Big Android BBQ 2014 set for October 16-18

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Set your calendars, schedule time off from work and start saving for those hotel and airline tickets — the 2014 Big Android BBQ has officially been set for October 16th through the 18th. The fifth annual community BBQ is set in Hurst, Texas again, with the Hurst Conference Center playing host to this wonderful, geeky (or wonderfully geeky) affair.

Beyond hanging out with people just as enthusiastic as you and eating good food, the Big Android BBQ is a productive time where people discuss the mobile industry, development, Android and technology through panels and events. Parties, giveaways and more also add to the whole “you need to be there” factor.

Big_Android_BBQ-Hall

Speakers from deep within the industry such as Noble Ackerson and Steve Kondik tend to make their presence known at the #BBQ, and many more will surely be on tap to spread their wisdom and have a good time. Just take a look at our recollection of 2013′s shindig to see how much fun there is to be had.

Much of the specifics about tickets, hotel and airline packages and more are still being worked out, but it shouldn’t be long before we hear about what 2014′s meetup will have to offer.

[via Google+]

PlayOn introduces Chromecast support

Chromecast Ready To Cast 2

The growing number of apps to support Chromecast gets even bigger with a major addition today. PlayOn has announced an upgrade to their Android app that will allow you to beam content from over 100 different “channels” to the little $35 media streaming dongle that so many people have bought to date.

Whether it’s video form ABC, NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, Hulu or even your own DVR content, PlayOn gives you access to all of it from one easy to use platform.

Unfortunately you do need to have a PC to use its new Chromecast features, as it won’t work without both PlayOn for PC and for Android. It also costs $30 per year ($60 for a lifetime subscription) with no free trial, so be sure to look around for some reviews before diving in. If you’re already married into the PlayOn ecosystem you can find the latest updates over at Google Play.

Verizon’s Galaxy S5 has camera bug, no fix in sight

All the hype, all the waiting; preregistration, preorders, color choices — all for the Galaxy S5. The device, which has already sold a veritable ton of devices, has an issue that’s causing many owners anguish. If you’re on Verizon, you might know what we’re referring to.

 


It seems the camera on the Galaxy S5 from Samsung has an issue that’s plaguing Verizon models. When opened, some users are reporting they see a message of “Warning: Camera Failed” in the camera app rather than the viewfinder. There doesn’t seem to be anything causing the issue — it’s just a bug.

Rebooting the device yielded no solution, nor did force closing the app. Factory reset? Nothing. The camera on many Galaxy S5 devices via Verizon just plain doesn’t work. The only recourse is a replacement device, but that might be a crapshoot.

No official word on when a fix for this issue is available, either. That means you’re stuck going into a Verizon store, dealing with some poor representative who has as much info as you about the situation, and possibly replacing the device for another that has the same problem. Aside from the camera woes, the Galaxy S5 works just fine, so if you can stomach the wait for a fix -- that’s likely your best bet.

Source: XDA

Via: SamMobile

United Airlines makes passenger remove Google Glass

Remember the girl who was given a ticket for driving with Google Glass? Ignorant observers have gotten the best of her again, this time in the world of aviation, where she got a less than pleasant greeting when boarding a United Airlines flight. The flight attendant made her remove Google Glass, citing “security concerns” as the reasoning, a misnomer from which we thought humanity had graduated.

She then proceeded to take the same picture she was planning on taking with Google Glass with her smartphone:

cecilia airplane pic google glass

I’m taking a pic with my cellphone because I’m not allowed to take it with Google Glass. It had to be United the first plane that they asked me to take Glass off because of security concerns.

It raises the question: what sort of “security” is being compromised by the use of Google Glass? (spoiler: none)

Are they afraid that Mrs. Abadie is using her Glass’s front-facing camera to map out the innards of the airplane for use by some terrorist? Last we checked, airplane schematics were available online for anyone to view.

Another question — if they have a problem with Glass, where’s the uproar about the tons of tablets, smartphones, laptops and cameras that are even more powerful with even more functionality than Google Glass that are already approved for in-flight use? And furthermore, now pre-approved for pre-flight use?

It all sounds like another case of technophobia or ill-informed employees who are trained to exile anything that doesn’t resemble the shape of the aforementioned devices in their handbook. Come on, United, embrace technology… it’s all the rage.

Furthermore, what will they say once Google Glass becomes a necessity for the vision-impaired? Many folks are planning to replace their typical frames with the Glass Titanium collection, and at that point you’d be asking a person to compromise their safety and well being for the sake of making sure they aren’t taking some silly picture to post on Google+.

It doesn’t sound like all airlines are meeting Glass with as much resistance. In fact, a pilot from competitor US Airways was eager to try on Tim Moore of Rochester Optical’s pair just this morning:

us airways pilot google glass

And yes, he is holding that ancient corded telephone upside down.

This isn’t the first time Abadie’s name has been in the news for so-called “illegal” use of Google Glass. Her well-documented case against the city of San Diego for a ticket she received for wearing Glass while driving ended with a minor victory in what’s turning out to be a long war.

Cecilia-Google-Glass-6

Abadie’s ticket was thrown out because the judge ruled that Google Glass is legal to drive with as long as the user isn’t actually using it (something which would be hard for any officer to prove or disprove). It might not be the hard legislature we seek to make sure Glass has a rightful place in today’s tech, but every little bit matters.

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Some state representatives have already started lending their name to the cause of banning Google Glass for public use, whether that be due to safety concerns, privacy concerns, or all of the above paranoia-induced reasons they spew. A choice quote from Wyoming Senator Floyd Esquibel:

Common sense would tell you that you really don’t need to look at a little computer while driving, that it endangers you, your passengers and other drivers.

Apparently, GPS units and in-dash computers suddenly don’t fit in this category, but Google Glass does. Sensible thinking there, Mr. Senator.

Thankfully not all lawmakers feel this way, with one court ruling that using a monitor in the vehicle for purposes of GPS is not considered distracted driving and thus shouldn’t be considered an offense when citizens do it. Whether Google Glass fits into that category is still up in the air, and it’s something we hope will be worked out with an open mind in the months or years to come.

Google Glass girls Titanium

We also have to wonder what this will mean for smartwatches and other wearables. Most TSA agents and airline assistants probably wouldn’t take a second look at your smartwatch even though they have access to the same general features as your Google Glass, Android Phone, or Android Tablet. Perhaps it’s Google Glass’s “in your face” presence that adds an intimidation factor to the whole ordeal, but ignorance is not a good excuse for restricting what should be considered basic freedoms.

Unfortunately this has been going on since the day people stepped foot into private and public establishments with Google Glass on, and things aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Google Glass is considered emerging tech, and much of the world is still trying to figure it out. A lot of people have welcomed the technology and have been open to learning more, but for every interested soul there’s another who is just as quick to banish it.

That’s why we should be grateful for Glass Explorers like Cecilia Abadie and their willingness to evangelize, because it’s this early resistance that’s going to help Google break down these illogical taboos and continue moving technology forward. Keep fighting the good fight, Cecilia.

[via Google+]

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ available today and priced at $369

Lenovo first announced the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ back in February, during Mobile World Congress. Specs were announced at the time, and we even managed to spend a bit of hands-on time with the tablet. A release date and price weren't immediately available, however there is some good news for those who may have been waiting.

The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ has arrived for purchase. The availability is direct from Lenovo and the price is $369. The one catch is the lead time for shipping. Details coming from Lenovo show that as being roughy 3 weeks. The 10 HD+ model was introduced as a follow-up to to the original Yoga Tablet 10.

This newly available model sports a 10.1-inch display at 1920 x 1200 and is powered by a Snapdragon APQ8028 processor that clocks in at 1.6GHz. Other highlights here include 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, a 1.6MP front-facing camera and an 8MP rear-facing camera. There is also a 9000 mAh battery which is touted as being able to provide up to 18 hours of run time.

We haven't spent enough time with the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ to verify the battery claims, however this particular model seems to be a solid follow-up to the original. By that we mean Lenovo seems to have kept the highlights and improved upon the few items that needed some help.

While some of this will change, the overall design with built-in stand remains the same from the original model, which we reviewed last November. The video of our Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ hands-on from MWC also sits below.

VIA: Android Central

SOURCE: Lenovo

JUMPR: recharge your phone or jumpstart your car

There are plenty of external battery packs that allow you to recharge your phone while out and about. But one called JUMPR will take things a few steps further. To begin with, JUMPR sports an LED flashlight, but that will seem tame compared to what else it can do -- jumpstart your car.

The JUMPR battery is touted as being a "new twist on portable power" and it features a 6000 mAh battery that is "capable of jumping a completely dead car battery in minutes." JUMPR provides up to 12 volts of power at 300 Amps, which should be sufficient for "almost all" 4 or 6-cylinder engines.

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The battery weighs in at 7 ounces, and sports measurements of 139 x 75 x 15mm. As you'll see from the images here in the post -- it is pretty close to the size of a smartphone. JUMPR charges using microUSB or a 12V car adapter and both cables are included with purchase. Also included are a set of proprietary jumper cables to jumpstart your case should the need arise.

Pre-orders are available at the moment, and the battery is expected to begin shipping on May 1st. The price is $89.99, however those who jump in during the pre-order period will be able to save $20.

SOURCE: JUMPR

JUMPR-Flashlight

IFTTT launches for Android

There had been a recent IFTTT sighting for Android, though at the time that was limited to a private beta group. But there is a bit of good news this morning; IFTTT has officially launched for Android. The app is available for free and can be found in the Google Play Store.

For those not as familiar, IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It allows you to make something happen automatically. You create Recipes that work on the If This, Then That principle. Basically, you choose the "this" and the recipe will automatically trigger the "then that" aspect. You can think of IFTTT as a sort of trigger system.

We've always said IFTTT is somewhat limited by your imagination. Of course, you do have to keep your imagination set within the Channels offered by IFTTT. In the case of the Android app you'll have Channels based on location, notifications, and device settings as well as images, phone calls and text messages.

Some basic examples here include automatically saving images, or adjusting a setting when you enter a certain location. Taking that last bit a step further and you could use IFTTT to automatically turn WiFi off when you leave your home. Or alternatively, have it turn on when you enter your office or favorite coffee shop. A few other potential uses include automatically changing your device wallpaper, or automatically sending an email or text message.

SOURCE: IFTTT

*The app is on the process of rolling out, so this Google Play Store link may not be active just yet.

Samsung “Crystal Collection” Galaxy S5 revealed

We may still be following rumors for the Galaxy S5 Prime, however it looks like Samsung does have some special models in the works. The Galaxy S5 "Crystal Collection" handset was recently revealed by way of a short YouTube teaser. The video is just 12 seconds in length and shows a Galaxy S5 that is covered with crystals.

In this case those would be Swarovski crystals. Samsung has said the handset will be arriving in May, but so far we have yet to see anything in terms of market availability or pricing. But having said that, we aren't expecting this one to come cheap.

One hint does come with the YouTube channel this was posted on; Samsung Mobile Korea. This isn't the first time we've seen a crystal covered Galaxy device, and if we follow previous patterns -- we expect the availability to be limited. Samsung also didn't specify if, or how the specs would differ from the regular model Galaxy S5.

The overall design looks rather sparkly, but we have to look back towards the Galaxy S5 Prime as that is the one we are more interested in seeing. Recent rumors for the GS5 Prime suggest the handset will debut with a QHD display at 2560 x 1440. There was also talk of that handset being powered by the Exynos 5430 processor, which is ARM big.LITTLE and 64-bit.

VIA: SamMobile

XCOM: Enemy Unknown from 2K Games has finally invaded Android devices

The rather popular game XCOM: Enemy Unknown has finally made the jump from iOS to Android devices today. 2K Games has brought the alien eliminating game to Google Play but before you rush on over to buy it, be sure to clear up some space as this game weighs in at a rather massive 3.6GB in size.

For those of you unfamiliar with XCOM: Enemy Unknown, this game was originally released onto PC and consoles before making its way to mobile devices via iTunes. An Android version was always planned but it seems to take forever to actually arrive. This version is basically the same as the PC/console version except with controls optimized for mobile gameplay. This means you'll be recruiting soldiers, leveling them up, running a fully operational base and, of course, killing aliens.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Features:

- Recruit and level-up soldiers
- Discover new weapons and technology
- Play randomly generated missions
- Engage in strategic combat
- Use enhanced touch controls designed for mobile

The replay value for this game is pretty high considering there are randomly generated missions. If you've played the PC/console version of this game then you already know what to do. For those of you new to this game, it is a lot like other turn-based strategy games that require you to build a base up, recruit soldiers, research new technology and kill your enemies, in this case aliens. This game is more graphically intense and in-depth than a lot of other titles though.

For those of you ready to jump into XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and have the free space for it, you can now pick this game up on Google Play for $9.99. It will also be appearing on Amazon's AppStore in the not-so-distant future.

Posted in Uncategorized

Moves activity tracking app acquired by Facebook

News of another Facebook acquisition has arrived. The latest to join Facebook is Moves, the fitness and activity tracking app. For those not as familiar, Moves launched for Android back in September 2013. The app originally came available for iOS users in January 2013 and touted 2.5 million downloads during the time it was exclusive on the iPhone.

Nothing has been revealed in terms of a price, but the folks at Moves have issued a statement saying how they are "delighted to announce" the acquisition. The Moves app will remain available in the respective app stores, however the future seems a bit uncertain.

There was mention of how "the Moves experience will continue to operate as a standalone app." But on the flip side, there was also mention about how the Moves team will be "joining Facebook’s talented team to work on building and improving their products and services." Seems the key word may be 'their.'

While the future of the Moves app remains to be seen -- there was a bit that is just as important today. That bit involves the data you've been giving to Moves. The Moves team said "there are no plans" to commingle the data with Facebook.

SOURCE: Moves