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Motorola Unveils Kevlar-Clad Atrix HD for Business Users

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Motorola has officially introduced the Atrix HD, an Ice Cream Sandwich-based model geared toward business users.

The company unveiled the model, which boasts a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD Colorboost display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, LTE, 8 GB of storage and an 8-megapixel camera, as well as Kevlar-clad back side, on its website on Wednesday. The Atrix HD is billed as “business ready” partially because it comes preloaded with Webtop an app that, with an HDMI display and Bluetooth peripherals, can make the phone a PC replacement.

Pricing has not yet been set for the model, which will be distributed via AT&T.

In targeting business users, Google is no doubt looking for remaining BlackBerry defectors. Android’s share of the overall market topped 50% in the U.S. in April, while BlackBerry’s was 13.4%, a huge drop from the previous year’s 28.9%.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/05/atrix-hd/

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Martian’s Smartphone Watch Will Make You Feel Like James Bond [HANDS-ON]

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What’s Next For Google’s Nexus Brand Of Devices?

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When Google introduces a new Nexus-series device, we know we’ll have a fresh Android revision to play with, along with all the new features and improvements that arrive with such a release. But that’s only a part of what makes Nexus models so captivating.

Google’s been taking full advantage of the high-profile spot these devices take to draw attention to new hardware, which we often see subsequently adopted by manufacturers all across the Android spectrum. You can call it “Google leading the direction the market’s heading,” or just acting as inspiration, but there’s no doubt that its Nexus hardware often serves as a trend-setter. With the Nexus 7 now a reality, our thoughts are already turning to the next Nexus device (the Nextus?), and we find ourselves asking, “just what might Google be planning for its future Nexus hardware?”

Taking Stock: Past Nexus Models

For starters, let’s look at what Google’s accomplished with its Nexus devices so far. The HTC-made Nexus One was bound to hold a special place in the Android history books, solely by nature of being the first smartphone of its kind. With the phone’s release, Google set the bar for the level of software support we’d continue to see with the rest of its Nexus lineup, featuring front-line exposure to the latest Android releases often weeks — if not months — before any other phones receive similar manufacturer support.

As for the Nexus One hardware itself, it may not have offered many brand-new features, but it highlighted a few key manufacturing choices that were just then becoming more important. It featured an early AMOLED screen, exposing users to the kind of great contrast such components offer. There was also a big focus on reducing handset thickness. It’s easy to forget just how chunky some early Androids were, and measuring more than half-an-inch thick was par for the course; the Nexus One slimmed things down to just under 12 millimeters, and things have only been shrinking since.

Switching manufacturing partners to Samsung, Google continued this trend with the Nexus S in late 2010. The handset was one of the first smartphones around to support NFC (a feature we’re still waiting to see widespread acceptance). It highlighted the importance of ergonomics with its Contour Display curved screen, and was an early example of the move manufacturers have been making away from microSD support.

The Motorola Xoom has special relevance as the first Honeycomb tablet, and while it continues to get Nexus-level software support, as a non-Nexus device, it’s a bit outside the scope we’re dealing with here.

The Galaxy Nexus introduced many of us to 720p displays on phones, and invited manufacturers to do away with hardware Android buttons on their handsets in favor of on-screen software controls. More recently, the Nexus 7 gave us a similar example of Google removing unneeded hardware, this time the rear camera. While that’s reportedly a cost-saving decision, rather than a pure design choice, it’s encouraging manufacturers to look past the status quo, and really think individually about just what features each device really needs.

In What Direction Is Google Steering Android’s Future?

OK, that brings us pretty much up to date. So, where do we go from here?

Some of the things Google’s done, like axing hardware Android buttons, are the type of change that’s going to be hugely tricky to predict. On the other hand, there are some hardware innovations just coming to the forefront of smartphone design that Google could always grab and run with.

We’re going to be seeing 1080p screens in smartphones in the near future, and there’s still a lot of confusion regarding them. Largely, we’re just not sure how much use they’ll actually be, or if we’ll even be capable of readily appreciating the improved resolution. Maybe Google will adopt such a component for the next Nexus, and make a point to deliver it alongside software that finally convinces us of the value of such super-high-res displays.

Google hasn’t really used Nexus devices to push next-generation SoCs, and we’re not sure there’s any reason for it to start now. Chances are, we’ll be looking at a bit of a cool-down in the race for cores, with manufacturers settling on quad- or dual-core designs for now and focusing more on improving things like power consumption and execution efficiency.

What about RAM? The move to 2GB feels like it should have been a bigger deal than it was, and its recent arrival on a couple Androids (like the GS3) didn’t get much fanfare. By the time the next Nexus arrives, we’ll likely have seen even more phones debut with this kind of memory, but maybe Google can still find a way to make it special; that doesn’t necessarily mean adding even more RAM, but it could try something with higher speed, lower latency components, or introduce changes to Android that let it take advantage of such a glut of memory in more impressive ways.

Google may not see a need for a big camera on a tablet, but smartphones are another beast entirely; maybe Google will try to bring the kind of imaging quality we see on the Nokia PureView 808 to Android. Perhaps it could even try something a bit out-there, like pairing such a powerful image sensor with a standardized way to attach mini add-on lenses, extending the phone’s abilities as a camera even farther.

Then there’s the issue of just how the next Nexus will be made. We’ve heard rumors that Google might be planning to team up with multiple manufacturers for a series of Nexus models, all arriving at once. Would each one come up with their own take on a similar design, or would each focus on just a few key elements? Maybe LG would have the 1080p Nexus, and Sony would have the super-camera Nexus?

There are a ton of directions Google could take with its next phone. We could keep guessing up until the model’s actually revealed, and still never hit on just what the company’s been planning. Whatever it is, though, you can bet that the rest of the Android world will be watching closely, and be ready to follow Google’s lead.

Thanks: Pocketnow staff
Image: XDA-Developers forum

    This article originally published at Pocketnow
    here

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/21/next-nexus/

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    Google’s New App Will Take You on a Field Trip

    Google-s-new-app-will-take-you-on-a-field-trip-c7a6bd05ee

    Google Thursday launched an app called Field Trip, “your guide to the cool, hidden, and unique things in the world around you.”

    Working in the background on your Android phone, the app pops up a card on your handset when it thinks you’re around something interesting. A map view within the app can also help you seek out locations around you on your own.

    Field Trip suggests places and experiences that fall under a number of categories: Architecture, Historic Places & Events, Lifestyle, Offers & Deals, Food Drinks & Fun, Movie Locations, Outdoor Art and Obscure Places of Interest around you. Information for the cards comes from trend-setting publications such as Thrillist, Zagat, Songkick and Atlas Obscura.

    Ranging from a history lesson about a building you walk by each day, to a recommendation on where to get lunch, information about locations pops up as you walk by rather than you having to seek it out. This way, the app might help you uncover something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

    The frequency you receive Field Trip notifications can be selected from three different app modes.

    If you have a Bluetooth headset connected to your phone, you can have it read information about locationswhile you’re walking. The app can also detect when you’re driving and audibly tell you about places as you’re passing.

    If you find a great new location using Field Trip, you can also share it with friends on social networks such as Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.

    The smartphone-optimized app is available now for Android phones, with an iOS version expected in the future.

    Check out the video below for a look at Field Trip in action.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/09/27/google-field-trip/

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    Would Your Phone Be More Fun With The Free BuzzFeed Android App?

    Take this simple test and find out. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { if (BF_STATIC.bf_test_mode) localStorage.setItem(‘posted_date’, 1408989027); }); BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_posted_time_3425782”).innerHTML = “posted on ” + UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(1408989027); });

    1. Do you ever find yourself with time to kill?

    Would Your Phone Be More Fun With The Free BuzzFeed Android App?

    View this image ›

    Via reactiongifs.com

    2. Do you spend a lot of that time playing with your phone?

    Would Your Phone Be More Fun With The Free BuzzFeed Android App?

    View this image ›

    Fox / Via giphy.com

    3. Does your phone have BuzzFeed’s free app on it?

     

    If you answered “yes” to the first two questions and “no” to the third, your phone would DEFINITELY be more fun with the BuzzFeed app. So what are you waiting for?

    Would Your Phone Be More Fun With The Free BuzzFeed Android App?

    View this image ›

    Universal Pictures / Via giphy.com

    LINK

    Download the free BuzzFeed iOS app and say goodbye to boredom forever!

    Read more: http://buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpromotions/would-your-phone-be-more-fun-with-the-free-buzzfeed-android

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    Samsung Galaxy Camera Is a Game Changer

    Samsung-galaxy-camera-is-a-game-changer-review--e2d604f5f0

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    Spixi Power Cord Untangles Your Life

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    It’s always the case. You reach into your bag for a single charger only to pull out a tangled set of cords. Your earbuds merged with your phone’s charger that also wrapped around your computer charger.

    There are solutions. Aftermarket two-way retractable chargers have been around for years. You know, the ones that feel cheap, usually break and jam? This experience in frustration is about to change thanks to a nearly successful Kickstarter campaign.

    Spixi is a one-way retractable charger from the mobile device accessories maker Escargot. Marketed as “a better way to charge and sync your iPhone and Android,” the charger was born out of the familiar frustration of tangled cords. Spixi is built from polycarbonate, what Macbook chargers are made from, and a thermoplastic elastomer cable that is sturdier and more eco-friendly than standard polyvinyl chloride. At two feet in length, you can connect the USB charger to your computer and still talk as you charge.

    The proposed Spixi is about the width of an iPhone 4 screen at 2.25″ and the project has raised $28,403 of their pledged $30,000. The charger will be available for the iPhone 5, iPhone 4/S and Micro-USB powered phones.

    How often are you untangling cords? Is Spixi a charger you’d likely use? Let us know in the comments below.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/08/spixi-power-cord/

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    This New App Allows You To Piece Together Photos To Create An Awesome 3D Model

    3d - elite daily3d - elite daily

    The world of 3D printing just got even more accessible.

    Autodesk’s 123D Catch app (available on the Apple store and for Android phones) allows users to create 3D models out of photographs.

    It’s pretty simple: The user takes a minimum of 20 photos of a given object, making sure to get it from all sides.

    The app sort of pieces together the photos to make a three-dimensional composite photograph, which can be uploaded to a corresponding program on your computer.

    Provided you have the proper equipment, the models can then be 3D printed.

    Imgur commenters cleverly note that this app is probably going to result in a lot of 3D-printed dicks, and sadly, I don’t think they’re far off.

    On the other hand, we could potentially create 3D Ryan Gosling models, so it’s not all bad, now, is it?

    To learn more about the program, including upgrades, uses and more, check out Autodesk’s website.

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    H/T: Imgur

    Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/technology/new-app-photos-3d-model/772016/

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    OUYA Will Get Yearly Hardware Updates

    Ouya-on-amazon

    The OUYA game console will get a yearly hardware update and re-release, according comments the company’s founder and CEO made to The Verge this week.

    “Our plan is to have a yearly refresh of OUYA where we leverage the best-performing chips and take advantage of falling component prices to create the best experience we can at the $99 price point,” Julie Uhrman told The Verge.

    The OUYA is already significant for being a game console launched on Kickstarter; it raised $8.5 million during its 30-day backing period. Although the only people who have received their consoles are developers who put in extra cash to get it early, Uhrman’s promise signifies the company is looking ahead.

    The console is powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, one of the fastest available for mobile hardware. It’s the same processor available in the Nexus 10 tablet. But with the launch of the Tegra 4 at CES last month, mobile hardware will be advancing quickly enough that the OUYA cannot rest on its laurels. Anyone who owns a first generation iPad knows how quickly mobile hardware can be left behind by developers due to being underpowered.

    And while Uhrman has been quoted in the past as not wanting to compete with big companies such as Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in the console wars, having a console with yearly hardware updates would add something interesting to the tv-gaming playing field. There hasn’t been a big console refresh in nearly eight years for Sony or Microsoft, and while both companies’ rumored next-gen consoles could graphically squash anything the OUYA could output now, what will that be like in three years when we have much faster mobile processors?

    But before we put the cart before the horse, OUYA’s Kickstarter backers have to receive the 40,000 consoles they ordered in March. OUYA has also been taking preorders from its site for consoles that will be shipped in April, and Amazon has launched a pre-order page for consoles that will begin arriving in June, according to the company.

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    ZTE Looking to Crack U.S. Smartphone Market

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    Although China’s ZTE has held a presence in the United States for years, the brand is still relatively unknown to most American consumers. But with ascendant China continuing to build tech credibility on the world stage, the company believes that now is the time to emerge from obscurity in North America with a new push fronted by two new smartphones.

    First unveiled at this year’s CES conference in January, ZTE’s Grand S and Nubia 5 Android-based smartphones offered an impressive look at what the company has planned for its U.S. competition. The Grand S particularly garnered attention for its ultra-thin form factor.

    However, even the most feature-rich new smartphone, boasting a super-slim footprint and the latest Android operating system, will still face a daunting challenge from the market’s existing smartphone leaders — Apple and Samsung. Recent figures compiled by comScore indicate that Apple has the smartphone lead in the U.S. at 40%, ahead of Samsung at 24%, HTC at 8%, Motorola with nearly 7% and LG at 6.8%.

    Muscling into that tight race will be difficult, but ZTE does have some experience competing in a crowded market. A recent IDC report claims that ZTE is the No. 4 smartphone manufacturer in China with almost 9% of the market, putting it behind Samsung, the No. 1 vendor in the country, as well as Lenovo and Coolpad.

    Customers will be able to pre-order both the Grand S and Nubia 5 as of Oct. 5, and devices will ship Oct. 16. Nevertheless, the company appears to be committed to penetrating the market, although it remains to be seen whether or not its ambition will translate into a connection with mainstream U.S. consumers.

    Correction: This article originally said the ZTE devices won’t ship until 2014, but a ZTE rep told us after publication that they’ll actually be available this month.