Monday, February 25, 2013

Chrome OS Notification Center Revealed

Click for full screen

Just last week, we saw the notification center that is supposedly coming to Chrome OS. This week, Francois Beaufort, the same developer that gave us the first clues about the new feature, has come up with a screenshot that shows the notification center in action. Moreover, a mystery new icon in the Chrome OS interface gives us hope that Google is finally close to fixing the giant mess that messaging is now for users.

First, let’s take a look at the notification center. From the first glance, the aesthetic reminds us of Google Now and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The notification center appears to be including notifications from Google Plus, but also alerts from emails and chats, as well as missed calls. This is precisely what we've been expecting from a “rich notification” center, and we’re very excited to see this feature implemented.

The second intriguing hint contained in Francois Beaufort’s Google Plus posting refers to the new icon that can be seen on the application bar in the screenshot. Beaufort said he doesn't know what’s up with the icon, but he ends his comment with a wink, suggesting he’s talking about an upcoming feature he can’t discuss.

The icon features four colored bubbles, which could mean that Google is preparing one messaging service to rule them all.

LG Purchased HP's webOS Division

LG purchasing HP webOS division, licensing webOS
This morning it was revealed that HP is selling its webOS assets to LG - including the source code, personnel, and patents - and that LG intends to utilize those assets to deliver a webOS-powered smart TV in early 2014. LG has no ambitions or intentions to bring webOS to their mobile space as they're perfectly happy with all of the work they've put into Android over the past few years. To be frank, we would have been more than pleasantly surprised to see anybody take up the mantle of mobile webOS development.
And so, the final chapter of mobile webOS began to draw to a close. There's always the work that the fine folks at WebOS Ports are doing bringing Open webOS to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Asus Nexus 7, but as we've been saying since the full release of Open webOS 1.0 back in September, the open source release is missing a lot in the way of deep features. While Open webOS Professional Edition was supposed to fix that, at this point the only point we can expect to see Professional Edition is in January 2014 when it's running in some form on an LG television at CES.
The team at Palm and HP needed hundreds more working to bring webOS up-to-snuff feature-for-feature with the competition. It's simply wishful thinking to expect that WebOS Ports of any other webOS homebrew project will be able to produce a fully workable port of Open webOS that any sane person would be willing to use as their primary smartphone or tablet.
Moreso than HP abandoning webOS for Android, this purchase of all webOS assets by LG represents a significant turning point for this webOS community. Palm and webOS have changed hands so many times it's boggling to think about - in just the past four years, Palm saw a major cash infusion from Elevation Partners, launched a new mobile platform, got bought by HP,launched their first tablet, saw that tablet get brutally canceled, was split in two,shopped around, open sourced, and now sold to Korean electronics giant LG.
With LG offering no relief to those craving new webOS hardware, it's time to consider more seriously that this may very well be the end for webOS as we know it. There's no guarantee that webOS on LG TVs will have multitasking cards or rich notifications or universal search or Synergy data unification or any of the much-lauded features that made webOS the operating system that we can't help but adore. We've been suckers for webOS for over four years now, and that's not about to change. No matter what happens in the coming years, webOS will always occupy a significant portion of our gadget nostalgia.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Samsung Announces The Galaxy Note 8.0

GALAXY Note 8.0_1
Samsung has announced the Galaxy Note 8.0, a device that is expected to “re-ignite the mid-size tablet category.” It sports a 1.6GHz quad-core processor, 8″ (1280×800) display, 5MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 4600mAh battery, HSPA+ radios, and runs Android 4.1.2. It also supports S Pen and all of the multi-tasking software that you have come and love to know on all of the Note products. An IR sensor rounds out the specs, taking advantage of Samsung’s TV remote capabilities.
As you can see from the pictures, Samsung kept to the design language of the Note 2 and Galaxy S3 by sticking with a physical home button, and soft touch back and menu buttons. In what may be the greatest feature of all, though, Samsung has finally allowed the S Pen to interact with the soft menu and back buttons. That’s right, you can now tap on the soft keys with the S Pen and make magic, something you cannot do on any other device including the Note 2.
The international version can technically make phone calls, so yes, you can hold an 8″ tablet up to your ear and look that silly if you so choose to. We don’t know if that functionality will carry over to the U.S. version.
Pricing and availability has not been announced for the U.S., but the device is expected to be available across the rest of the globe in Q2 of this year.

HP Announces Its First Android Tablet, The Slate 7 For $169

hp slate 7
HP just unveiled their first ever Android tablet, the Slate 7. The device carries a 7″ display, has access to Google Play and the rest of Google’s suite of apps, weighs 13 ounces, utilizes Beats Audio, is powered by a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, 3MP rear camera, VGA front camera, runs Android 4.1, and drops in at a ridiculously low price of $169.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Access Your Favorite Apps Quickly With Sidebar

XDA Senior Member Mohammad_Adib, the same developer who gave us Floating Stickies, recently introduced his app Sidebar in the XDA forums. The app consists of a minimizable sidebar docked to the left of the screen, and simply displays shortcuts to user-defined apps. Now you may ask, how is this any different to Swapps? First of all, Sidebar’s user interface is a lot less cluttered and complicated. Sidebar does not display all apps installed on your Android phone by default, and they aren't further organized into different categories, but rather only display apps you choose to have. It can also be said that Sidebar has a more aesthetically appealing design, with an opaque dock displaying enlarged icons of apps and has the novelty of simple and pleasant touch animations.
Sidebar is a well designed, well polished app with a simple, yet practical function allowing users to quickly access their important and favorite apps quickly and conveniently. With an active and committed developer and working with Android versions 2.1 and higher.

Google Voice Widget For DashClock

Released this morning, we have an app called “Google Voice for DashClock” that does nothing more than display your last received message and number of unread new messages. You can also tap on items in DashClock to open the app. It’s incredibly simple.

- Displays new message counts (minimized view)
- Displays last received message (expanded view)
- Updates instantly when new notification arrives
- Tap to launch official Google Voice app
This extension requires the DashClock Widget: and the official Google Voice app: from Google to work properly.
Q. Why is it not showing anything on the widget?
A. Make sure the accessibility service for this extension is enabled under Settings -> Accessibility
Q. It doesn't show my existing unread messages!
A. This extension does not have access to notifications received before it is set up. Any new notifications after it is set up should be captured properly.
Q. Is my personal data safe?
A. No personal data is captured and transmitted for any purposes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Google I/O Registration Starts On March 13

Google announced Friday afternoon that it would accept registrations for Google I/O 2013 starting on March 13. Get your browsers ready and your click finger warmed up early that morning as registration starts at 7:00 AM PDT. Ticket prices will be $900 for general attendees and $300 for academic attendees.
The registration process requires you to have a Google+ and a Google Wallet account so make sure you have those accounts setup well in advance. These tickets are going to fly out the door quickly, and you will lose out if you are fumbling to setup your accounts.
Google I/O will be held on May 15-17, 2013. Anyone planning on going to the developer conference?

Source: Google

Android 4.2.1 Leaks For The Galaxy S3

galaxy s3 update

The first TouchWiz version of Android 4.2 has leaked today over at SamMobile for the Galaxy S3, giving us a look at how Samsung plans to incorporate the new features that came in the newest version of Jelly Bean. At first glance, it’s most definitely still TouchWiz as you know, but Samsung did manage to sneak in all of the goodies you’ve come to know. 

The first thing we noticed was lock screen widgets, which take on a similar UI to stock Android. A swipe from the right gets you directly into the camera – a swipe from the left gets you into the rest of your widgets.
In the notification area, we see the second page of toggles, though Samsung has skinned it and also added mode options than Google ever imagined when it created this page.
There are also supposed to be new voice controls for completing actions on your phone, Daydream, more actionable notifications, a better ripple effect, and more.

Source: SamMobile

Thursday, February 21, 2013

CloudOn Brings Microsoft Office To Your Android Tablet And Smartphone


CloudOn brings Microsoft Office® to your Android Tablet and Phone and links it to your Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts.

If that isn’t enough, the built-in Adobe Reader and File Viewer lets you open and view virtually any file type, including PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.
And, because we know your work isn’t always just for you, you can easily email files to your contacts directly from the workspace.
CloudOn provides you the files you want and the applications you need in a single workspace – made for the device you love.
The CloudOn Workspace allows you to:
• Use Microsoft Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint® on your Android Tablet and Phone to create, review and edit documents.
• Rename, delete and manage documents with your Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive accounts.
• View virtually any type of file, including: PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, etc.
• Share files as links or attachments via email directly from the workspace.
• Display, edit or create charts, change formatting, spell check, insert comments, etc into any Word, Excel or PowerPoint files.
• Use the FileSpace to see a log of all the activity on file including edits, notifications and notes.
• Track changes while reviewing Word documents.
• Use pivot tables and insert formulas in Excel workbooks.
• Display and edit transitions in PowerPoint slides and present in full presentation mode.
• Open files directly from your device email accounts as well as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive.
• Automatically save documents to avoid losing changes.

Apple Patent Reveals iWatch

AppleInsider caught on to a patent application submitted by Apple for a wristwatch of sorts that would seemingly have a flexible touchscreen display, adding fuel to the already fairly strong rumors of an upcoming Apple iWatch device.
Apple has a few different designs in mind for the watch. One is typical slap bracelet that can be quickly and easily wrapped around a wrist to comfortably take the shape of the person wearing it. The flexible touchscreen display would be embedded in the bracelet for added conformity. The other frames the display on top of the bracelet.
The application for a “Bi-stable spring with flexible display” was first submitted in August 2011, which is interestingly somewhat around the time when the a lot of watch accessories for the square sixth-generation iPod nano were churning out. This watch, however, would connect to a separate device via Bluetooth or WiFi to display notifications and other information.

Source: AppleInsider

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Now Available

Canonical has launched a developer preview of the new mobile OS. Designed to play nice with Android development phones, the Linux-based Ubuntu Touch features support for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. But if you are thinking about moving to the operating system as a daily driver, take note of the “developer preview” tag.

As the build is being released with development for the platform in mind, it does not support the full range of functions  you would get from a fully-baked smartphone experience. The software is described as “very new and unfinished.”

Hit the source link for details and install instructions. 

Source: Ubuntu

Google Chromebook Pixel Gets Official

Google Chromebook Pixel Release Date
The new Google Chromebook Pixel has just been put up on the Play Store for purchase. They have two versions available. One is Wi-Fi only with 32GB of storage, the other is Wi-F, LTE and has 64GB of storage.

Google Chromebook Pixel Specs
  • 12.85″ display with a 3:2 aspect ratio
  • 2560 x 1700, at 239 PPI
  • 178° extra-wide viewing angle
  • Gorilla® Glass multi-touch screen
  • Intel® Core™ i5 Processor (Dual Core 1.8GHz)
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (Integrated)
  • 4 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32 or 64 GB Solid State Drive
Battery Life
  • Up to 5 hours of active use (59 Wh battery)
The battery life isn’t stellar, but looking at what the Pixel offers and does, one wouldn’t expect it to be that incredible anyways. As if those small little bits of tech specs aren’t enough, the Pixel also has a backlit keyboard, fully clickable etched-glass trackpad and an HD webcam.
The 32 GB Wi-Fi only version sells for $1299.00. That price does come with a few little perks though. Google also is giving you 1 TB of Google Drive storage for 3 years. They are also giving you 12 free GoGo inflight Wi-Fi access.
The 64 GB model with LTE inside retails at $1449.00. All the same specs, it just has LTE and more internal memory. You get the same 1 TB Drive and 12 sessions of GoGo Wi-Fi, but you are also giving 2 years of Verizon mobile broadband. Granted it is only 100 MB’s per month, but it is included, just like the CR-48′s had. 

A video of the Chromebook Pixel in action follows below.

Motorola Gives Smartphone Buyers $50 Google Play Gift Card

Android Jelly Bean
Now through March 4th, Motorola will give anyone buying one of their handsets a $50 Google Play gift card.

The deal extends to such devices as the Droid RAZR family (including the RAZR M and RAZR MAXX HD), older devices like the Atrix 2 and Droid 4, as well as lower-end fare such as the Electrify and Defy XT. To receive their gift card, however, new owners must complete a mail-in form at the source link below. 

Source: Motorola

Monday, February 18, 2013

HP Touchpad Gets New CM9 Nightly Build Dated 02/17

While tinkering around to the web today, we came across a new CM 9 nightly dated 2/17 for the aging HP Touchpad. We have found the changelog to state the only changes are FM radio support. Be sure to update us as to the changes you have found in this new CM9 nightly build. Hit the source link below to download it.

Source: Tablet Support Forum 

DashClock Update Includes Extension For Facebook

In a recent update that was released over the weekend, Nurik gave users the ability to control the transparency of the widget when on a home screen, center the clock, and customize the shortcuts for both clock and weather, all of which were highly recommended features.
But on a related note, the flood of extensions for the app from other developers, has kicked into overdrive. As of this posting, we’re seeing extensions for Plume, a popular Twitter app and now Facebook.

Ubuntu Teases Tablet Related Announcement For February 19th

We're only a few days away from the preview image of Ubuntu for phones going live, and a new countdown timer has shown up on the Canonical website. This one isn't as cryptic as the last (which tricked us because we didn't expect the announcement a year before the full release), exclaiming clearly "Tick, tock, tablet time!" So, it looks like Canonical is about to show off tomorrow the work done to make Ubuntu tablet-ready.

Canonical and all of the developers contributing to Ubuntu have been working on making Ubuntu tablet-ready since October. The early work has been done with the Nexus 7 as the reference device, and has focused on optimizing the OS to run on mobile processors, to be more efficient with memory, and more power efficient as well. A lot of these improvements have already found their way into Ubuntu 13.04, which is due in 2 months. The plan is to have Ubuntu be an all-in-one OS from phones to tablets to desktop in time for Ubuntu 14.04, due in April 2014. 

Source: Ubuntu

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paranoid Android 3 (PA3) Released For Nexus Devices

I'm sure by now you've heard of Paranoid Android. There’s also a good chance that if you own the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, or Nexus 10 you’re either running the ROM yourself or you’ve given it a try in the past.

For these unfamiliar, Paranoid Android’s defining characteristic is what they call Hybrid Engine. Contrary to what many believe, this is not “tablet mode” though that is one of many things that can be accomplished using Hybrid Engine. Rather, Hybrid Engine allows you to select both dpi and layout on a per-app basis. Rather than being forced to modify the look of your entire device, you can optimize your applications to what works best for each and every one.

A new and important feature that has come to light in the recent beta builds, and now sees light in the official release of PA3 is the PIE control system. What this allows one to do is to disable onscreen buttons and use a swipe gesture to access various common functions, thereby freeing up valuable screen real estate. The menu can be seen in the header image above, as well as the video below.

Per-app color, another significant feature in PA3 and recent pre-release builds, allows you set system UI colors on a per-app basis. Want a black system bar for your launcher, but a blue one for Facebook? No problem. Have more eccentric choices in mind? That’s fine too.

The most recent addition is screen calibration for the Google Nexus 4. While the vast majority of third-party reviews have praised the device for its screen, build quality, responsiveness, and overall value; some have been quick to point out that the screen seems under-saturated, especially to those coming from  overly saturated S-AMOLED devices. Rather than trying to offer a simple band-aid solution with RGB calibration, PA3 also corrects for the device’s gamma issues to give it the punch the IPS panel deserves. While you’ll be hard-pressed to find  anyone who says that the Nexus 4 screen looks “bad,” the calibration has been met with much praise thus far, and the team only hopes that these changes are incorporated upstream.

Those eager to get started should visit the link below.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
LG Nexus 4
Asus Nexus 7
Samsung Nexus 10

Source: XDA Developers

T-Mobile 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Leaks

Screen Shot 2013-02-16 at 11.07.04 AMwtmk
Today we've gotten a little taste of Magenta-flavored LTE thanks to an image leak of the carrier's upcoming hardware. A shot posted by TmoNews has revealed a press render of T-Mobile's first 4G LTE-capable mobile hotspot, which looks pretty much like one would expect a hotspot to. The device is a black rectangle with rounded corners and a color display for changing options, viewing signal strength and so on, and there's also a set of physical buttons for navigating through the device's menus. We can also see an "8" next to the Wi-Fi symbol on the display, suggesting that this unit may support up to at least 8 simultaneous connections.
As far as availability details go, a recently-leaked T-Mobile roadmap claimed that this 4G LTE mobile hotspot will be launching on March 27. There's no word yet on exactly how much this thing will cost once it hits T-Mo's shelves, but considering that it's a mobile hotspot, it seems unlikely that it'll put too much of a hurt on buyers' wallets. When it comes to the 4G LTE network that this hotspot will run on, it's expected that T-Mobile will officially flip the switch in Las Vegas any day now, with Kansas City coming shortly thereafter.

Source: TmoNews

DashClock Widget For Android

Googler and Android design aficionado Romain Nurik announced earlier this week that his side project, DashClock, is available now on the Google Play store. The premise behind DashClock is simple. DashClock is a widget that beautifully mimics the default digital clock widget in Android 4.2, but includes access to other quick information at a glance.
The other information that can be added is available in the form of extensions in the settings menu. The default extensions cover the weather, missed calls, text messages, unread Gmail messages, calendar appointments and alarms. One of the coolest things about DashClock is that it’s open source, so other developers can write extensions for DashClock. The developers behind Falcon Pro, have already written an extension that works perfectly.
dashclock1 dashclock2

There’s plenty to customize in DashClock which Gmail accounts to display the unread count for, how the clock looks, how the date’s displayed and the widget itself changes the way information’s displayed based on the device you’re using. On the Nexus 4, you can swipe down on DashClock to expand it. On the Nexus 7, it’s auto-expanded.
If you have a device running Android 4.2 or higher,  I can’t wait to see who writes extensions for DashClock in the future. It’s only going to get better. To download DashClock from the Google Play store, for free, use the download widget below.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Check Out The Latest PlayStation Mobile Certified HTC Devices

Back in early October that Sony finally released their long awaited PlayStation Mobile app for a few certified HTC devices the HTC One X, S, and V. But as many of readers pointed out in the announcement post, there were a few notable exceptions curiously left out of the PlayStation party. Today, Sony is fixing that by adding a handful of new One cousins to the mix, adding the HTC One X+, One XL, and EVO 4G LTE to the list of officially certified PlayStation mobile devices.

HTC One (M7) Gets Pictured In Black

Our source has confirmed that the HTC M7 will launch as the HTC One on AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint with 32GB of internal storage, starting at $199.99 with a two year contract. Those looking in need of more storage can opt for the 64GB model which will sell for $299.99. Our source has also confirmed that the HTC One will have metal casing with front-facing stereo speakers. The device will be available in both black and silver/white. Previous images of the HTC One with a black soft-touch casing  were real, but our source claims they were pre-production units which were used during various phases of testing. The final metal design can be previewed in the teaser videos HTC posted with the countdown clock that’s ticking down on

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Will Be Available On Feb 21st

Canonical has announced that the Developer Preview for Ubuntu Touch will be available on Thursday, February 21st, with compatibility for something with a lot more power, namely, the Nexus 4.

For those of us attending Mobile World Congress in just a little over a week, Canonical has assembled teams ready and willing to flash their Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview onto compatible devices. Now that’s what I call service. Of course tools will be made available that will allow regular users like yourself flash the OS onto your device and if you’re already accustomed to flashing custom ROMs, should prove relatively easy.

First official smartphone models to launch with the Ubuntu OS pre-loaded are scheduled to arrive sometime in October of this year. Anyone somewhat interested in Ubuntu’s mobile OS, or do you think it will be dead in the water? Full press release below.

Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu to be published on 21 February 2013

  • Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu for Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 will be available
  • Daily update mechanism to follow progress in Ubuntu
  • Canonical will flash phones at MWC for industry, developers and enthusiasts
  • Preview SDK and App Design Guides already available for developers building touch apps for Ubuntu
  • London, 15th February 2013: Images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on Thursday 21st February, supporting the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones.

They are intended for enthusiasts and developers, to familiarize themselves with Ubuntu’€™s smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets. Tools that manage the flashing of the phone will be available on the same day in the Ubuntu archives, making it easy to keep a device up to date with the latest version of the Touch Developer Preview.

Attendees of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, 25th – 28th February can have their phones flashed to Ubuntu by Canonical team members at the Ubuntu stand, booth number 81D30, App Planet Hall 8.1, where Ubuntu will be shown on a range of devices.

The code release is a milestone in the development program for Ubuntu’€™s phone experience, and enables developers to port the platform to other devices. “€œOur platform supports a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions. Developers who have experience bringing up phone environments will find it relatively easy to port Ubuntu to current handsets”€ said Pat McGowan, who leads the integration effort that produced the images being released. €”We look forward to adding support for additional devices for everyday testing and experimentation.”

The install process and supported device list are maintained at will be updated as new devices are added.

The release also marks the start of a new era for Ubuntu, with true convergence between devices. When complete, the same Ubuntu code will deliver a mobile, tablet, desktop or TV experiences depending on the device it is installed on, or where it is docked. Ubuntu 13.10 (due in October) will include a complete entry-level smartphone experience.

Canonical has published a Preview SDK and App Design Guides to allow developers to create applications for the full range of Ubuntu platforms. The toolkit provides a range of documented templates to enable native applications to be created quickly and easily. The App Design Guides explain how these templates can be used to design and build beautiful and usable apps. Blackberry Touch developers will be familiar with the Qt/QML environment, which supports rich native touch apps. Developers will not need to cross-compile or package applications differently for phone, tablet, PC and TV. One platform serves all four, a single application binary can do the same.

On Ubuntu, native and web or HTML5 applications sit as equal citizens and so those developers already developing HTML5 applications will easily gain support for Ubuntu.

“This release marks the threshold of wider engagement both with industry and community.” says Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu. “€œFor developers, contributors and partners, there is now a coherent experience that warrants attention. The cleanest, most stylish mobile interface around.”

Go to to download Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu from Thursday 21st February.
Go to to download the SDK to develop applications for Ubuntu.
Go to to read the Apps Design Guide giving advice about designing and building beautiful and usable apps for Ubuntu on the phone.
Visit Canonical at Mobile World Congress: Booth Number: 81D30, App Planet Hall 8.1.

Source: Canonical

Opera Acquires Skyfire For $155M

Opera Software announced today that it has acquired Silicon Valley based Skyfire Labs, a leader in mobile video optimization and cloud solutions for mobility.
Skyfire, headquartered in Mountain View, California, is known for its Rocket Optimizer™ software. This allows mobile operators to leverage cloud computing to optimize virtually any video and other multimedia on crowded cell towers, including 3G and 4G LTE networks. Rocket Optimizer on average provides mobile networks a 60 percent boost in capacity by reducing the size of video and other multimedia content as needed to fit the available bandwidth. Skyfire can detect when specific users are facing poor quality of experience or connections that need assistance, and intervene in milliseconds. This can minimize the long start times, re buffering  and stalls on video and audio streams that frustrate mobile users around the world. The approach aligns with the trend toward SDN (software-defined networking) and NFV (network function virtualization) among telecommunications operators, thanks to its elastic and virtualization-friendly cloud architecture.
Skyfire also offers Skyfire Horizon, a mobile browser extension and toolbar platform that allows users to personalize their smartphone browser and operators to gain new monetization opportunities. Skyfire has honed its technology through a variety of top-selling consumer applications, which have more than 20 million worldwide downloads to date.
Skyfire currently counts three large U.S. mobile operators as customers for its Rocket Optimizer and Skyfire Horizon solutions, and is in trials with ten other operators around the world.
“Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators.”
“Opera practically invented cloud compression to improve mobile user experience, and the team at Skyfire is proud to join forces and advance cloud solutions together,” said Jeffrey Glueck, CEO of Skyfire. “Opera’s over 100 carrier relationships, global sales team, and delivery organization can accelerate the global commercialization of Skyfire’s technology. Opera´s Mediaworks advertising unit with AdMarvel, Mobile Theory and 4th Screen Advertising will strengthen Skyfire Horizon by offering mobile operators a complete turnkey solution including ad optimization, ad sales, and rich analytics. The synergies across all the product lines for both companies are tremendous.”
After the deal closes, Glueck will assume the role of EVP of the Operator Business for Opera, as well as CEO of Skyfire, and will oversee the joint offerings for Opera across Opera Mini co-brand solutions for Operators and Skyfire’s product lines. Skyfire will remain an independent entity as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Opera, and will continue to develop and support the Skyfire browser.
The two companies envision a powerful new set of joint products to be released over the coming year by combining their talents and know-how. In particular, they look to expand on Opera’s Web Pass offering, which allows consumers to purchase innovative data plans such as an unlimited ‘day pass’ of popular apps and web sites for an affordable price, thanks to video and data optimization. WebPass can enable new business models for operators, such as toll free data, ad-supported data, and more.
“The market opportunity for video/media optimization solutions geared towards operators and consumers is significant. After a thorough evaluation of this market, we strongly believe Skyfire is the clear leader for the future in this space”, said Erik Harrell, CFO/CSO of Opera.
The acquisition price includes a mix of cash and stock, with an upfront consideration of US$50 million (including US$8 million of cash on the Skyfire balance sheet) and performance based earn-out payments over three years, including US$26 million in cash held in escrow and funded upfront, that can bring the total deal size to $155 million.
The Opera acquisition of Skyfire is expected to close before March 15, 2013.

Source: Opera

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Google Posts Factory Android 4.2.2 Images For Nexus Devices

With the Android 4.2.2 update finally rolling out for most Nexus devices (minus Sprint / VZW Galaxy Nexus), Google has posted factory images of each on the Nexus Factory Image page. These images are useful for flashing your Nexus device back to stock, whether to get an OTA update, or fix that brick you just caused.

These images are for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi and 3G), Nexus 10, and Galaxy Nexus (Yakju / Takju variants). If you want to see what's new in Android 4.2.2, check out our post detailing some of the changes. For a deeper dive, take a look at the developer changelog.

Source: Google Developers

Former Co-CEO Jim Balsillie Now Owns No Part Of BlackBerry

This morning the media is all over the news that former co-CEO of Research In Motion now owns zero stock in the company we now call BlackBerry.  
Here's the official SEC filing indicating that Balsillie now has no stock.  He cleared out all holdings by December 31, 2012.  
This really shouldn't surprise anyone.  I have known Balsillie for many years.  It's not like we had beers together at the local pub or anything, but people who have been around the technology sector on Bay Street in Canada since around the year 2000 have gotten to know Jim's personality pretty well.  He's very competitive, very involved, and very opinionated.  So when he and Mike Lazaridis stepped down from the co-CEO roles, and Jim then stepped down from the board, it was a clear sign he was not staying involved with the company in any way.
It was widely rumored that he had a strategy disagreement with the board.  Knowing Jim's opinionated personality I'm not at all surprised that he sold every share.
Comment below, is this the end of BlackBerry and Balsillie knows? Is this in retaliation to being booted from his co-CEO role at BlackBerry? Let us know what you think....

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III Receiving OTA Update

Android Central

Samsung Galaxy S III on Sprint is receiving a relatively large 157MB OTA update on their devices. That this is a Samsung software update and not a regular firmware update. Sprint's support pages indicate that the update to software version L710VPMA6 brings updates to the voicemail app, adds SMS features and fixes calendar sync issues. Users have also reported that it fixes a security exploit.

Source: Sprint

BlackBerry Pushing BlackBerry PlayBook OS To Devices

BlackBerry PlayBook Software version brings a re-branding of BlackBerry App World to BlackBerry World, allows for SMS chat through BlackBerry Bridge, and also adds improvement to the browser while boosting the volume on the slate. It also adds support for in-app payments, which should make developers happy. For those who care about such matters, the update is 132MB.

Source: CrackBerry

Google Now Gets Updated, Take That Siri

Google Search for Jelly Bean was updated on Wednesday, and it brings quite a few features along with it. Among the changes, users can put a Google Now widget straight on their home and lock screens, giving them much quicker access to their most important cards.

We figured something like this was incoming, but didn’t expect it to arrive so quickly. In addition to merely adding a widget, the update also includes movie ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and integration with Fandango similar to Passbook on iOS. When you purchase a ticket through Fandango, Google Now will provide a QR code for your ticket and will even tell users when to leave for their movie one of the best things about Google Now.

There are a ton of other small updates within the app, boosting Google Now’s humongous bragging rights as one of the premier mobile features in Android. With Key Lime Pie likely coming in May, we can’t wait to see what else Google introduces.

HP To Adopt Android For Upcoming Mobile Devices

Hewlett-Packard will now reportedly look towards Android to power its next-generation of mobile devices. Sources speaking to ReadWrite claim that the company is planning to release a high-end tablet that will be equipped with NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 processor and powered by Google’s mobile operating system. It was also reported that HP may launch an Android-powered smartphone, however earlier comments from CEO Meg Whitman indicated that a new handset won’t be released in 2013. The news of HP’s migration to Android comes shortly after the company launched a new computer based on Google’s Chrome OS. HP’s high-end Android tablet will reportedly be announced soon.

Source: ReadWrite

Monday, February 11, 2013

Apple Releases 6.1.1 Software Update For iPhone 4S

Apple has released an update to iOS 6.1, hopefully fixing the connectivity problems that have stopped users from sending text messages or going online. Version 6.1.1 has showed up for us as an OTA update; its change log indicates it "fixes an issue that could impact cellular performance and reliability for iPhone 4S." iOS 6.1, released in late January, added wider LTE compatibility for some devices and improved features like Siri and iTunes Match, but it caused intermittent network connection problems.

Nexus 4 Wireless Charging Orb Now Available

We’ve been waiting for the wireless charging orb for the Nexus 4 to hit the Google Play Store, today is your lucky day. Google has finally listed the accessory in the Google Play Store, and you can walk away with it for just $60. With it, you’ll be able to prop your Nexus 4 up in horizontal or vertical orientation and have your device charge just as effectively as it would via USB.

There’s not much else to the thing aside from its ability to charge your phone and make it look good at the same time, but the convenience of being able to plop your phone down without having to fiddle around with flimsy USB connections is a treat.

How To Enable USB Debugging Mode On Android 4.2 Jelly Bean And Higher

USB debugging mode is really intended only for developers and people who don’t know what they are doing may accidentally enable it and put their device at risk. This is why starting in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google has hidden the ability to enable USB debugging mode. If you want to know how to enable USB debugging mode in Android 4.2 and higher, this guide will show you exactly how to do that.

To see the option for USB debugging mode in Android 4.2 or higher, do the following:

Open up your device’s “Settings”. This can be done by pressing the Menu button while on your home screen and tapping “System settings”

Now scroll to the bottom and tap “About phone” or “About tablet”.

At the “About” screen, scroll to the bottom and tap on “Build number” seven times.

Make sure you tap seven times. If you see a “You are now a developer!” message pop up, then you know you have done it correctly.

Done! By tapping on “Build number” seven times, you have unlocked USB debugging mode on Android 4.2 and higher. 

You can now enable/disable it whenever you desire by going to “Settings” -> “Developer Options” -> “Debugging” ->” USB debugging”.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

iOS 6.1 Untethered Jailbreak Now Available

The iOS 6/6.1 jailbreak was just released by the Evad3rs team. We already knew it was coming, yesterday morning for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch this program was released. It looks like they met that promise, because you can now download the untethered jailbreak tool. It’s called “evasi0n,” specifically, and can be applied through Linux, OS X or a Windows-based machine (XP or higher).

Source: evasi0n

Android 4.2.2 Reportedly Rolling Out In “Next Couple Weeks”

Google will begin pushing Android 4.2.2 to the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10 in the next “couple weeks,” International Business Times reported recently. The news outlet didn't have much to say about what’s included in the release other than there are several bug fixes related to Bluetooth streaming, and performance enhancements.
This won’t be as big of an update as Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, which will likely make its debut during the Google I/O developer conference in May, but it shows Google’s constantly tweaking its operating system releases to make them as efficient as possible. We’re curious at this point if existing Jelly Bean devices will ever see Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean of if owners will simply have to wait for Key Lime Pie if they ever get another update at all.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Carbon For Android (Better Known For There webOS Twitter App) Now Available

Carbon for Twitter

After more than a year in the works and a couple of false starts, Carbon for Android the Twitter app is finally available on Google Play. Everything we showed you a week ago in our exclusive preview still stands. The scrolling is the gold standard for any other application. The animations are as subtle as they are impressive. And the overall design and feel is among the best we've seen in a Twitter app. And the keyword and hashtag filters can help clean up your timeline in a way usually reserved for desktop Twitter clients. This initial release is just for phones, but rest assured a tablet version is on the way.

Source: Google Play Store

AOSP Updated To Revision 1.2, Build JOP40G

The AOSP has been tagged as 4.2.1 r1.2, and the small change log lists a few interesting bug fixes. Version JOP40G will have some power management fixes as well as a tweak to the way an EXT4 partition handles file creation. These fixes are not device specific, so they will affect the Nexus 10Nexus 7, and Nexus 4. We imagine the Galaxy Nexus will also see the benefits of this build.
In a nutshell some folks had issues where their device would shut off when removed from the charger, and these changes should address those. No word on when to expect an update, or if one is planned for this tag. There's plenty of bugs to squash in 4.2.1, and like we have seen with every other build of AOSP these things take a little time.

Source: AOSP