More news promised soon
A new edition of Office for Mac will ship later this year, says Microsoft Business Group Lead Thorsten Hübschen. The executive made the comment at this week's CeBIT expo in Hannover, Germany. No details about planned upgrades are available, but development teams are said to be at work, and more news is due to be announced in the second quarter of the year. iOS and Android tablet versions of Office are described as possibilities; an Office for iPad has been rumored for years.
Cash prize, Pebble Steel offered to highest-voted Pebble apps
Pebble has launched the Android version of its smart watch app store, just over one month after the iOS version first became available to use. The app's update to version 2.0 comes at the same time as the company launches a hackathon to create new apps for the crowd-funded device, with the developer of the highest-voted app receiving a grand prize of $5,000 in cash.
Squad based strategy comes to mobile and desktop worlds
Trying to mash tactics and strategy into a game that spans computers and mobile devices is no easy task. Not only do the controls need to be precise enough to use with a mouse and touchscreen, but the game must offer a consistent experience. Best known for Battlecruiser 3000AD in the late 90s, 3000AD has offered gamers a tactical, squad based strategy game in Line of Defense Tactics across multiple platforms -- OS X, Windows, iOS and Android. The game focuses on strategic thinking and resource management to get a squad of four through their missions in one piece. Does the game hit all the right marks considering its ambitious reach? Or will Line of Defense Tactics end up a frustrating game because of it?
Remote access tool Dendroid injects malware code into APK files
A HTTP new remote access toolkit (RAT) that is cause for concern has surfaced, according to anti-virus/anti-malware program maker Symantec, which makes turning legitimate Android apps into malware easier than before. The program, Dendroid (tagged as Android.Dendoroid by the security company), offers an easy-to-use commercial solution to inject malicious code for trojan access into APK files for placement on Android marketplaces, bypassing security checks.
iPhone still most popular device
Apple grew its share among US smartphone owners during the last quarter to 41.6 percent, according to new comScore data. Data polled between October and January shows that Apple advanced 1 percentage point. The company's main rival, Samsung, grew ownership by 1.3 points, but remained firmly in second place at 26.7 percent. LG's share rose just 0.3 points to 6.9 percent, presumably on the back of the G2 and the Google-branded Nexus 5.
Budget HP Android tablet ships without typical launch
Following the launch of its Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab phablets, HP has quietly shipped a budget Android tablet, to little fanfare. The HP 8 1401 Tablet offers a 7.85-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1024x768, and while it is slightly larger than the average cheap tablet on the market, it still uses a relatively similar list of specifications as its cut-price rivals.
Wello smartphone case tracks blood pressure, ECG, heart rate
Azoi has entered the health tracker market, by announcing a fitness-tracking smartphone cover that works with both iOS and Android devices. Wello contains a number of sensors on the side and back that take a snapshot of the user's vital signs after a few seconds of being held, with the results transferred wirelessly over Bluetooth 4.0 LE and recorded in a companion app.
Opera adds WebRTC, updated design to Android browser
Opera has updated the Android variant of its web browser to version 20, and has included support for WebRTC, a technology that can support browser-based video conferencing. The update also adds a new customizable interface, a flat-design Speed Dial, upgrades to the search and address bar, an update of the Chromium core to version 33, and a number of other minor updates. The updated Opera for Android is available to download now from Google Play, for devices running Android 4.0 or higher.
Code allowed for benchmark manipulation by removing CPU throttling limitation
Samsung may have learned its lesson from the benchmark inflation affair, with a report suggesting the latest software updates from the company gives a more accurate result of a device's capabilities. Code relating to optimizing the processor of the company's smartphones in earlier releases of Android customized for the devices appears to be missing in Android 4.4 updates, which could be a sign it has been removed completely.
Brings CNN content into Flipboard
iOS- and Android-based news reader service Flipboard has bought its main rival Zite from CNN, the company and reports have confirmed. The deal is worth about $60 million, and beginning today has allowed Flipboard to integrate tailored CNN content into its news feeds, including not just general news but feeds from shows like Anderson Cooper 360, Crossfire, and Inside Politics. Some celebrities from the network, like Jake Tapper and Fareed Zakaria, are launching their own Flipboard magazines.
Smith Micro's 2D animation software Anime Studio 10 released
Announced today, Smith Micro has introduced its latest version of Anime Studio, Anime Studio Pro 10 and Anime Studio Debut 10. Animation software for both beginners and professionals, Anime Studio 10 features tools that provide increased bone control, more movement options and more, improving the simplicity of creating animated content. The latest bone features include rigging options to help set up more complex characters, and its independent angle constraints allow bones to keep their global angle and remain unaffected by inverse kinematics. Also included are new Bounce, Elastic and Stagger interpolations, as well as enhanced drawing tools. Anime Studio Debut is priced at $50, and the Pro 10 version is available for $300.
D-Link announces 11AC portable router and charger
Announced today, D-Link is now shipping its 802.11ac router, entitled the Wi-Fi AC750 Portable Router and Charger (DIR-510L). Allowing users to quickly create a Wi-Fi hotspot from an existing Internet connection, the DIR-510L incorporates Wireless AC750 technology as to produce and maintain fast connection speeds.
Apple still most successful individual tablet maker
Android ruled global tablet marketshare in 2013, accounting for 62 percent of devices by shipments, according to somewhat questionable data from research firm Gartner. That represents a significant upset, since in 2012 the iPad was in firm control with a 52.8 percent share. Apple, however, continued to do best among individual tablet makers in sales, with a 36 percent share and claimed sales over 70.4 million units -- an increase from a figure just under 61.5 million in 2012.
Carmaker to also offer Android, existing in-car options
Following in the same steps as Volvo, Mercedes-Benz has published a series of photos (below) showing how CarPlay integration will look in future vehicles. The company is due to show off a new C-Class with CarPlay support at this week's Geneva Motor Show. Significantly, though, Mercedes says it will continue to offer non-Apple alternatives.
Job posting hints at lightweight Xbox Live framework for mobile developers
Microsoft is planning to push for Xbox Live to be more cross-platform than it already is, by making it easier for developers to include in their apps, according to a rumor. The company is preparing to extend the Live platform to more games, with a recent job posting hinting that it will compete directly with Google Play Games and Apple's Game Center on mobile devices.
Karbonn Mobiles could be first to market with Windows Phone, Android smartphone
The first smartphones running both Android and Windows Phone will be launching this year, according to one manufacturer. Karbonn Mobiles of India plans to release a smartphone supporting both mobile operating systems in the next six months, with the company revealing it has recently signed a license agreement with Microsoft for producing Windows Phone devices.
Kickstarter funded device shipping a year after estimated date
The successfully-funded Instacube, tagged as "as living canvas" that pulls photos from a user's Instagram feed in the campaign, will finally start shipping units in April to backers -- more than a year after the estimated shipping date. The product, which pulled $621,000 from backers on Kickstarter, was funded in September 2012.
Ad gives information on Android integration in future head-units
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler has posted a job ad that gives hints to Google's plans for in-car integration of Android products alongside its previously-announced support for Apple's "iOS in the Car" initiative. The advertisement says that the company is looking for someone to work with Google "projected mode" for Android, the first time such support has been mentioned by the carmaker.
Google services like Gmail and Google Now added to phone in five steps
A member of the XDA-developers forum who won a Nokia X at the Mobile World Congress has managed to hack and gain root access to the phone in order to bring Google applications and services to the device. The Nokia X, known for using the bare-bones free version of Android at its core, had opted to pull in Microsoft services to intentionally avoid Google's integration.
Product development follows earlier collaboration on tablets
A line of smartphones designed in part by actor Ashton Kutcher is being worked on by Lenovo, the company reveals. Building on top of an existing partnership between Kutcher and the company in the co-design, release, and promotion of Android tablets last October, the special-edition smartphone range will apparently be launching later this year.
All Nexus, Google Play Edition devices can download new launcher
Google has added the Google Now Launcher to the Play Store, allowing the software that first appeared on the Nexus 5 to be used on other devices. The free launcher, formerly known as the Google Experience Launcher, adds a number of features not offered in the original Android 4.4 launcher, including a dedicated Home Screen page for Google now, as well as performing hands-free voice searches by uttering "OK Google" before the search query.
Boeing Black wipes stored data if casing is opened
A smartphone designed to offer highly-secure communications and data storage for governments and enterprise users has been unveiled by Boeing. Initially revealed to be in development in April 2012, the Boeing Black is an Android smartphone that is claimed to be tamperproof, with any attempt to open the casing automatically resulting in the deletion of data stored on the device, ultimately making the entire smartphone unusable.
Will allow people to preorder from digital menus
Mobile payment service Square is testing out a new app called Pickup, reports say. Priceonomics notes the app is currently in beta with some San Francisco restaurants, and lets people order takeout food in advance of showing up. This is possible because the app has access to participating restaurants' menus, and lets people pay through Square.
Android flagship gets marginal enhancements
Following a steady stream of rumors, Samsung finally unveiled its new Android flagship at a Mobile World Congress event. The Galaxy S5 brings marginal improvements over its predecessor, adding a fingerprint sensor and a 16-megapixel camera, though it does not bring any revolutionary new features that were hinted at in early speculation. Electronista checked out the new phone to see if it still delivers.
Software takes phones with power, Wi-Fi to calculate complex problems
At the Mobile World Congress, Phone manufacturer HTC has unveiled an initiative to allow idle Android smartphones -- connected to a power source and networked by Wi-Fi simultaneously -- to use processing time to solve computing problems suitable for solution on a massively parallel computing cluster. HTC claims that using the "Power to Give" program, the combined power of one million idle HTC One phones add up to a one-petaflop supercomputer, which, if indexed, would place it around 35th on the top 500 supercomputers in operation today.
New device expected to be widely compatible, be powered by Android
A pair of sources have recently popped up claiming that electronics manufacturer LG and Google were teaming up to build out the search engine behemoth's second wearable computing device, in the form of its first smartwatch. The device is expected to be compatible with multiple smartphones, unlike Samsung's first effort in the space, and will be powered by at least an offshoot of Google's Android operating system.
Cheap Android-based Nokia X tested at Mobile World Congress
The Nokia X is the company's long-anticipated attempt at an Android smartphone, after offering customers its Asha platform and Windows Phone for a considerable amount of time. Even for a debut effort, Nokia has attempted to try and differentiate itself from the more typical Android devices by heavily customizing the operating system. Electronista tried out the base Nokia X model shortly after its launch.
Three Android devices in Nokia X range includes 4-inch, 5-inch models
Nokia has started its campaign at Mobile World Congress this morning by launching a total of five devices, with three running on Android. The Nokia 220 featurephone and Asha 230 were unveiled by the company, with the main launch this year being taken up by the rumored Nokia X, as well as a variant with more storage in the form of the Nokia X+, and a larger-screened version called the Nokia XL.
New model and design boost usability, speed
Lenovo today at the 2014 Mobile World Congress announced the new Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, a multimode Android device. The Yoga refines the tablet's original design with three position modes, and adds a Full HD (1920x1200) screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor, and high-resolution camera, while maintaining the up to 18-hour battery life that the line is known for.
Nokia XX said to be more powerful than Nokia X
The Nokia X is not the only Android-powered device the company is working on, claims a new rumor. While they won't make an appearance at Mobile World Congress, two more Android smartphones are apparently being developed in the product line, with both mobile phones said to offer far higher specifications than the entry-level internals touted for this week's expected launch.
Sony starts selling PlayStation 4 in Japan months after US, European launches
Sony has launched the PlayStation 4 game console in Japan, months after shipping it to customers in the United States and Europe. While it has already sold 5.3 million units in other markets when competing against the Xbox One, the launch in Japan will be largely uncontested, with The Verge noting no news of an Xbox One launch in the country has been issued by Microsoft, and the Nintendo's Wii-U continues to sell poorly.
Limefuel's Rugged L150XR external battery features resilient construction, surpasses Kickstarter goa
Limefuel has succeeded in crowdfunding its latest gadget, the IP66 Rugged L150XR external battery. The battery is waterproof, dirt-proof, shock- and crush-proof, as determined by its IP66 protection rating. Featuring a 15,000mAh (57Wh) battery capacity, the Limefuel Rugged L150XR comes equipped with a 5V/2A(max) input for faster charging, dual 5V/2.4A(max) outputs to charge multiple devices at the same time, a touch-activated power indicator, pass-through charging enabled, auto-on and auto-off functionality, and a slot for a strap or clip for carrying. The rugged Limefuel battery will be available in two smaller capacities as well, with the L104XR offering 10,400mAh and the L130XR holding 13,000mAh. Its Kickstarter is ongoing until mid-March, and those interested in pledging as way of pre-ordering the Limefuel Rugged can receive the lowest capacity battery for $50, with shipping beginning in May.
Larger iPads? yea or nay
This week in the MacNN Forums, members debate the practicality of larger iPads in the thread titled "What would a larger iPad really be good for?" which was started by Mac Elite "PeterParker," who wondered if iPads portability is actually its best feature. In the thread titled "iMessage black hole" Mac Elite "abbaZaba" was trying to figure out why it was that when people switched from an iPhone to a phone running Android, messages sent from iMessage would seem to get lost -- and they wondered if fellow forum-goers had a similar experience.
LTE, 3G connectivity added to Nvidia-produced tablet
Nvidia has refreshed its Tegra Note 7 Android tablet, with new versions supporting the company's i500 LTE modem, and the availability being expanded to more areas of Europe, Brazil, and Ukraine in the coming months. The tablet, sold through regional partners rather than from Nvidia directly, will include two versions of LTE support for the US and Europe, with 3G connectivity still provided for variants in regions currently without LTE cellular networks.
Android Fob slated to launch in April
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Loop has formally launched the Fob, a mobile payment accessory for iPhones. The device plugs into an iPhone's headphone jack, and lets people make purchases on most point-of-sale systems that support credit cards. That differs from systems like Isis or Google Wallet, which require specific support by retailers.
BlackBerry updates BBM app to work with Android 2.3
BlackBerry has opened up BBM for Android to users of older devices. BlackBerry Messenger can now be downloaded and used on smartphones and tablets running Android 2.3 or later, though the older version of the mobile operating system will not have access to new additions to the app, such as BBM Voice, BBM Channels, and Glympse real-time location sharing.
Majority of Galaxy S devices will get Android 4.4 update
Samsung has confirmed it will be bringing Android 4.4.2 to a large number of its mobile devices in the United States. The upgrade to Android KitKat, rumored last month, will apparently start rolling out to devices from today onwards, and while the timing will vary between carriers and individual devices, it will continue "throughout the coming months."
Android-based Nokia smartphone more likely after teaser image release
The Mobile World Congress launch of the Nokia X, codenamed "Normandy," is looking more likely, thanks to a new leaked image and a teaser from the company itself. An image said to be a promotional shot for the Android-based smartphone has surfaced, while the official Nokia Conversations blog is promoting the event using an image strongly hinting at a green X, the color typically associated with Android itself.
Android co-creator may be asked to explain development of certain features
During next month's Apple v. Samsung trial, Apple may call Google's Andy Rubin to the stand to testify, according to court documents. Rubin was one of the creators of the Android platform, and would be asked to explain the development of Android features Apple claims infringe on patented content. He may also be asked to speak about "Google documents relating to such development." In March 2013 Rubin left the Android team to work on Google robotics projects.
Google requires pre-installed apps and default search
Information has surfaced about Google's Android licensing agreements that makes the operating system seem not quite as open as the company proclaims. Signed agreement documents with Samsung and HTC that had been previously unreleased have been revealed thanks to the Oracle v. Google case, and puts on display portions of the rules and conditions that come with using the free mobile operating system.
New flagships to receive all major Android updates for two years after launch
HTC will be providing all the main Android updates to its future flagship devices for a two-year period after their initial release in North America, the company has revealed. At the same time, a separate social media posting to celebrate Valentine's Day appears to be a tease for a new service, something which has been suggested to involve screen repairs.
Update follows release of Chromecast SDK to developers in early February
Owners of the Google Chromecast may find more apps will work with their device in the near future, as the latest Google Play Services update for Android has rolled-out to Android devices, and the accompanying SDK has been issued to developers. Version 4.2 of Google Play Services adds a number of APIs for developers to use in their Android applications, including the Chromecast API the company released an SDK for earlier this month.
Messages to offline Skype users included in app update
Microsoft has finally fixed the way Skype synchronizes messages across multiple devices, the company has revealed, something that it hinted at late last year. Part of a larger update across multiple platforms, the change will allow users to read all received messages on an account regardless of whether a device is signed in or not, with messages read on one device causing it to be shown as read on all others.
Free voice calls between BBM users reaches non-BlackBerry OS devices
BlackBerry is rolling out a number of changes to its BlackBerry Messenger app for iOS and Android, as the app reaches version 2.0. BBM Voice and BBM Channels, two features already in use by BlackBerry device owners, are included in the update along with Dropbox integration, and a collection of smaller updates to the app.
Touchscreen kiosks to help navigate NYC subway starts roll-out
New York City has started to add interactive maps to help passengers of the subway system. Gizmodo reports that the first 18 MTA On-The-Go kiosks have been installed in the Grand Central subway station, with the MTA and Control Group project using 47-inch touchscreen displays that show train arrival estimates, scheduled departures, and a map which helps plan a route through the system with warnings of potential issues. A wider rollout to more stations is expected to take place by mid-2014.
iPhones account for vast majority of devices
iOS devices represented some 73 percent of all enterprise mobile device activations during the December quarter, a new Good Technology report claims. The data (PDF) comes from customers of the company's Good Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform, but includes a number of Fortune 500 companies spread across different sectors. Good notes that it saw overall activations grow 34 percent between Q1 and Q4.
Revolution boots to Android, Firefox OS, early-bird sale touted
Geeksphone will be launching its dual-booting smartphone in Spain on February 20th, the company has revealed. The Geeksphone Revolution, a smartphone the company teased earlier this year, will be able to switch between Android and Firefox OS, something the company has plenty of experience with through its existing Peak+, Peak, and Keon devices.
Copied the look of iOS 7, icons too closely; return delayed
A customization app for Android called Themer, which featured a number of themed "looks" for modifying Android smartphones including an iOS 7-like theme, has been removed from the Google Play store with no indication of when it will return. Google pulled the app on February 2 after Apple complained that the iOS 7-esque theme used icons that infringed on Apple's patents. The developer says it has since addressed Apple's concerns, but Google has not yet restored the app.
Report claims Nokia X launch will take place at Mobile World Congress
Nokia will be launching its long-rumored Android-based smartphone at Mobile World Congress, sources of the Wall Street Journal claim. The smartphone, codenamed "Normandy" and thought to be called the Nokia X, is said by the report to be aimed at emerging markets rather than developed regions, and apparently will not be used to promote Google's own services.
Reasons behind removal of popular free-to-play game are unclear
The developer of a wildly-successful game has pulled the app from both the iOS App Store and Google Play. Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen, the creator of Flappy Bird and sole employee of .Gears, made the decision to remove the game from availability, posting about its imminent shutdown on Twitter 22 hours beforehand, though it is still unclear exactly why Nguyen has taken this course of action.