Tag - Firefox OS
Panasonic has started to sell its first smart televisions using Firefox OS, with Europe being the first market to receive them before it is more widely available. The new Viera sets, part of Panasonic's 2015 Smart TV range previously shown at CES in January, include a total of six televisions using the operating system to power its smart functionality, showing Firefox as capable of powering more than just smartphones.
Matchstick, a streaming dongle similar to the Google Chromecast, is going to be delayed shipping out to customers, the project has announced. The Kickstarter-funded Firefox OS device is being held back until August rather than its initial shipping target of February, as the company is going to redesign it to account for a faster chipset, as well as adding in digital rights management (DRM) systems.
Alcatel OneTouch is preparing to show off two different types of mobile device at CES next week. The Pixi 3 are said to be a collection of smartphones capable of running three different mobile operating systems on the same hardware, while the Watch is said to be an "affordable" round-faced smartwatch at a "fraction of the cost of competitors."
ZTE has launched its latest in the Blade series of Android smartphones, the Blade L2, in parts of Europe. At the same time as the budget-oriented Blade L2, the phone manufacturer has finally made the Firefox OS-based smartphone it launched at Mobile World Congress, the ZTE Open C, available to buy in the United States and other countries, though through eBay rather than a retailer.
The Geeksphone Revolution is receiving a software update, with the company adding Android 4.4 and CyanogenMod 11 to the dual-booting device in the coming days, and Firefox OS 2.0 set to be added in the future. The Revolution has also received a price drop to 199 euros ($275) from May 1st, with the mobile device also becoming available more widely in Europe through Amazon.
At last year's Mobile World Congress, ZTE launched its first attempt at a smartphone running Firefox OS. This year, the company is following up on the ZTE Open with the ZTE Open C, a similarly-styled device that is also aimed at emerging markets. This time, the smartphone arrives with a fair number of improvements over its debut. Electronista took the budget Firefox OS device for a spin to see what's new.
ZTE has detailed two new smartphones it will be launching at Mobile World Congress next week, among other possible unveilings from the company. The Firefox OS-based ZTE Open C will be shown alongside the Grand Memo II LTE, both following up on the ZTE Open and the ZTE Grand Memo the manufacturer revealed at the same event last year.
Geeksphone will supplement its Firefox OS and privacy-oriented devices with a dual-booting smartphone, according to a new rumor and leaked photographs. The Geeksphone Revolution is said to allow the user to choose between Firefox OS and Android at boot, and though its specifications have yet to leak, it appears to be taking cues from the Peak+, rather than the original Peak and Keon smartphones.
LG has launched its first Firefox OS smartphone, with the mobile device going on sale in Brazil starting today. The entry-level LG Fireweb running the fledgling open operating system touts a four-inch, 480x320-resolution display, and though it goes on sale after the Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open, the Fireweb offers a few marginal improvements.
Mozilla has quickly released an update for its Firefox OS, bringing the feature set closer to a full-fledged smartphone platform. Version 1.1 is said to improve performance, with faster application load times and smoother scrolling, while users can now send and receive pictures and video via MMS. Developers can also take advantage of push notifications to help reduce battery consumption.
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WhatsApp now handles over 100M calls daily
WhatsApp is celebrating that it is being used for over 100 million calls every day. In a brief notice, the Facebook-owned messaging platform advises the voice-calling feature it rolled out to its users last year now deals with an average of over 1,100 calls initiated per second. Earlier this year, it increased the security of its calls and other messages, by introducing end-to-end encryption on all platforms. http://bit.ly/292HqCX
Adele's '25' album now streaming
Recording artist Adele has "pulled a Kanye" after saying that her current album "25" would not be available for streaming. The seven-month-old record, which has yielded a number of hit singles, is now available for streaming on all the major streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, as of today in most major markets, with worldwide distribution to come. Reportedly, the singer had demanded streaming be limited to paid subscribers -- a condition that has hurt some streamers with artists, who aren't paid royalties for free or trial listens . Apple pays performers its normal royalty rates during its free trial, avoiding the issue -- and having repeated success in both signing up exclusives and placing those exclusives into the top of the charts. http://ti.me/28U7NOu
SanDisk iXpand case has battery, storage
A new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s case from SanDisk appears to be the "holy grail" of accessories: a stylish and protective case that offers both extra storage as well as the option of extra battery power as well. The iXpand Memory case offers either 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of additional storage incorporated into the case, and an optional add-on battery pack (sold separately) adds up to an extra day or more of charge. Through the associated iXpand app, camera photos and videos can be automatically stored on the extra storage, optionally password-protected, The cost for the case is (in order of storage capacity) $60, $100, and $130. The battery pack's release data has not yet been announced, but the add-on should retail for an additional $30. http://bit.ly/291epHu
Fifth Hong Kong store to open June 30
The 46th official Apple store in what the company calls the "Greater China" region will open at 10AM local time in Hong Kong's New Town Plaza in the Sha Tin district on Thursday, June 30, according to a new page on Apple's retail website. Despite slowing growth due to economic turmoil in China, the country is still Apple's fastest-growing market. The new story will be the fifth for Hong Kong, a lucrative market for Apple thanks to the high concentration of wealth there and a thriving "gray" market. Normal store hours for the new store will be 10AM to 10PM every day. http://apple.co/291diaT
Apple Music bug bites very short songs
There appears to be a reproducible bug in the current version of iTunes -- version 12.4.1, running on OS X 10.11.5, both the current non-beta versions of the respective software -- that causes a streamed song to become "stuck" in endless buffering if the streamed item just before this happened was 60 seconds or less in length. The problem appears to stem from code in iTunes that signals the next track to start downloading one minute before the currently-playing track is done, and thus songs shorter than one minute don't trigger the download. Locally-stored music is unaffected by the bug, and the problem does not appear to exist in either the macOS Sierra developer beta or versions of iTunes earlier than 12.4, and does not affect the iOS Music app at all. http://bit.ly/291cN0l
Walmart Pay expands to 15 states
Walmart, one of the key progenitors of the failed CurrentC mobile payment system that was distinguished from Apple Pay by its ability to collect and share customer financial and buying data among its participants, has expanded the soft rollout of its alternative solution "Walmart Pay" to an additional 15 US states following a pilot program in Arkansas and Texas last month. Walmart continues to resist adding Apple Pay. The system, built into the Walmart app for iOS and Android, works with a complicated system of the camera scanning a purchase code at the register, then generating a QR code which is then scanned by the register. The system is available now in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, DC. http://apple.co/28SqZfu
Amazon refreshes entry-level Kindle
Amazon has added a new Kindle to its ebook reader range, one that is thinner and lighter than the previous entry-level model. Offering a six-inch 167-dpi touchscreen display, a doubled 4GB of storage, and an option for a white casing, the new model also adds in the ability to export highlights and notes to an email account as a PDF. Two versions of the all-new Kindle are available, priced at $80 including "Special Offers" and $100 without. http://amzn.to/28Q4c3R