twitch a couple of months ago.
For those not aware, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, Twitch is a popular online service for broadcasting gameplay video and for watching videos of other people playing games. Although it may not be as well known to the general public as something like YouTube or Vimeo, Twitch is extremely popular in the gaming community and is the fourth largest source of US traffic behind Netflix, Google and Apple.

Microsoft slashes Surface 2 and Surface 3 Pro prices

Microsoft has slashed the prices of its Surface 2 and Surface 3 tablets. The second-gen Surface 2 is getting ready to celebrate its first birthday and is now selling $100 off across its range for the occasion.
Currently, the 32GB Wi-Fi Surface 2 retails for $349, down from $449. The more versatile LTE model with 64GB storage costs $579. However, you might think twice before getting one when you see the Surface 3 new pricing.

Spotify gets free music streaming for Windows Phone

After being free for Android and iOS for quite some time, Spotify for Windows Phone is finally set to offer ad-supported streaming to users at no cost.
The app will bring in the functionality from its Android and iOS counterparts by letting users stream playlists and music in shuffle mode. Of course, Spotify users can still choose to subscribe to the premium service to avoid ads and sync online playlists.
You can also listen to playlists you’ve created or from people you know, as well as shuffle play from just a particular artist.
Spotify has also made additional improvements throughout the app, including better looking search results and the ability to browse favorite artists and related ones.
Get Spotify for Windows Phone 8 and 8.1 here.

Chrome 37 brings DirectWrite support on Windows

Google has released v37.0.2062.94 of the desktop version of Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it brings with it a highly requested feature on Windows: DirectWrite support.
DirectWrite is a set of API from Microsoft for rendering text and glyphs on screen. It allows higher quality rendering of fonts that look noticeably better than the standard GDI or Graphics Device Interface method of rendering. This is something Firefox and Internet Explorer have had for years on Windows but Chrome is just getting now.

‘Swing Copters’ update makes the game playable

Last week when I reviewed Swing Copters, I complained about the inane difficulty level that not just made the game challenging but simply unplayable. It seems I wasn’t the only one though, as a lot of people uninstalled the game minutes after installing it due to the difficulty level.
That seems to have been a good enough wake up call for the developer, who has released an update that makes the game easier and actually playable.

Seagate announces the first 8TB 3.5″ HDD for enterprises

Following the launch of its 6TB hard drive, Seagate today announced its 8TB HDD. Unlike Western Digital,which uses helium for its high-capacity HDDs, Seagate has opted for an alternative method.
Sadly, the company is mum on the method in question. Seagate has been known to use a shingled magnetic recording technology to bump the areal density of its disk platters.

Updated Dropbox Pro plan ups the storage, improves security

Dropbox has revamped its Pro plan with more storage, improved link sharing and remote wipe. The Dropbox Pro plan remains at $10 a month (or $100 per year) but you get 1TB of storage for that.
Having a Pro account lets you share password-protected links. Sharing links is arguably one of the best features of Dropbox and now you won’t have to worry about the link getting in the wrong hands.

Archos unveils two Android phones, one WP handset

Archos put out one its traditional "here's what we'll announce" announcements. It details three phones, two tablets and additional gadgets that will be shown at IFA at the start of next month. Details for the first two Android phones are available in full, while the other devices are just outlined.

Archos 50b Platinum

The Archos 50b Platinum is a dual-SIM phone. It will have a 5" IPS screen with qHD resolution and run Android 4.4 KitKat. The phone is based on a MediaTek MT6582 chipset with 1.3GHz quad-core Cortex-A7, Mali-400MP2 GPU and just 512MB RAM.
Archos 50b Platinum
There will be an 8MP / 1080p main camera with LED flash and a 2MP front-facing camera. The 50b Platinum will come with an 8GB microSD card in addition to 4GB of built-in storage, a number of colorful cases and a 1,900mAh Li-Po battery.

LG Gx2 is G Vista for Asia, a 5.7" phablet with LTE-A, laser focus

The US-bound LG G Vista is going to Asia as the LG Gx2. It's a 5.7" phablet that replaces last year'sLG Gx but with less impressive specs. The screen is an IPS LCD with 720p resolution and the processor is a 1.2GHz quad-core (most likely a Cortex-A7) with 1.5GB RAM.
The phablet runs Android KitKat with LG's latest UX, Knock Codes and support for LG Quick Circle Cases. There's LTE-A connectivity and a 3,200mAh battery to power it all.

The camera on the LG Gx2 is an 8MP shooter with Laser focus, which uses IR light to achieve accurate focus quickly even in poor lighting conditions. There's also a 1.3MP front-facing camera.
The Gx2 measures 152.1 x 79.2 x 9.1mm and weighs 165g and comes in either White or Black. The phablet will launch on September 18 but pricing info will be revealed later on. This model will likely stay in Asia, there's no word on an international version.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 2 preview surfaces

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 2, the latest iteration in the company's Mega phablet lineup, has shown up across various Asian tech sites after being quietly launched in various Asian markets like Malaysia last week. A preview of the device has surfaced on Thai tech site DroidSans, giving us an in-depth look at what Samsung's latest phablet brings to the table.

Initial impressions indicate that the 6-inch 720p LTE device is a robust device thanks to quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos chip inside. The Mali-400MP GPU can handily manage the relatively low screen resolution, while the faux leather back panel is similar to the one introduced by the Note 3 last year.

New iPhone 6 images emerge, September 9 mentioned again

The Apple iPhone 6 rumors are starting to pour in frantically as the launch event nears. The latest one clings to the September 9 announcement date instead of the September 19 one and complements the statement with a list of the specs and a ton of pictures of the phone itself and the retail box.
By now we're tired of repeating this but here goes - take these with a grain of salt as they could be just a clever hoax or a dummy unit or just a pre-production hardware that has differences from the final units.
Alleged iPhone 6 images

LG teases G Watch R in an image on Facebook

We have gotten a sneak peek at LG's upcoming Android Wear smartwatch, apparently known as the G Watch R. The video LG released earlier didn't really show much, other than brag about the fact that it will have a full circle display (unlike the semi-circular display of the Moto 360).

LG has now posted an image of the watch on its Facebook page, which gives a slightly better look at the watch. It is about as traditional looking as it can get and with the default watch face looks pretty much like any other watch.

CPU-Z confirms 64-bit Tegra K1 SoC for Nexus 9

While we've been waiting for HTC and Google to announce an 8.9" Nexus tablet we've been treated to more than one leak about the coveted Nexus 9. The latest one is from hardware-assessing app CPU-Z, which confirms the SoC in charge of the tablet is the latest Nvidia Tegra K1 64-bit.
We've already suspected the tablet will carry a 64-bit Nvidia chip and with two leaks behind it, the rumors seem plausible to say the least.

The Tegra K1 inside the Nexus 9 will have a top clock speed of 2.5GHz which is higher than the 2.2GHz non-64-bit Tegra K1 we benchmarked and found to top our charts, especially in the graphics department.
Nvidia claims its Tegra K1 chip is 1.5 times more efficient than its competition which should translate into reasonable battery life despite the immense power within. The Tegra K1 has a 192-core GPU based on the desktop-grade Kepler architecture and Nvidia's Cuda cores.
As for the Nexus 9, it's rumored to have a 4:3 aspect 1440 x 2048 pixel 8.9" display of 281ppi, 8MP camera and the latest Android L from Google.

BlackBerry Passport detailed review appears ahead of launch

BlackBerry plans to launch the Passport in September, but luckily for everyone who has been expecting it, a detailed review has surfaced before its debut. It comes courtesy our Czech colleagues and reveals just about everything about the smartphone.

Inside the BlackBerry Passport there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974 chipset with a quad-core 2.2GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU and 3GB of RAM. There is also 32GB internal memory, which can be expanded further via the microSD card slot. The battery is quite large in capacity at 3,450mAh but because the phone didn't stick around for long, there was no time for a proper battery test.

HTC Desire 510 goes official with mid-range specs and LTE

HTC announced the Desire 510 smartphone. The newcomer combines mid-range specs and LTE connectivity.
HTC Desire 510 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset with 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU and Adreno 306 GPU. That's the first 64-bit Snapdragon chipset to make it to an actual device. It's not the first 64-bit droid though, as the Intel Atom-powered devices got there first.

Xiaomi Redmi 1S on sale in India on September 2

Xiaomi is finally launching the Redmi 1S in collaboration with Flipkart. The device is going to come to users on September 2 and you can register to buy the device will open today on Flipkart.
The price of INR 5,999 (around $99) is lower than what Xiaomi first made official (INR 6,999).

The device has a 4.7" 720p screen, Snapdragon 400 CPU with 1GB of RAM, 8MP snapper, microSD card slot and MIUI v5 on top of Android 4.3.

LG G3 Stylus goes official with 5.5" display and 13MP camera

LG officially took the wraps off the affordable G3 Stylus ahead of IFA. The previously leaked, 3G-only smartphone will be showcased at the company’s booth in Berlin next week.
Despite sporting similar name and design as the company’s flagship, the G3 Stylus is far removed from the D855 in terms of specs. However, the newcomer offers a proprietary RubberdiumTM stylus pen, which comes with bundled productivity and entertainment apps.

Nexus X specs and Android version confirmed in benchmark

The yet to be revealed Nexus X smartphone made yet another appearance in AnTuTu. Made by Motorola, the device is expected to debut at some point this fall with proper flagship specs on board.
Nexus X in AnTuTu (click to enlarge)
The leaked AnTuTu screenshots confirm the device’s previously leaked specs. They include Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084 chipset with 2.7GHz quad-core CPU, Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of built-in memory. The screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels (likely 5.2” in size), while the main camera is a 13MP unit.
The benchmark also goes further to confirm that when official, Android L will carry version number 5.0. The actual name of the build is still a subject of speculation.
Furthermore, the leaked screenshots show that the unannounced device scored 35,430 in AnTuTu. The score is not exactly mind-blowing and could well have something to do with the pre-production nature of the tested handset.

Affordable Huawei Honor 3C Play goes official

Do you remember Huawei's teasers for the Honor 3C Play, that took jabs at Apple's iPhones? Well, the Honor 3C Play is now official, and just as promised, it is a downgraded and cheaper version of the existing Honor 3C.
Huawei Honor 3C Play, also known as Honor 3C Play Edition, features a 5" IPS display of 720p resolution. The smartphone is powered by MediaTek's MT6582 chipset with a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 CPU, Mali400-MP2 GPU and 1GB of RAM. The rest of the specs include 16GB expandable storage, 8MP rear and 2MP front snapper, plus dual-SIM capabilities.
Huawei Honor 3C Play
The Honor 3C Play runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean skinned with Huawei's proprietary Emotion UI.
The Honor 3C Play should hit the shelves in China very soon and will cost CNY 599 (€72 or $97). An international retailer has it listed for €130, but its availability status is Out of stock. What we know for sure is the Huawei Honor 3C Play will launch in popular Asian markets soon.

HTC confirms Desire 820 to pack 64-bit Snapdragon 615 chipset

64-bit smartphones are already a reality with the iPhone 5s while several manufacturers are competing to be the first to bring a 64-bit Android to market. HTC might claim that title with the mid-range Desire 820.
The phone has been officially confirmed via the HTC Weibo account though details are very scarce – all the teaser images really say is "64-bit" and "September 4". The first image lists off the HTC firsts – first Android phone, first 1080p phone, first f/2.0 camera aperture and so on.
The second image is more interesting and shows what appears to be the front-facing camera, off to the side of a front-facing speaker grill. Our Chinese is spotty but that big "64" is hard to misinterpret.
HTC Desire 820 teaser images
The short text accompanying the second teaser image claims this is the "world's first octa-core 64-bit phone". If it's a Qualcomm chipset then it must be the Snapdragon 615 – it has eight Cortex-A53 cores (the 64-bit replacement of the Cortex-A7) and a next-gen Adreno 405 GPU.
A previous rumor of the HTC A11 claimed a Snapdragon 410 chipset (quad Cortex-A53 with Adreno 306) but that may be a different mid-range Desire phone.
September 4 of course means HTC's IFA event where the company will make a bit for another "world's first" title.

Top of the range Meizu MX4 gets caught in live photos

Meizu MX4 made yet another unscheduled appearance. This time around, the top of the range mode (possibly dubbed MX4 Pro) showcased its sleek body in a quick photo shoot.
As you can see in the image above, the top-end MX4 looks different and decidedly more premium thanalready capable the mid-range model we’ve seen already. The flagship MX4 also sports a fingerprint scanner, placed below the display in a rectangular button guise.

Spice Fire One Mi-FX 1 is a Firefox OS smartphone for $38

Spice Mobile took the wraps off an ultra-affordable dual-SIM smartphone with Firefox OS on board. Spice Fire One Mi-FX 1 will cost only Rs. 2,299 (about $38) when it becomes exclusively available through this coming Friday, on August 29.
Spice Fire One Mi-FX 1 features a 1GHz single-core CPU, 3.5” HVGA display (480 x 320 pixels), and EDGE-only connectivity. The device packs a 2MP main camera and a 1.3MP front-facing unit.
The ultra-cheap Spice Mobile creation marks the beginning of an entry-level market blitz by Mozilla and its OEM partners. Earlier this year Spreadtrum and Mozilla announced that they have a $25 Firefox OS smartphone in the works.

Alleged image of Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact leaks

Less than a week after it showed up in a Sony document, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact made another unscheduled appearance. This time around, the compact slate emerged in an alleged live photo.
The leaked image reveals a white slate with typical Sony styling, joined by a yet to be revealed Sony smartwatch. The photo is captured by a swimming pool, so it is all but certain that the duo of gadgets will have water resistance.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is expected to debut at the company’s IFA press event on September 3 alongside the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact smartphone duo. We will be there live, so be sure to tune in for the full scoop.

Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 review: Fresh start

Busy making a name for itself, Xiaomi must be hoping their first ever tablet will get the attention it deserves, following a couple of flagships that had the cheek to challenge the big boys. Just like them, the Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 will try and wow you with specs without making it too hard to guess who it is they've copied this time.
Sometimes referred to as the Chinese Apple, Xiaomi's approach to design isn't free from controversy but their devices have delivered a solid bang for the buck - hardly a surprise to users who are willing to look beyond the replica outfit.
The Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 is, at first glance, a cheap version of the Apple iPad mini 2 - it has the same 7.9" diagonal, the same 1536 x 2048 resolution and MIUI looks and acts more like iOS than Android, on which it is based. The design is almost identical too though they couldn't quite match the slim profile. Made of glossy plastic, the Mi Pad 7.9 looks like the lovechild of an iPad and an iPhone 5c.
Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9 Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
With a mix-and-match Apple design and a MIUI skin for Android 4.4.4 KitKat looking like a pretty convincing iOS clone you're probably thinking you know where this is going. But Xiaomi just loves proving people wrong. If the screen resolution wasn't a clue, the Mi Pad 7.9 has some specs that are sure to impress. This is the first commercially-available device to be powered by Nvidia's Tegra K1 chipset combining a quad-core Cortex-A15 processor and a 192-core GPU for desktop-grade gaming graphics.
Here's what else in on the list.