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Images and specs of Samsung’s next metallic phone leak

By Bogdan Petrovan

samsung sm-a500 (1)

Images and specifications of the SM-A500 have surfaced in Chinese regulatory docs.

The SM-A500 is reportedly one of Samsung’s new “A series” of metallic phones that combine sleek design with mid-range specifications, along the SM-A300 and SM-A700. According to Sam Mobile‘s sources, the SM-A500 will actually feature a full metal body, and not just an aluminum frame like the Galaxy Alpha and the Note 4.

Now the SM-A500 has been spotted in the database of TENAA, China’s telecom overseer. The listing includes several images showing a thin device with a rather typical Samsung design, but it’s not clear from the low-resolution pictures what the phone is made of. One distinctive feature revealed in the images is the speaker grille, which is positioned near the camera and has a metallic mesh design.

The listing mentions some specifications as well: the phone will be 139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7 mm (same thickness as the Alpha) and weigh just 126 grams. There will be LTE, a 13MP rear camera, a 5MP frontal one, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor (likely Snapdragon 400), 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and the previously reported 5-inch HD screen.

samsung sm-a500 (2)
samsung sm-a500 (4)

The specs confirm our impression that the SM-A500 is a mid-ranger that’s meant to impress through good looks, rather than a beefy spec sheet. It will be interesting to see Samsung’s pricing strategy in this respect.

The new A series is said to launch this quarter, which means we could see an official announcement from Samsung any time now. Interested?


Via: Phone Arena;
…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Amazon’s 4th generation of tablets announced, new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and more

By Jonathan Feist

Amazon Fire Tablet Family

Business Wire

We just finished letting you know that Amazon has announced an update to their Fire OS, the fun does not stop there, Amazon also has launched 5 new devices to the Kindle family.

Sangria, or Fire OS 4 will be available later this year, but it will also begin shipping in October on a few of Amazon’s 4th generation devices that were just announced, including the all new Fire HDX 8.9, new Fire HD and Fire HD Kids Edition. Rounding out the five new devices are two new Kindles as well, including touchscreen.

New Amazon Kindle Fire HD

New Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon introduces the new Kindle Fire HD as ‘the most powerful tablet under $100.’ Bold claims. Available in 6-inch or 7-inch display sizes, both at 1280×800 resolution. The new Fire HDs come with 1.5GHz quad-core processors, 2MP rear camera, “all-day battery life” and five colors to choose from. These are WiFi only tablets with 8 or 16GB of internal storage.

The new Fire HD tablets are expected to start shipping in October, but you can pre-order now starting at $99 for the 8GB 6-inch model, up to $159 for the 16GB 7-inch model. We’ll cover the device in more detail soon, but feel free to hit the Amazon store to check out the pre-order details.

Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition takes the new Fire HD tablet and wraps it up in a super tough and kid friendly case. Amazon is even offering a two year guaranteed no questions asked replacement if your child can manage to break this thing. Otherwise, expect a few kid friendly software tweaks on top of either the 6-inch or 7-inch Fire HD tablets. And, of course, three kid friendly colors are available.

Expected shipping date is October 21 and pre-orders are open at $149 for the 6-inch version and $189 for the 7-inch unit. Again, we’ll have more info soon, stay tuned.

New Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

New Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet

Amazon is not messing around with this guy, the new Kindle Fire HDX is a 8.9-inch device with 2560×1600 resolution display. It rocks the Snapdragon 805 processor at 2.5GHz and the Adreno 420 GPU keeping things lit. Amazon employed the latest MIMO and 802.11ac wireless technology for speeds they claim up to 600Mbps.

Available with 16, 32 or 64GB of internal storage, the new Fire HDX 8.9 also packs an 8MP rear camera, dual stereo speakers with new Dolby Digital Atmos technology and Amazon’s Mayday service. In addition to the WiFi only model, expect to find 4G LTE models as well.

The new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 also ships starting October 21 and can be pre-ordered today starting at $379. Opting for 4G LTE with 64 GB will run you nearly $600.

Once again, we are eager to get you more coverage of this device, stay tuned for our hand-on and full reviews as soon as we can get our hands on this thing.

New Amazon Kindle

New Amazon Kindle touchscreen

Amazon has announced two new Kindle devices. The first is pretty straightforward, the new Kindle is a 6-inch device with 16 shades of gray on their e-ink display. 4GB of internal storage should keep you reading for a while and the touchscreen breaths new life into the experience.

The new Kindle will start shipping on October 2nd, pre-orders are open now starting at $79.

Amazon Kindle Voyage

Amazon Kindle Voyage e-paper reader

Last, but not least, the Amazon Kindle Voyage. Stepping up the game, the Voyage offers optional 3G connectivity on top of the WiFi of the normal Kindle. New Carta e-paper technology brings 300ppi to the 6-inch display with adaptive front light. Amazon claims to have bettered battery life as well with up to 21 hours of screen on time.

The Kindle Voyage joins the other new tablets shipping October 21st. Again, pre-orders are open now starting at $199 for the WiFi only or $269 with Free 3G.

Special Offers

Please keep in mind that Amazon offers all of these devices with Special Offers pricing. Special Offers is Amazon’s on-device advertising deal, that installs a sponsored screensaver on the device and fires up (pun intended) an ad on your screensaver and the bottom of the home screen. Device savings differ by model, but an additional $20 or so will get you the ad free model of the devices.

There you have it, a big day for Amazon and the Fire line of tablets. As mentioned, we’ll have more to say about these devices before they go live in October, stay tuned if you are interested.

Has Amazon brought anything to the table to entice you away from Google’s Android and over to the Fire OS 4 Android experience?


Via: Amazon;
…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Amazon launching Fire OS 4 with new UI and features, including Firefly

By Jonathan Feist

Amazon Fire OS 4 Sangria update

Amazon has announced they are launching an overhaul to their Fire OS. Sangria, as it is codenamed, will be known as Fire OS 4 and it brings a bunch of new features including an UI update and new features like Firefly product identification and Profile support for multi-user applications.

While Amazon has not provided much in way of details for their new OS, they have simultaneously launched a handful of new devices as well, including updated Kindle reader and Kindle Fire HD tablets. We’ll have more on that soon, stay tuned.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD Kids

Along with some visual tweaks in Fire OS 4, Amazon has added in Firefly and Profiles, as mentioned, but also ASAP and Smart Suspend.

Profiles is pretty straightforward, allowing multiple users to log in with their own accounts on the same Amazon Fire OS 4 powered device. Great for a shared family Kindle Fire HD tablet.

Amazon’s new ASAP feature is a feature taken from Fire TV that predicts what you want to watch next and queues it up for you to start watching as soon as your current media finishes. Small wonder then that ASAP stands for Advanced Streaming and Protection.

Firefly is a service that Amazon launched along with the Fire Phone, allowing you to identify content like TV shows, movies, music and even physical objects by pointing the camera at them. Some consider Firefly to just be an interactive way to get into the Amazon store to make purchases, but that won’t stop you from being able to do so from your new Amazon tablet now.

Smart Suspend is a power management tool that will primarily work to turn off your WiFi when not in use. The Smart aspect is that it will learn from your usage habits and do what it can to turn WiFi off only when you are not using it, like at night. Of course, it will occasionally turn things back on to check for emails and the like, making sure it is up to date when you typically get up and at ‘em in the morning. Allow me to shamelessly self-promote: check out our Android customization series for our tutorial to build your own WiFi controls using Tasker.

Amazon Fire Tablet Family

Amazon says that Fire OS 4 will be available on all 4th generation devices, including the new tablets that are already up for pre-order. 3rd generation devices should expect the update OTA later this year, or into 2015 for the Fire Phone.

Stay tuned for new Amazon tablet news, coming up next.

What aspect of Amazon’s Fire OS do you most hope has been updated in Fire OS 4?


Via: Android Police;
Source: Amazon; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

These are Amazon’s new Fire tablets

By Nick Sarafolean

Kindle Fire HD 7

In a blast of announcements, Amazon has just announced three new Fire tablets as well as a new Kindle e-reader. For its late 2014 line-up, Amazon has announced a pair of new budget Fire tablets, a revamped Fire HDX 8.9 and a Fire HD Kids Edition. Additionally, all of the new Fire tablets run on Fire OS 4 “Sangria,” which works to revamp the UI and add new features like better prediction capabilities.

Fire HD

First on the list is the pair of Fire HD tablets that were announced. The 6-inch Fire HD sets a new precedent for price at just $99, while the larger 7-inch version comes in at $139. Both tablets are offered in black, white, cobalt, magenta and citron. Specs for the tablets include a display resolution of 1280×800, MediaTek 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 8/16GB storage, 2-megapixel rear camera, front-facing VGA camera and an estimated 8 hours of battery life. Amazon also reports that the Fire HD tablets are designed for durability and are 2 to 20 times less likely to break than other tablets on the market. Both models are available for pre-order and ship in October.

Fire HD Kids Edition

Next up is the Fire HD Kids Edition, which is Amazon’s first tablet designed specifically for children and could be the one that finally makes the segment take off. The Fire HD Kids Edition features all of the same specs as the Fire HD models and is also available in 6-inch and 7-inch sizes. The Kids Edition adds a massive shock barrier to the outside of the tablet to increase durability and grip, though it should be noted that the tablet isn’t waterproof.

Amazon is throwing in a 2-year guarantee to replace the Fire HD Kids Edition if it breaks. Just send the broken device back to Amazon and they’ll send you a new one with no questions asked. Finally, Amazon is including a year of its FreeTime Unlimited service to keep kids entertained with kid-friendly apps, games and TV shows as well as giving parents plenty of controls. To make it even more child-friendly, Amazon isn’t including its usual ads on the device and is also working to restrict ads in apps and games as well as in-app purchases. The 6-inch model costs $149 and the 7-inch model has a pricetag of $189. Both tablets are available for pre-order and ship in October.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

Amazon has also refreshed the Fire HDX 8.9. The Fire HDX 8.9 retains the same design as last year’s model but throws in a couple of upgrades to make it more appealing. The processor has been bumped up to a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 chip and the sound quality has been improved with Dolby’s new Atmos sound engine. The Fire HDX 8.9 is available for the same $379 prices as last year’s Wi-Fi model, with the LTE version carrying a slightly heftier price tag of $479. The tablet is available for pre-order and ships in October.

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

Amazon has also introduced two new accessories for the Fire HDX 8.9: an Origami Cover and Bluetooth keyboard. The Origami Cover is thin and light and includes the ability to create a stand for the device. The Bluetooth keyboard is being called the thinnest and lightest full-featured keyboard in the biz. While it doesn’t attach directly to the tablet as a stand, it can clip into the Origami cover to create a stand. Amazon is selling the Origami Cover for $54.99 and the Fire Keyboard for $59.99. They’re both available now.

Fire OS 4

Outside of the hardware realm, Amazon introduced its Fire OS 4, also known as “Sangria.” Fire OS 4 offers a visual refresh to Fire OS, making it faster and simpler to enter apps from icons rather than scrolling through an endless list of apps, games, movies, books and all the other content on your device. Profiles are also a new addition, allowing different people to set up their own accounts on the tablet.

Fire OS 4

Fire OS 4 is based on KitKat and includes battery improvements such as Smart Suspend, which turns wireless services on and off when the tablet isn’t in use to save power. Advanced Streaming and Prediction (ASAP) is included to learn from your habits and readies movies and TV shows that you might be interested in. Finally, Fire OS 4 is bringing Firefly to the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. Firefly is Amazon’s software that allows you to search practically anything in the world through camera, sound and other methods and then find it on Amazon to purchase. Fire OS 4 is included on all of the new Fire devices announced today and will be rolling out to 3rd-gen Fire tablets and the Fire phone in the coming months.

Are you interested in any of the new Fire devices?

Source: Amazon, (1), (2), (4)

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Fresh Meat: 10 new Android apps worth checking out

By Steve Raycraft

Moto Display

New apps need lovin’ too, right? Every day there are thousands of additions to the Google Play Store, but many go unnoticed and never receive the attention they deserve. We’ve shown in the past that this community can discover great apps and propel them to new heights. Our weekly Fresh Meat column highlights new apps with fewer than 100,000 installs. Browse our new Android app picks below and let us know which ones you enjoy.

Moto Display

Description: Moto Display gives you what you need to know, when you need to know it—without waking your phone. Information discreetly appears on the screen, so you don’t have to turn the screen on to look at the time or see notifications.

Noyze Volume Panel

Noyze Volume Panel

Description: noyze is a free app that gives you complete control over your device’s volume buttons. It is the only volume panel that does not require root access, a custom ROM, the Xposed framework, or an unlocked boot loader! Just activate noyze in Settings > Accessibility and enjoy! It comes preloaded with tons of settings, including master volume (sync all volumes), long press actions (next/ previous track or launch a shortcut), themes, and much more.

Ultralingua Dictionaries

Ultralingua

Description: Download Ultralingua, the amazing bestseller that gives you instant offline access to 35+ dictionaries from leading sources like Collins, Le Robert, and Vox (via in-app purchase). Instant smart search, automatic verb conjugation, and number translation make it easier to express yourself anywhere you go.

Adobe EchoSign

Adobe EchoSign

Description: Adobe EchoSign lets you e-sign documents, send documents to others for signature, track your documents, and get e-signatures instantly with in-person signing. EchoSign is your mobile companion for Android, and is optimized for tablet devices.

Castround with Twitter

Castround

Description: Castround gives you a bird’s eye view of a community in real time by utilising Twitter. See what people are talking about right now. Find out about gossip, celebrity spotting, breaking news, events and a whole lot more.

Moto Actions

Moto Actions

Description: Moto Actions responds to simple gestures without you having to touch the phone. Simply wave your hand above the phone to silence calls or snooze alarms. Or, open the camera with just two quick twists of your wrist.

My KODAK Moments

My KODAK Moments

Description: It’s fast and easy to make prints, photo books, greeting cards and more anytime, anywhere right from your smartphone with the My KODAK MOMENTS app! And the new Tell My Story feature lets you create and share short, three-picture videos with your voice-over.

Moto Voice

Moto Voice

Description: Moto Voice is always ready. Say “Do I need an umbrella?” and it gives you the weather. Tell it you’re going home, and Moto Voice will get you there. Say “Find your phone” for your phone to make it ring so you can track it down.

OneNote for Android Wear

OneNote Wear

Description: We are adding a new way for you to interact with OneNote on Android devices: your watch. Simply say “Take a note” and start dictating; we’ll transcribe everything you say and save it into your Quick Notes.

Horizon

Horizon

Description: Horizon lets you record horizontal videos no matter how you hold your device. Hold it upright, sideways or even keep rotating it while capturing, your captured moment will always stay horizontal! You can add filters, shoot with the back or front camera and share your creations!

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

What makes the Sony Xperia Z3 screen special?

By Edgar Cervantes

sony xperia z3 aa 1

The Sony Xperia Z3 is special for many reasons. It has great specs, an awesome build quality and impressive resistance to the elements. There is one department where this device excels and goes unnoticed, though. It happens to have a magnificent screen, even if a 5.2-inch 1080p IPS panel sounds as average as it gets.

Much like megapixels don’t necessarily translate to better photos, the Sony Xperia Z3 doesn’t need 2K definition to make a good display. Sony is very careful with its screen technology. They offer vibrant colors and superior brightness, but what makes these panels special is that Sony manages to offer this vivid image without wasting battery.

How do they do that? Sony engineer Takao Yagi takes it to the Sony Mobile blog to explain to us how this is accomplished. They manage to save battery while offering optimal brightness by taking 3 steps:

  • A new “local adaptive contrast” algorithm has been introduced to the Xperia Z3. It analyzes every single pixel and optimizes its contrast individually. This increases the dynamic range without having to raise the back light.
  • Sony also uses a technique in which they “shift phosphor material instead of cutting light by color filters”. This allows Sony to use “colder” whites (leaning towards the blue spectrum), which tend to look brighter.
  • More light-efficient LEDs are also used, which would be more of a hardware upgrade. Sadly, Sony doesn’t go too deep into this section.

There are many reasons why having higher brightness can improve your experience. Sony states that memories and experiences create a bigger impression in us when perceived in brighter light. Not to mention, screens tend to look much nicer when bright, and outdoor reading is substantially improved.

The Sony Xperia Z3 definitely doesn’t skimp out in this department, something you can clearly see in our hands-on post. We sure wish we could have a higher-definition screen in it, but do we really need it? The Xperia Z3 display is already great and it’s better to be safe than sorry.


Source: Sony; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Beach Buggy Racing is here to rock your racing socks once again!

By Edgar Cervantes

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 2.46.53 PM

Beach Buggy Blitz was one of the best Android games in 2012 and it continues to be among our favorite racing titles this year. It’s one hell of a fun game, which made it no surprise that it has reached 10-50 million downloads. Now developer Vector Unit is ready to release a successor – Beach Buggy Racing.

The sequel follows the same gaming language we saw in Beach Buggy Blitz. You get to race around beachy, island settings where there is plenty of obstacles and fun tracks to rush through. You get 12 race tracks, racing teams and even multiplayer (split screen) action.

If that wasn’t enough, customizability has become even funner, with customizable cars and characters that will allow you to stand out in any crowd. I don’t know if it’s just me, but those graphics seem to come with a substantial upgrade, too.

Got some free time? Go download it, as it literally costs you nothing. The game is completely free and available straight form the Google Play Store. Also remember it is one of the first games to be optimized for Tegra K1. If you are rocking a device with said processor, you definitely want to check this one out.


Source: Google Play Store; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

OnePlus One decides to kill StyleSwap cover production as a result of technical issues

By Alex Wagner

The OnePlus One has had a bit of a rocky life. After leaking out several times before its official debut, OnePlus has been responsible for some questionable promotions, and many folks that want to buy a unit haven’t been able to because of the invitation-based buying system. Unfortunately for OnePlus, that rockiness continues today.

OnePlus has revealed that it’s stopping production of the StyleSwap covers that it announced in July. The company explains that it’s had some “technical difficulties” during production of the covers that’s resulted in a low yield of acceptable parts. Additionally, a poor cover removal process makes swapping covers difficult and could damage either the phone or battery.

Not all hope is lost for StyleSwap covers, as OnePlus says that it’s “looking into the possibility” of offering limited edition denim and Kevlar-backed OnePlus One units. For now, OnePlus does have a limited number of acceptable bamboo StyleSwap covers that it plans to sell. The company has previously said that the bamboo StyleSwap cover would be priced at $49.

OnePlus says that it’s learned from this process and that it knows how to avoid this problem with the “OnePlus 2.” For now, though, it looks like you’ll be stuck with a white or black-backed OnePlus One unless you’re lucky enough to snag a one of the “small number” of bamboo backs that’ll be sold.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

OnePlus cancels its SwapStyle covers due to production and installation issues

By Andrew Grush

oneplus one wood bamboo styleswap (6)

Probably one of the coolest features announced with the OnePlus One was the ability to change out the covers for new materials. These special covers where called SwapStyle covers and were said to come in denim, bamboo, kevlar and a variety of other materials.

If you’ve been holding out for a SwapStyle cover (or hoped to get one if you ever get your hands on the OnePlus One), we have some bad news for you. Taking to its forums, OnePlus has announced that it is canceling its SwapStyle line due to production issues and the fact that they “could have designed the removal process of the back covers better; it’s tricky and makes frequent switches difficult. The swap can also leave the back cover slightly creaky or loose, and it risks damage to the battery which is exposed for a short time.”

On the upside, OnePlus notes that they have a limited stock of Bamboo covers that did make it out of production successfully, and will eventually sell them alongside detailed instructions “on how to replace your cover without damaging the cover, phone or battery.” As for the denim and kevlar materials? They may never arrive in SwapStyle form for the OnePlus One, but the company is considering special edition phones that will utilize these materials.

At the end of the post, OnePlus mentions that while they are disappointed that they are canceling, they have learned from there mistakes and are “much more knowledgeable and know what steps to take to ensure this won’t be a problem for the OnePlus 2, we will make sure the battery is properly protected and the the StyleSwap covers are easy safe to replace.”

Angry to see this canceled, or understandable? Additionally, how do you feel about OnePlus and the OnePlus One in general?


Source: OnePlus; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

New Moto X gets 4 exclusive apps in Google Play Store

By Edgar Cervantes

new moto x first look aa (14 of 21)

Motorola has just launched a quartet of apps in the Google Play Store. Don’t jump off your seats and go download them just yet, though. These happen to be exclusive to the new Moto X (2nd generation) and allow you to manage all the awesome features the new phone has to offer, while keeping you educated on these capabilities.

This is part of Motorola’s now habitual system app releases. Instead of installing these as system apps, the manufacturer has decided to upload crucial apps to the Google Play Store. This allows the them to improve important software applications and features without having to deliver a full OTA update (these often take long to reach our devices).

Today we are taking a look at Moto Actions, Moto Display, Motorola Sensor Services and Moto. None of these seem to work for the past generation Moto X, which makes us believe Motorola has decided to keep their apps separate. Without further ado, let’s take a look at these apps and what they do.

Moto Actions

Moto Actions makes gestures and touchless controls possible. The app is constantly on the lookout and detects when you wave your hand above the phone to silence a call or alarm, or when you twist your wrist to activate the camera.

Moto Display

Moto Display is pretty much a renamed version of the Active Display feature. It allows the Moto X to showcase information and notifications, displaying them directly in the screen when you interact with the touchscreen.

Motorola Sensor Services

We are not sure exactly what this one is for, but Moto says “Motorola Sensor Services allows you to keep your Sensor firmware updated to allow for the best phone experience.”

Moto

The new Moto X is unlike your usual devices. It has features we very rarely see in the market and Motorola wants to make sure you know how to take full advantage of your new smartphone. This is why they have released Moto, which is much like a help app.

The app teaches you what you can do with your new Moto X, as well as how to do it.

…read more

Source:: android authority