Tagged: Phandroid

HTC’s upcoming smartwatch makes brief appearance in behind the scenes video

htc-smartwatch-large desk

2014 is the year of the smartwatch and with Android’s leading manufacturers all releasing their take on the “modern timepiece,” there was little doubt HTC wouldn’t follow suit with their own entry. Last week we got a possible first look at what HTC could be planning for their wearable, showing a square-ish design along with HTC’s trademark BlinkFeed on a small scale.

If that leak wasn’t enough ya (perhaps you were really hoping for a round watchface a la the Moto 360) it appears HTC may have slipped and shown off their upcoming watch in their latest behind the scenes design video. The video was uploaded to YouTube nearly 2 weeks ago, but it’s only today the smartwatch was spotted by HTCSource .

htc-smartwatch desk close up

Once again, we’re seeing that familiar square design as it appears on one designers desk and after zooming in, HTC’s familiar BlinkFeed clock widget can be made out. Okay, so that one is a little tough to make out but the video continues showing one designer working on a 3D render of the watch. For a split second, we even get a look at the back which appears to have some kind of connecting points near the bottom.

htc-smartwatch-animation GIF

We know, it’s not much but with Android Wear being all the rage these days, we’re sure you’re already trying to weigh your options. Not only that, it’s always fun to search for little Easter eggs — whether unintentional or not — in behind the scenes videos like this. Not sure how HTC managed to let this one slip by.

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LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live kernel sources now live in AOSP

Android Wear 1

For those with knowledge in these matters, (read: Android devs/modders/tinkerers), Google has just uploaded the kernel sources for both the Samsung Gear Live (Sprat) and LG G Watch (Dory) t0 AOSP. Like with saw with the Android L release, it appears Google is once again going with a partial upload for “kitkat-wear” (Android-4.4w_r1), meaning GPL repositories only.

When it comes to us regular folk, this wont do much good. But as so often is the case with the Android modding community, this should help ROM developers in tweaking devices from the stock software that may otherwise hold our smartwatches back from greatness. Google says they plan on doing a full push for Android’s next milestone release, so we’ll have a while to wait before then.

For devs looking to do some tinkering, you’ll find everything you need via the download link below. Cheers.

[AOSP]

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Verizon HTC One Remix said to launch this Friday July 24th

htc one remix evleaks

HTC unveiled the HTC One Mini 2 way back in May, but we’ve been waiting for word on exactly what the Taiwanese manufacturer had in store for the device here in the states. With HTC and Verizon getting all buddy-buddy for the launch of the M8, it only makes sense they’ll do it again for the One Mini 2.

Said to launch this Friday, July 24th on Verizon, it appears the One Mini 2 will launch as the HTC One remix in only a few short days time as revealed by @evleaks. After Verizon Wireless inadvertently outed the phone a bit early on their YouTube channel — with a 4.5-inch display and “cutting edge features” — we knew a release was just around the corner.

Word on the street is this device might throw in an extra GB of RAM for good measure, giving fans of smaller smartphones even more reason to rejoice. Well, those on Verizon anyway.

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Download the Destiny Beta companion app for Android

Destiny1

Gamers know that the Destiny Beta has been alive and kicking on PlayStation 4 since last week, and that it’ll be headed to Xbox One folks this Wednesday. No matter which console you’re rolling with you’ll want to make sure you’re equipped with the companion app for one of 2014′s most anticipated titles.

The Destiny app will give you on-the-go access to information about your character (known as a Guardian), including stats, weapons, armor and all your accomplishments. You’ll also be given a map of The Tower, the landing pad for Guardians between missions. Furthermore, the app allows you to keep tabs on your Grimoire Score which can go toward unlocking new gear.

Destiny, a first person shooter by the makers of Halo, tells the story of a future earth — one that reached great technological heights thanks to the appearance of a mystical being known as “The Traveler.” But earth soon became desolate and the human race faced extinction thanks to the arrival of a blood thirsty alien race.

The game is an open world experience not unlike an MMO: you and your “fireteam” (two of your best buddies, natch) go out into these areas of earth to carry out missions to help save the human race. You can go it alone if you want, but don’t be surprised if you’re joined by completely separate groups of Guardians on your travels. Then there’s the crucible (PVP multiplayer) where glorified pissing matches between these heroes kick off.

Having played Destiny the past few days I can say it most certainly does deserve the hype it’s getting, and it’s one to look out for once it launches September 9th. As for the aforementioned app you can give it a go by downloading it for free from the Google Play Store. Find a link below.

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Is this the next version of the Moto G?

moto g2 leak

A successor to the Moto G might not be the most exciting Motorola product we’re on the lookout for this year, but it doesn’t keep us from getting a bit giddy about the latest rumor to have surfaced. Mellando No Android claims that the image you see above is a prototype for the next Moto G.

Not surprising is that the device is expected to be named the Moto G2, but will it be worthy of a nice, bug “successor” tag? Here are the specs that it’s said to pack once it finally sees the light of day:

  • 720p display with 320 PPI (which would be roughly 4.6 inches)
  • Quad-core processor with Adreno 305 GPU (Snapdragon 400?)
  • 8MP camera (up from 5MP on the original Moto G)

That isn’t going to turn a ton of heads alone, but we have a feeling this will look impressive up alongside an inexpensive price tag (which is likely what Motorola is going for if the original is anything to go by). The rest of the device reveals a design language akin to what we got on the Moto E — it’s rather conservative and ordinary, but does include front-facing speaker grills. It’s not meant to be flashy, but it should look good enough that anyone who wants one won’t feel bad to carry one. Let’s hope an announcement isn’t far off.

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Netflix tests new ‘incognito mode’ to keep your embarrassing viewing habits private

Netflix DSC06185

If you’ve been dying to experiment with My Little Pony, but were simply too embarrassed everyone on your Netflix account would think less of you, hope may loom on the horizon.

In an interview with GigaOM , a Netflix spokesperson revealed the streaming video service is currently testing a new feature tailored to those who wish to keep their viewing habits private. It’s called “Privacy Mode” and the option will prevent recently watched movies or shows out of their recently viewed list. It’s hard to imagine how Netflix didn’t think of this sooner. Just keep in mind selecting the option also means Netflix will no longer be able to recommend videos based on what you watch, a perk we’re sure many of you wouldn’t mind forfeiting.

Of course, this new feature is only in its testing phase and could be scrapped altogether depending on feedback. In an age where everything we do online is being watched and tracked, having the option for added privacy is always a good thing.

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Google Glass US tour swings by Boston, MA on July 26th – RSVP now

Glass Boston logo

After kicking off nearly a year ago, the next stop in the Google Glass’ US road tour has been revealed: Bostonians, come on down. Android fans near Massachusetts’ capital will finally have the opportunity to try out the world’s most controversial new wearable come this July 26th. The event — which takes place at the Boston Center for the Arts — looks to be a good time filled with drinks, conversations with the Glass team, and of course, Google Glass.

Even if you’ve decided you’re not a fan of Google Glass, the event will be the perfect opportunity to see how much you dislike a product after actually using it. Keep in mind you’ll first need to RSVP if you plan on attending, but rest assured the entire 8 hour event (starts at 10am) is completely free of charge. You can RSVP here .

If you’re curious as what to expect, check out the Glass team’s video highlighting their first stop in Durham, North Carolina down below.

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Kyocera to push the bar in smartphone durability with sapphire displays [VIDEO]

If Apple was planning on making people believe they were the first to use sapphire in smartphone displays for a more durable screen, Kyocera has made it a point to spoil those plans. The Chinese company has put out a video directly targeted at all the iPhone 6 rumors tipping the tech world off to Apple’s plans to use the displays.

They counter the rumors by saying that they have been doing this a lot longer than Apple has, with 41 years of experience using sapphire in everything from computer components to watch faces. And now they’re planning to beat Apple to the punch in smartphone displays.

They’re calling it the “Sapphire Shield,” and if you know anything about sapphire you’d know that it’s supposed to be virtually indestructible. Coins and keys wouldn’t be able to make scratches and dents, and it would come out looking like a champ if it were dropped flat on its face onto a slab of concrete. Sapphire is said to be used as transparent armor for many military vehicles, and if it’s good enough for a soldier it should be more than good enough for your smartphone.

kyocera sapphire shield

The problem with sapphire is that it’s expensive — a lot more expensive than tempered glass like Corning’s Gorilla Glass being used in so many smartphones. It was only last year that sapphire displays were going for $20 to $30 a pop, whereas Gorilla Glass can be had for under $3 per unit. Kyocera says they have found a way to make sapphire-based displays affordable, though, and that we’ll be hearing something very soon from their camp.

As much as we make fun of Kyocera’s phones for being underwhelming and uninspiring, one thing we can say they’ve always done well is durable smartphones. This is a natural step forward for them, and hopefully it can be used as a barometer for other OEMs to get in line and compete — we sure wouldn’t mind a future with fully indestructible displays.

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Verizon Moto X soak test participants receiving invites to test new firmware

Motorola Moto X DSC00695

Verizon and Motorola appear to be testing out new firmware for their version of the Moto X as soak test invites are going out to the adventurous folks not afraid to sign up for these things. As usual we don’t get any idea what to expect, though we wouldn’t expect them to roll out new firmware without also jumping to a new version of Android.

You obviously won’t be expecting Android L, but Android 4.4.3 or 4.4.4 are still on the table for this phone. The latter is already confirmed to be headed to Verizon’s DROID phones so we wouldn’t be surprised if the Moto X is in line for a similar upgrade.

In either case we wouldn’t expect many sweeping changes as this is likely a bug fixing and stability improvement upgrade. As unexciting as it may be, though, we’ll be keeping an eye on it. Be sure to check your email to see if you’ve been invited (and if you aren’t signed up to test Motorola firmware, head here to figure out how you can get in on all the fun).

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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Google Maps update brings enhanced voice controls and elevation information for bicycling

Google Maps 8.2 update

Google Maps users (that should be just about everyone) will find a nice update rolling out now in the Google Play Store. Version 8.2 brings a host of new features, the biggest being the ability to execute voice commands from inside the app. This can be done by clicking on the new microphone icon in the search bar, used to execute commands like “navigate to” or “show traffic.” What’s more is you’ll find another microphone while in navigation mode (towards the bottom left).

While that sounds extremely useful, the number of voice actions are pretty limited at the moment and require users to experiment with what works. Basic commands like asking Maps to show routes or give a route overview works fine. Even display traffic or show the time left until you reach your destination. The main problem we found is that, unlike Google Search hotword detection, you’ll need to physically touch the microphone icon to engage voice controls — they’re not done purely by voice.

There’s also elevation info for bicyclists to help avoid unnecessary uphill climbs when necessary. Routes will not only show elevations but the distance of the elevation changes as well. This makes it easy for cyclists to pick the easiest route based on their current elevation (see above image).

As usual, you can either wait for the new Maps to become available on your device in the coming days, or download our 3rd party link down below. Safe travels!

Download Google Maps 8.2: MediaFire

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