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Samsung Exynos 5410 could get software update to become true octa-core chip

We already know that the Samsung Exynos 5410 chip is not a true octa-core chip. With the big.LITTLE technology, two sets of 4 cores are utilized with one set active at a time. Just the other day, we told you howSamsung had used Heterogeneous Multi-Processing Capability (HMP) to turn its Exynos 5 line into true octa-core processors able to use all eight cores at a single time.

The interesting news this morning is that HMP can be added to the Samsung Exynos 5410, already used in the GT-i9500 version of the Samsung Galaxy S4, via a software update. That is potentially electrifying news for those with the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 as well as for those with the international model of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Meizu MX3 using the Samsung Exynos 5420.. 

Meizu has already announced that the Meizu MX3 will be getting an HMP update later this year to convert the Exynos silicon in that flagship model into a true octa-core. And yes, Samsung could do the same to its devices sporting an Exynos 5. The bottom line could be a more powerful and efficient device that can transform the inner workings of your handset thanks to a mere software update.

source: Meizu (translated), gizChina via UnwiredView

Nokia outs colorful portable and wireless chargers for a cool price

Nokia just outed a pair of cool accessories for your mobile devices - a wireless charger dubbed DT-601 and a portable one titled DC-19. Both come in a variety of flashy colors to suit your handset, and both cost EUR 29, a pretty good deal as these things go.

The DT-601 wireless charger resembles a colorful hockey puck, and is about as large. Sporting a 5 feet USB-A cable, it can plug into any wall charger, then you can just place your Qi-enabled phone on it to charge without plugging it in.

The more interesting offer is a tiny cylindrical DC-19 portable charger not only because of the 3200 mAh battery, LED notification lights and cool colors, but also because of the very decent pricing, making it a good alternative of a spare battery for unibody devices with sealed battery compartments. 

Both DT-601 and, DC-19 will be available in the Asia/Pacific region this month, and will roll out to Europe and the Americas in time for the holidays, hopefully translated to a $29 price by the time they hit the US, as these things usually pan out.

Exynos 5420 Octa shown utilizing all of its eight cores simultaneously

Samsung's in-house foray into the semiconductor's industry in the form of its Exynos SoCs has, undeniably, managed to etch a spot for itself. But though we see it in some high end, modern devices, there are those of us who have been pondering whether Samsung's sheer size has played an integral role in its continued survival, more so than its own merits. And while those sure are abundant, an overarching concern has been on the agenda for the past year as far as the last two models of the SoC are concerned. Namely, while ARM's big.LITTLE platform sounds great on paper, the Exynos 5410 and 5420 have been unable to take advantage of all eight Cortex cores simultaneously.

Until the other day, when Samsung announced that the Exynos 5420 Octa will finally support Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP), or said otherwise – it will finally allow the chipset to take advantage of all eight cores' computing muscle at the same time.

Deciding to visually showcase what HMP means, ARM, on whose platform the Exynos is based, has released a trio of short clips exemplifying the behavior of the chipset under several real world scenarios, and has also demoed the usefulness of GPU Compute. As you're about to witness for yourself, the four smaller, Cortex-A7 cores are capable enough to handle most of the typical tasks a user goes through on his smartphone, but they will be now backed by the other four, more powerful Cortex-A15 cores whenever 'typical' just doesn't cut it.

via: AnandTech

Take a peek inside Motorola's Moto X US assembly facility

You might be thinking that in comparison with the initial hype that surrounded the Moto X, the post-release reality paints quite a different picture – it feels like the buzz around Motorola's return into the smartphone market has largely flat-lined. Even if so, it doesn't seem like the US manufacturer has that much to worry about, as far as the Moto X is concerned: it's shipping over 100,000 units a week.

But shipments volume is only part of the story that Motorola is proud to tell and retell to anybody who is willing to listen – the Moto X is currently the only branded smartphone to be assembled in the States. Based in Texas' Fort Worth, Motorola's manufacturing facility has created more than 2,000 jobs, and CEO Dennis Woodside says the company will continue to hire. Speaking of Fort Worth and Motorola's pride in it, it sure pays the company to have Google as a partner, for the very same facility has been mapped out and is now available through Google's Street View module – you can literally step onto the manufacturing floor where the Moto X is being assembled. Whether this particular use of the tech behind StreetView tops Google's other, perhaps more eccentric adventures is your call, but we definitely like seeing Mountain View getting creative with it.

So make sure you head right for the source in order to get a peek.

New video shows Apple iPad 5 and Apple iPad mini 2 casings

We don't expect Apple to introduce the Apple iPad 5 or the Apple iPad mini 2 next week at its press event. No, the September 10th event is all about the Apple iPhone 5S and the Apple iPhone 5C. But sometime next month, Apple will take the wrapping off the Apple iPad 5 and the Apple iPad mini 2. A video posted on YouTube Friday showed off the shells of the two upcoming tablets.

The Apple iPad 5 shell has been leaked before, so there is nothing unexpected about the thinner, smaller form factor when compared to its predecessor. In addition, a lot of the design cues obviously came from the Apple iPad mini. And check out the thinner bezels on the iPad 5.

As far as the difference between the Apple iPad mini and the Apple iPad mini 2, the one and only change involves the Apple logo. On the OG iPad mini, the Apple logo was polished into the block of aluminum while the logo on the new model is chrome and is inserted through a cut-out on the back of the shell. Other than that, there seems to be no design changes at all between the two generations of iPad mini slates.  

You can check out the latest video to show off leaked Apple iPad shells by clicking on the video below.

Thanks, Anonymous Tipster

source: YouTube 

Kit Kat contest up and running, win one of a 1000 Google Nexus 7 (2013) slates being given away

UPDATE: To enter the contest with no purchase, you can request a free game code by sending a 3”x5” card with your full name, address, city, state, zip code, date of birth and email address to: Android / KIT KAT® Instant Win Game Code Request, P.O. Box 760023, El Paso, TX 88576-0023. Game Code requests must be postmarked by January 31, 2014 and received by February 7, 2014. Game Codes will be emailed to the email address listed in the request. Limit one (1) free Game Code per request per separate postmarked outer envelope.

Besides being a tasty snack, Kit Kat is now a new Android build, 4.4 to be precise. And to kick off the new partnership between Kit Kat and Android, a new contest is being run with 1000 lucky winners scheduled to win a Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet. 150,000 winners will get a $5 Google Play Store Credit. 20,000 will get a free bag of Kit Kat Minis. As far as we know, there is no plan to give out any Kit Kat Max bars (just a joke).

The contest is actually being run by Hershey and requires you to look, as they say on television, for specially marked packages of Kit Kat with the Android mascot on the wrapper. Find the special code inside the wrapper and enter it at the special Kit Kat-Google web site found at the sourcelink. And while you're running through all of those Kit Kats looking to win the tablet, keep in mind this saying: eating too many Kit Kats looking for the free slab, can leave your body all full of flab.

source: Hershey via Phandroid

Flipboard is coming soon to "select" BlackBerry 10 devices

This is a bit of a weird story, because the wording of it all just doesn't make much sense. According to Flipboard, the popular magazine-style news aggregation app is "coming to select 10.2 OS Blackberry phones soon." Now, maybe it was just an issue with the character limit on Twitter, but there are only two BlackBerry 10 devices in existence, so why not just say that the app is "coming soon to the BlackBerry Z10"?

If we had to guess which of the two BlackBerry 10 devices would be "selected" for the Flipboard app, we'd assume that it is the full touchscreen Z10, rather than the QWERTY Q10, but for some reason Flipboard felt that it needed a bit more mystery, it seems. Flipboard had released an app into the BlackBerry World earlier today, but that app was a simple port of the Android version, and was quickly pulled from the store. 

Flipboard then took to Twitter to say, "Flipboard will be coming to select 10.2 OS Blackberry phones soon. Stay tuned for the launch of Flipboard on Blackberry." We hope that means when the app is re-released it will be a native BlackBerry app, but we'll just have to wait and see.

source: @FlipboardCM via MobileSyrup

BlackBerry Messenger for iOS was submitted two weeks ago, now awaiting approval

We have been patiently awaiting the release of BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS. BlackBerry has said that the app would launch in the summer, and since there are just over two weeks left in summer, that means the app should be hitting soon. Now, we finally have official word from BlackBerry itself about the app and the release plans.

It seems that BlackBerry submitted the BBM app to Apple two weeks ago, and it is currently waiting on approval before going live in the App Store. There's no way of knowing exactly when that will happen, but it could be any day now. And, given that there is no approval process for submission to Google Play, it would be reasonable to assume that once the app goes live in Apple's App Store, BlackBerry will add it to Google Play so the app launches on the same day for both platforms.

BBM for Android has been in beta for a while now, so we would hope that any bugs have been squashed. From the various leaks, we do know that the app looks pretty solid, the only features that will be missing at launch will be BBM Voice, BBM Video and screen sharing, which are planned to be added in the fall.

source: @AlexKinsella via MacRumors

Nokia Lumia 1020 price cut to $200

The Nokia Lumia 1020 is the top-level Lumia and Windows Phone handset with a 41MP PureView camera on back. Priced at $299.99 on contract, the handset cost more than many high-end Android models and the Apple iPhone 5. As competitive as the smartphone market is, the $100 difference between the Nokia Lumia 1020 and, say, the Samsung Galaxy S4, might feel like the Atlantic Ocean. As a result, Finnish manufacturer Nokia has cut the price of the Lumia 1020 to $200 to match the iPhone and Android models. 

But Nokia is also throwing in a free camera grip. This is a $79 value, but also offers a two-step shutter button that makes it easier to focus. In addition, the camera grip is embedded with a 1020mAh battery to help extend the battery life of the phone by about 50%. The grip also makes the phone feel more like a camera when you're taking pictures with it attached.

If you've been giving deep thought to picking up the Nokia Lumia 1020, now's the time. The price cut, by the way, is permanent. This should help the Nokia Lumia 1020 better compete in the camera-centric niche of the smartphone market that includes models like the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom, the just announced Sony Xperia Z1 and the upcoming Oppo N1.

source: GigaOm

Apple and the world's largest carrier, China Mobile, have reached a deal over iPhone 5C

There have been rumors surrounding Apple's expansion in China, and it seems like everything is falling into place for the Cupertino gang. Apple has been negotiating a deal for China's (and the world's) largest carrier, China Mobile, to start carrying the iPhone. Recently, we heard that Apple was planning a separate announcement in China just after the iPhone event in San Francisco, and now the word is that Apple and China Mobile have likely come to an agreement. 

There is still no official confirmation, and there likely won't be any until Apple makes its announcement, but sources for The Wall Street Journalare saying that Apple is preparing to ship batches of the iPhone 5C to China Mobile, which would certainly indicate that a deal has been struck. Apple has had deals in place with China Unicom and China Telecom, but combined those two carriers have about half (~350 million) as many subscribers as China Mobile (~700 million).

China is Apple's third largest market after Europe and the U.S., but sales there have been slipping. A deal with what is by far the largest mobile carrier in the region will definitely help Apple to raise its standing there. 

source: WSJ

Ubuntu Touch adds over-the-air system updates

Everything is progressing on schedule for Ubuntu 13.10, which had its first beta release yesterday, and will be launching as a final version on October 17th. This is important because Ubuntu Touch is Ubuntu 13.10. So, when 13.10 is final, so is Ubuntu Touch, and the software will be able to start the second leg of the journey which is for hardware manufacturers to put it into devices.

Ubuntu Touch adds over-the-air system updates
That means that Canonical is in the polishing stages right now. Last time, we saw that the team had added a walkthrough tour of the gesture navigation in the platform to help out new users, and today Ubuntu Touch can now handle over-the-air system updates. The options still need a bit more work, because right now there's no progress bar to let you see the status of the download and installation, but the team says that it is working. 

Canonical has worked hard to make the software able to run easily on devices currently running Android, although the only officially supported devices are the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10. The community has added support for about 50 other Android devices. Once the team finishes work on Ubuntu 13.10 (Saucy Salamander), it will begin work on Ubuntu 14.04, which will finish up the work to add tablet support and dock support. 

Often rumored Amazon Smartphone may be free off-contract

We've been hearing rumors about an Amazon smartphone for a long time now, but we have yet to hear any official word about a device, or even see a viable leak that would make us believe the device is anything but vaporware. Of course, a new report is saying once again that the Amazon smartphone not only exists, but that Amazon wants it to be free.

And, we're not talking about free on contract; we mean free off-contract. The report comes from former Wall Street Journal journalists Amir Efrati and Jessica E. Lessin, who say that Amazon's plan is to offer the phone for free, although it's unclear if the plan would require a user have an Amazon Prime subscription or not. But, there's no guarantee that Amazon will even be able to pull off this plan. 

Word is that Amazon has been talking to carriers, but would more likely end up selling the smartphone directly through its site. The plan to essentially give the phone away for free would also be dependent on deals that Amazon would make with whatever hardware company helps to manufacture the device. Amazon would obviously be looking to undercut the competition as a way to draw users to its own ecosystem, since it controls its own Appstore and content stores.

The last time we heard about the Amazon smartphone it was an incredibly odd rumor reported through Wall Street Journal which said the company was planning two different smartphones, and that one of them would have a 3D display. We're really hoping that plan has been scrapped, since the 3D fad is essentially over. 

Customers already lining up for iPhone 5S, obviously have no jobs, sense of time

If you follow the news at all - and we're not even talking about the tech media specifically, because mainstream media jumps on Apple news in an alarmingly lopsided way - if you follow the news at all, you will have heard by now that Apple is going to hold an event this coming Tuesday September 10th, and that event is more than likely going to be to announce the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. There is a fair chance that you will have also heard that the devices will probably be released for sale around September 20th or so. 

Customers already lining up for iPhone 5S, obviously have no jobs, sense of time
If you are someone who would be willing to line up to purchase one of the very first iPhones released, we would also assume that you would be someone who paid attention to the news, and you are likely someone who would follow tech media for more granular info on the product that you obviously love. So, how on Earth are there people already lining up at the 5th Ave Apple Store in order to purchase a new iPhone 5S?

It would make sense if there were even a slight chance that Apple was planning to launch the devices right after the announcement on Tuesday (something Apple has never done with the iPhone), because that would only have you camping out for four nights, and (assuming you had a job) you would only miss two and a half days at most. But, as noted, Apple never releases devices right away, which would mean these people are either going to be gone by Tuesday evening, or they are going to be camping out for two weeks. Two weeks to camp out for a device that is more than likely not going to sell out, unless Apple is purposefully making a limited supply of the champagne color, but that's not something we've heard. 

Oh yeah, the news is that people have already started lining up for at the 5th Ave Apple Store. Maybe that's burying the lead a bit. 

source: MacRumors

Analyst says a 5-inch iPhone would be more for China than the U.S.

It has widely been assumed that Apple is looking into larger iPhone display sizes, and yesterday we heard from The Wall Street Journal that Apple is specifically testing device sizes ranging from 4.8-inches all the way up to 6-inches. The idea that there will be a larger iPhone isn't being disputed, but there is still a conversation as to what Apple's motivation would be in releasing a larger device.

The general consensus is that Apple needs to combat Samsung, which has been dominating the larger phone sizes with the Galaxy S III (4.8-inches), Galaxy S4 (5-inches), and Galaxy Note II (5.5-inches.) But, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White says that Apple has been working on a larger iPhone since last year, and that Apple is aiming for a 5-inch display not so much to battle Samsung, but instead to make more of a dent in the Chinese and Asian markets. 

Devices of 5-inches and larger are more common in China and Asia, apparently because they are both a fashion statement, and because users would rather have one device that can cover multiple uses rather than multiple devices. Whatever the reasoning, a larger iPhone will not be part of next week's announcement, so we have to wait until next year to get the answers. 

source: VentureBeat

PayPal updates app, adds new features

PayPal has updated its iOS and Android apps adding a whole new list of features. You can now use the PayPal app to pay at participating stores, restaurants or even when on the phone, ordering ahead for meals. For certain eateries, you can see a full menu pop up on your phone, allowing you to order in advance from your phone. Then, when you get to the restaurant, you can skip the lines and quickly pick up your already paid for meal. 1000 units currently are signed on to the feature, and more restaurants are being added.

PayPal now has a page that shows special local deals that are available, similar to Groupon. And when you are checking out, you can switch between debit cards and credit cards that you've stored on PayPal wallet. Adding new cards is as easy as snapping a picture of the credit card you want to put in your PayPal wallet.

Keep track of your PayPal balance and transfer money in and out of your PayPal account, even if the the other side to a transaction isn't even a member. To do that, merely send the other person a message using an email address or mobile phone number, with the dollar amount you are sending or requesting. Also, you can now finance a PayPal purchase by using the Bill Me Later option, offered inside the app.

If you already have the PayPal app on your phone, you should have been notified about the update. Otherwise, it is a free download from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

source: PayPal (iOS|Android) via AndroidCentral

Galaxy Note 3, new Note 10.1 and the Gear smartwatch release date in the U.S. scheduled for early October

The rest of the world might be getting the Galaxy Note 3, the new Note 10.1 and the Gear smartwatch as soon as September 25th, but US carriers won't be far behind this time.

They will be announcing the availability of the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3 individually, and AT&T already pulled the trigger, saying it will carry it next month at $299.99 on a two-year contract, with the first orders shipping around October 1st. Verizon is also putting it up for preorder today at 9am, and T-Mobile listed availability for October 2nd.

The same goes for the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, and AT&T even said it will carry the Gear smartwatch thingy "in the coming weeks," a pretty unusual commitment given that this has no cellular modem inside.

In any case, it's just a few more weeks before we get the new gadgets Samsung announced the other day, and they are coming on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular just in time for the holiday shopping rush.

A drop in Galaxy S4 sales causes Samsung to plan a strategic conference with investors

Samsung is a very big company that has an extremely diverse product line including TVs, appliances, and of course mobile products. But, for all of that diversity, Samsung still gets about two-thirds of its profits from mobile devices. So, when Galaxy S4 sales dropped recently, it worried investors and analysts enough that Samsung has planned a strategic conference to talk about the future plans of the company.

Apparently, Samsung's mobile profits have dropped around 13% over the past three months, and that has investors getting a bit antsy. The thinking is that the high-end smartphone market, where Samsung has been pulling in the majority of its profits, has been saturated. The low-end market, especially in emerging markets is where the big growth opportunities are for smartphones, but it is also a more difficult segment from which to generate profits. 

With that in mind, Samsung is planning a strategic conference with about 400 investors and analysts in Seoul on November 6 to talk about its longer-term growth strategy. A Samsung executive said about the conference, "It's been a while since we last communicated our longer-term business plan, and this year's event is largely aimed at discussing our latest strategy and vision for 2020." 

source: Reuters

NTT DoCoMo to offer the Apple iPhone to Japanese users

Japan has a fairly low penetration of smartphones with only about 25% of the population having upgraded to a smartphone, but even so Apple has been doing well in the country. The iPhone was the best selling device in Japan in 2012; and, the success Apple has had has come with the iPhone not even being offered by Japan's largest mobile carrier: NTT DoCoMo.

But, a new report says that is all about to change. According to sources at the Nikkei, Japan’s major stock exchange, part of Apple's announcement set for this coming Tuesday, September 10th will be that the iPhone is going to be sold by NTT DoCoMo. DoCoMo is by far the largest mobile carrier in Japan with approximately 60 million subscribers. The Apple iPhone has been offered through other Japanese carriers like au (~38 million subscribers) and SoftBank (~33 million), but this will be the first time the device is sold through DoCoMo. 

Apple has been making a push in Asia recently. Word has it that Apple has also reached a deal with China's largest mobile carrier, and is planning a special event which would take place soon after next week's event in San Francisco. 

source: Reuters

The average global smartphone user has downloaded 26 apps

Those of us here at PointMaza love our mobile devices, and because of that we tend to download inordinate amounts of apps, just to play around with them and see what cool new stuff is out there. Not surprisingly, we are not good representatives of the general public. While some of us around here have downloaded (according to Google Play) about 445 apps, the average smartphone user downloads far fewer than that.

According to Google's Our Mobile Planet data, the average global smartphone user downloads just 26 apps, a bit over 20 free apps, and a bit over 5 paid apps each. Of course, depending on where you live, your region will likely have different numbers. South Korea, unsurprisingly, comes in number one on the list with the average smartphone user there downloading about 40 app, although South Korea is also the least likely of the top countries to go for paid apps as 37 of the average 40 downloads are free apps.

Users in Japan are far more likely to download paid apps with an average of 17.5 paid app downloads per smartphone user, and a bit over 36 app total for Japanese users. And, in the U.S. smartphone users download just under 33 apps each, with a bit over 25 of those being free apps. 

How do you compare with the world? Let us know below. 

The average global smartphone user has downloaded 26 apps

source: Our Mobile Planet via Mashable

Apple responds to reports claiming long working hours and low pay at Apple iPhone 5C factory

A recent report about working conditions at a Chinese factory where the Apple iPhone 5C is produced, reflects poorly on the Cupertino based tech giant.  According to the report from China Labor Watch, the group in the country that stands up for worker's rights, those assembling the Apple iPhone 5C are working on their feet 11.5 hours a day. The watchdog agency has a laundry list of problems at a plant in Wuxi, China that is owned by U.S. tech corporation Jabil Circuits.

Other infractions include a discrimination against hiring those in the 18-35 year old bracket and against those wearing a tattoo. Training is only two hours with very little information on safety issues, leading workers to wear safety equipment incorrectly. Workers are forced to be on the line for 11 hours of unpaid overtime monthly. And in order to meet high production quotas for the Apple iPhone 5C, Jabil's own Standard Operating Procedures are ignored and overlooked. The workers, who make $245 monthly, are living in dirty, crowded dorm rooms according to the report. If you want to read the entire list of infractions, click on the sourcelink.

"Employees at Jabil are among the 1 million workers in Apple's supply chain whose working hours we track each week and report on our website. Year to date, Jabil Wuxi has performed above our 92% average for compliance with Apple's 60-hour per week limit. An audit completed earlier this year did find that some employees had worked more than six consecutive days without a day of rest, and Jabil has been working with our team to better manage overtime...We are proud of the work we do with our suppliers to improve conditions for workers. Our program goes far beyond monitoring by ensuring corrective actions where they are needed and aggressively enforcing our supplier code of conduct wherever Apple products are made. We believe in transparency and accountability, both for our suppliers and ourselves."-Apple

Apple has responded to the charges by stating that it has audited the plant 14 times since 2008, 3 times in the last 3 years, and has found the factory to be largely compliant with Apple's standards. Apple's own web site includes a chart showing its supplier's compliance with a 60 hour work week. As of June, Apple's suppliers were averaging a 99% compliance rate.

As of June, Apple's suppliers averaged a 99% compliance rate for a 60 hour work week
As of June, Apple's suppliers averaged a 99% compliance rate for a 60 hour work week

source: ChinaLaborWatch.org via BusinessInsider

Google confirms that Chrome Apps will eventually come to mobile

Earlier today, Google announced new Chrome Apps that function and look much more like native apps (at least in Windows). This is a pretty interesting development, and one that those of us who work at PointMAza will be taking advantage of; but, it isn't the type of story we thought we would need to cover since it doesn't apply to mobile devices. Then, a Googler said that Chrome Apps will eventually come to mobile devices.

Okay, those weren't the exact words used. What Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, a project manager overseeing the Chrome Apps project, said was:
We're targeting the desktop as our first order of business because that's where the majority of our users are," he adds. "We want to nail that first. But our goal, eventually, is to get this to run everywhere that Chrome runs.

That is a pretty ambitious proposition. The idea from a development standpoint is that you write a web app and it will be able to run anywhere Chrome runs, but from a functional standpoint, it's a bit more interesting, because the plan isn't to have the apps installed like an extension, but rather to have them come through your normal channels like Google Play or Apple's App Store. And, since this is Chrome, your apps and data will sync across all of your devices as well. 

There is no timetable set for these plans, but it sounds pretty interesting. Essentially, the idea is that Chrome will make any platform it is on into an HTML5 app platform. It's a bit unclear right now, but this could give smaller developers a much easier way to get apps onto various platforms, although the apps will likely be limited in features since they won't be native code. Of course, with Sundar Pichai as the head of both Chrome and Android, we wouldn't be surprised to see HTML5 apps look more like native apps on Android. 

Samsung confirms that Gear smartwatch will eventually work with non Galaxy smartphones

As we all know, Samsung is a company that doesn't believe in such a thing as "feature bloat", and to an extent, that is why we like the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. While those features will have an adverse effect on the battery life, the major issue we have with the Gear is in compatibility. At launch, the only device that will support pairing with Gear is the Galaxy Note 3, but Samsung has confirmed it won't always be that way. 

During the announcement, Samsung did say that there would be software updates coming to the Samsung Galaxy S III, S4, and Note II, which will expand Galaxy Gear compatibility to those devices, but the company has confirmed that it will eventually bring compatibility to non-Samsung smartphones. Apparently, one major point is Bluetooth 4.0 low-energy compatibility. Many manufacturers have built-in the capability for Bluetooth LE, but Samsung says the Gear works with the support in Android 4.3. 

Of course, that leads to a question of why the Gear wouldn't work with the Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus, or one of the Google Edition devices. The answer there is that there are some special programming interfaces built-into the Note 3 to allow for more advanced functionality between the Gear and Note 3 (we're assuming that refers to Samsung's Smart Relay feature.) 

But, Samsung director of product marketing Ryan Bidan said that Samsung is "looking for additional devices to support it", and that support for more devices will come in time, but at first you will need a Galaxy Note 3. 

source: ReadWrite

Moto Match from Motorola uses your Facebook page to help you customize your Motorola Moto X

Not sure what color to make your Motorola Moto X? You might want to use the Moto Match from Google's wholly owned subsidiary. The app works with your Facebook page. After you select your favorite picture from the social networking site, Moto Match comes up with a color scheme for your Motorola Moto X. Motorola's own Facebook page showed how a photo of a pair of blue woman's shoes resulted in a pretty close match using the app.

Right now, only AT&T customers can use the Moto Maker although eventually Verizon and Sprint customers will also get to customize their own Motorola Moto X. To use the Moto Match app, you need to have a Facebook account. And it would also help to have some colorful pictures on your page.

source: Motorola@Motorola via Engadget

Did the FCC just give thumbs up to the LG Nexus 5, spotted on the KitKat unveiling video?

You might remember on Wednesday that video we showed you of the KitKat statue unveiling on Google's lawn that showed someone using a mysterious Nexus branded phone to take a picture. Right away, the interwebs burned up with news that this mysterious device was an LG built Nexus 5 smartphone. On Thursday, we can pass along the news to you that a phone similar to this device just got thumbs up from the FCC. 

Based on pictures from the FCC documentation, the device submitted to the Feds has a curved back and a large camera opening just like the mystery phone seen in the video. What we know about the device is that it goes by the model number D820, is made by LG and is equipped with a 4.96 inch screen. The phone supports 7 LTE bands (bands 2/4/5/17/25/26/41) which are compatible with carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. There is also coverage for CDMA / EVDO rev A, pentaband DC-HSPA+ and quadband GSM / EDGE, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac. Whew!

Some other documents have revealed more information such as the news that the phone is running firmware M8974A, and the software version listed is "aosp_hammerhead-userdebug KyeLimePieFACTORY eng.sangjoon84.lee.20130618.015154." The former suggests that a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor is under the hood while the latter, with the Key Lime Pie typo, tells us that KitKat is installed. The handset measures 131.9mm by 68.2mm.

If the speed with which a video is pulled corresponds to how secret the information on the video is, there is no doubt that this analysis is on the right track. All those who had LG as the manufacturer of the Nexus 5 in the office pool appear to be victorious.

source: FCCS4GEngadget via AndroidandMe

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