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Panasonic unveils Lumix CM1 cameraphone, complete with 1-inch sensor

By Nick Sarafolean

Panasonic Lumix CM1 (2)

Panasonic has just unveiled its new venture into the Android world, the Lumix CM1 cameraphone. Panasonic has been gone from the smartphone market for two years following the disaster that was the Eluga line of devices, but now the Japanese company is back with an intriguing new device that pairs high-end camera specs with an Android smartphone.

The Panasonic Lumix CM1 carries with it powerful features like a 1-inch sensor with a 20-megapixel resolution and an f/2.8 Leica lens. That 1-inch sensor size is a vast improvement over other phone’s sensors and is on par with cameras such as the Sony RX100. Paired with a manual control ring, mechanical shutter and 4K video capture, the camera on the Lumix CM1 easily surpasses all other smartphones.

On the smartphone half of the hybrid, the Panasonic Lumix CM1 packs specs that would be considered respectable in a high-end Android phone. The Lumix CM1 features a 4.7-inch 1080p display, 2.3GHz Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, 2600mAh battery, Android 4.4 KitKat and 16GB of storage supplemented by a microSD card slot that can support cards up to 128GB. All in all, a solid list of specs that makes the Lumix CM1 even more of a temptation.

The Lumix CM1 certainly looks like more of a camera than a smartphone, and in reality, it is. For those who highly value image quality on the go, the Lumix CM1 could be a great choice. Pansonic is exclusively launching the Lumix CM1 in France and Germany for 900 Euros, or about $1,150 USD. From there, Panasonic will look at the viability of bringing it to other countries based on its success.

Thoughts?

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

YouTube videos will be available offline, only in India for now

By Bogdan Petrovan

youtube logo

Korosirego/Flickr

Google just launched Android One in India, a program that aims to bring a quality mobile experience to the remaining five billion people that don’t have a smartphone yet.

Google used the occasion to announce another treat for Indian users – offline access to most YouTube videos, a feature coming over the next weeks.

Here’s what Google VP for Product Management Caesar Sengupta had to say about the new feature:

“YouTube is popular here. You watch some videos again and again. How awesome would it be if you could keep watching them again and again without having to pay for data, and take the videos with you wherever you go. Within the coming few weeks, much of YouTube will be available offline in India. This is huge, and our users will really, really like this. You can download a video once, save it to your phone, and watch it again and again.”

This new feature applies to all types of content, not just music videos. YouTube is reportedly working on a music subscription service called Music Key that would allow users to download clips for offline usage. Apparently, the feature announced today for India is unrelated to Music Key.

It’s not clear yet how YouTube will monetize offline video views.

Google is launching this feature in India first because of this market’s peculiarities. There are 900 million phone users in India, but only 10 percent have smartphones. Even among smartphone users, access to high-speed wireless internet is limited. With Android One smartphones (for which Google pays data used for updates and up to 200MB worth of apps, if you use an Airtel SIM) and offline YouTube videos, Google is clearly hoping to attract more people who, until now, were not able to get online.

It remains to be seen if Google will extend offline video availability to other developing countries or even to mature markets like the US.


Source: MediaNama; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Rumor: HTC smartphone-connected Tricorder medical gadgets in the works

By Nick Gray

htc-tricorder-breath-sense

HTC has always been a smartphone manufacturer. That’s all. The company helped Google bring Android to the masses and experienced unprecedented growth until Samsung came along and pushed HTC to the side. We all know that HTC has been struggling to keep its head above water over the past few years, so it isn’t that surprising to learn that HTC may try its hand at competing with GoPro by making a cylindrical action camera. However, things took a dramatic turn this weekend when images of smartphone-connected personal medical devices were posted by @upleaks and connected back to HTC. The suite of personal medical devices include a Tricorder blood system, Tricorder urine system, Tricorder scope system and the Tricorder breath system.

Two of the images show the Tricorder scope system and the Tricorder breath system in action. Users are able to operate the devices on their own (who needs a doctor these days?) and view the results on an HTC smartphone. Similar smartphone-connected medical gadgets have been around for a few years, but none of the major players in mobile have stepped into the space since they have established businesses which supply highly-profitable medical equipment to the medical industry. We have no clue how much a Tricorder blood system or a Tricorder urine system should cost, but the Tricorder scope system and Tricorder breath system could easily fall into the $300-$400 price range based on similar devices on the market.

Gallery



htc-tricorder-breath-sense

htc-tricorder-breath-sense-device

htc-tricorder-scope-system

htc-tricorder-skin-otitis-scope

htc-tricorder-urine-system

We’re not sure if the images are simply a proof of concept, but HTC does need to find a way to diversity its business if the company wants to stick around. Do you think HTC has what it takes to become a diversified technology company and compete on a larger scale?

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

HTC Eye, M8 Eye rumors bring new specs into focus

By Nick Gray

You’re probably aware that HTC is working on the ultimate “selfie” phone, known as the HTC Eye. The rumor first sprouted in early summer, and since then we’ve learned that most major service providers in the US have plans to sell the phone to their customers. A different device known as the HTC M8 Eye has also been the focus of a lot of chatter, and many have assumed that the HTC Eye and the HTC M8 Eye were the same device.

Now new details have emerged that clearly show that the HTC Eye and the HTC M8 Eye are two distinct products. The latest information about the HTC M8 Eye is that the phone will sport the same fit and finish as the HTC One (M8), but its Duo Camera will be upgraded to a 13-megapixel main sensor that’s similar to the one that’s used on the HTC Butterfly 2. Essentially, the HTC M8 Eye is a metal version of the Butterfly 2 (a plastic version of the One M8 with an upgraded Duo Camera). We’re not sure if HTC is kicking UltraPixel to the curb, but we know that quite a few consumers would be more willing to accept the HTC One (M8) if it has a higher megapixel count.

Moving on to the HTC Eye, we’ve known that the phone’s main selling point would be its front-facing camera, but details about the its specs have been elusive until @upleaks shared that the phone would sport a 5.2-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC. The front-facing camera megapixel count is still a mystery, but we’re pretty sure that it’ll at least match the 8-megapixel front-facing camera used on the HTC Desire 820. We’re not sure is the HTC Eye will fall into the HTC One or HTC Desire family, but it shouldn’t really matter since the phone is expected to be sold by all major service providers in the US and Europe.

HTC M8_EYE’s hardware is almost the same as original M8, like HTC One M8 for Windows. It also has 0P6B model number.

— @upleaks (@upleaks) September 12, 2014

M8 + 13MP Duo Camera = M8_EYE 🙂

— @upleaks (@upleaks) September 13, 2014

HTC EYE – 5.2″ FHD, S801

— @upleaks (@upleaks) September 14, 2014

M8_EYE is not the ultimate selfie phone codenamed as EYE.

— @upleaks (@upleaks) September 13, 2014

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Android One launches in India with support from Karbonn, Spice and Micromax

By Evan Selleck

image Android One Micromax

In June of 2014, Google officially introduced Android One, an initiative to make sure that stock Android is on a lot more devices across the globe on affordable devices. Now, several months later, the initiative has launched in India with support from several manufacturers, and more coming down the line.

Google made the unveiling official on their official Android blog, announcing that manufacturers like Karbonn, Spice and Micromax will be the first out of the gate with support for Android One. With the announcement, three new Android-based devices will see the light of day in India: the Karbonn Spice V, Micromax’s Canvas One and Spice’s Dream Uno. Each device features similar specifications:

  • 4.5-inch display, with a 854 x 480 resolution
  • Mediatek processor, clocked at 1.3GHz
  • 5MP camera on back; 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot
  • Dual-SIM support
  • FM radio
  • 1700mAh battery
  • Android 4.4.4 KitKat

Google also reiterated that these Android One devices will be some of the first to get Android updates down the road, including Android L when it launches later this year. As far as pricing goes, The Spice Dream Uno will cost Rs. 6,299 ($103 USD), the Karbonn Spice V will run Rs. 6,399 ($104 USD), and Micromax’s Canvas One will cost Rs. 6,499 ($106 USD).

By the end of 2014, Google plans on having Android One launched in several new areas, including the Philippines, Indonesia and several regions in South Asia. That goal will continue to expand throughout 2015 as well. Other manufacturers have also announced their support for Android One, including Acer, HTC, ASUS, Lenovo, Panasonic, and several others.

Qualcomm will also be adding their own support.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

AT&T pushes back Wi-Fi calling to 2015

By William Neilson Jr

TMobileWifiCallingLogo

Both T-Mobile and Sprint have recently announced their Wi-Fi calling initiatives. T-Mobile has enabled Wi-Fi calling and texting for every Simple Choice customer on every new smartphone sold while Sprint is offering Wi-Fi calling on a select number of devices including the Samsung Galaxy Mega, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4.

Now, AT&T is announcing that they will start offering Wi-Fi calling in 2015 but only as a complement to voice-over-LTE and 3G voice. Considering AT&T’s volume of unlicensed spectrum, it seems a bit odd that this feature has not come sooner.

“We’re very focused on making sure it’s a great experience for customers, but we see it as a complement, not a replacement,” he said. “We feel good about a great nationwide network with unlimited talk and text.” – Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T’s Mobile and Business Solutions group

According to Vega, AT&T is not interested in fighting T-Mobile with Wi-Fi calling because they don’t feel as if they need to enter such a competition. Wi-Fi calling allows users to take advantage of home or office Wi-Fi connections to improve call quality.


Source: 9to5mac, Light Reading; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

15 best camera apps for Android

By Joe Hindy

Get it on Google Play

Amateur photography is a huge deal these days. There are people who make a living off of taking photos with their iPhone camera. Stock camera apps work pretty well most of the time and give you access to exclusive features on that phone (such as HTC Zoe or Samsung’s Drama Shot). However, sometimes you want something a little different or a little unique. That’s when you want to take a look at the best camera apps for Android and that’s what we’re going to do right now.


best camera apps for android - camera mxCamera MX

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
First on our list of best camera apps for Android is called Camera MX. When compared to the other apps on the list, it’s pretty run of the mill. When compared to the rest, it’s actually quite good. It doesn’t necessarily have the feature set that a professional might be looking for, but if you’re a hobbyist or you really enjoy sharing pictures via Google+ or Instagram, then Camera MX is more than good enough.

camera mx best camera apps for android


Camera Zoom FX - best camera appsCamera ZOOM FX

[Price: $3.99]
Camera Zoom FX is next on our best camera apps for Android. Unlike Camera MX, and most of the other apps on this list, Camera Zoom FX takes a different approach to using filters and effects. Instead of applying any number of pre-made filters and effects, Camera Zoom FX allows users to choose multiple effects to create their own filter. If you’re feeling a little lazy, there are some pre-made ones to choose from. It’s highly functional and popular. There are also no in app purchases with this one.
Get it on Google Play
camera zoom fx - best camera apps for android


Camera360 Ultimate best camera apps for androidCamera360 Ultimate

[Price: Free]
Camera360 Ultimate is not only among the most popular camera apps for Android, but it’s also one of the best. For many, this is the go-to camera replacement app and has been for a long time. It’s totally understandable as well, as Camera360 Ultimate is packed full of features. They’ve even updated it recently to include more settings for a better camera experience. As per the norm, you get all the standard features along with a number of filters and effects.
Get it on Google Play
Camera360 Ultimate best camera apps for android


Camera Fun Pro best camera apps for androidCamera Fun Pro

[Price: $0.99]
Camera Fun Pro is next and this one is definitely for a more niche market. The various filters available provide a more goofy and fun theme for people rather than the more serious and artistic filters that others on this list provide. One of the more nifty features is the app’s ability to let you see how the effects will look before snapping the picture. So instead of taking the picture, adding the effects, and hoping you got the shot you needed, you can instead take the picture you wanted the first time. There are professional filters available, but this app definitely caters more to the fun pictures crowd.
Get it on Google Play
camera fun pro best camera apps for android


best camera apps for AndroidCamera JB+

[Price: $1.99]
Camera JB+ is an increasingly popular camera that was actually suggested to us by our readers (in the comments below). It’s based on the AOSP Jelly Bean camera. It includes three camera modes including regular shot, video capture, and panorama mode. There is also a lightweight image editor built in so you can make minor adjustments to your images. If you like the look and feel of the stock Android camera, this is the one we’d recommend. If you want KitKat then there is also the Camera KK app. The KitKat version is free with in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play


Cymera best camera apps for androidCymera

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Cymera is another one of those camera apps for Android that is already wildly popular. With over 10 million downloads to date, Cymera ranks up there with the most popular camera apps period. It also happens to be really highly rated as well. Unlike most camera apps on this list, Cymera focuses on taking a certain type of picture. Namely, it’s used predominately for taking pictures of people’s faces. It can function as a regular camera app. There are the standard features, filters, effects, and other editing goodness. However, it’s wheelhouse is face shots. There are a completely separate set of features and filters for when you catch a smile in your pictures.
Get it on Google Play
cymera best camera apps for android


best camera apps for AndroidDSLR Camera Pro

[Price: $2.99]
DSLR Camera is a camera application that acts like the kind of software you’d see on an actual DSLR camera. It includes things like the ability to change your ISO, exposure compensation, white balance, and grids. There are also some more casual features like color effects and geotagging. It is important to note that some features are dependent on your hardware. That means the app supports these features but your device’s camera may not support them which means you won’t be able to use them. If they do work then this is a great application.
Get it on Google Play
best camera apps for android


GIF Camera - best camera apps for AndroidGIF Camera

[Price: Free]
Let’s face it ladies and gentlemen, the internet would not be the same without GIFs. They have contributed to the hilarity of the internet for so long that thinking about the internet without …read more

Source:: android authority

    

(Update: it’s official!) Microsoft to buy Minecraft-maker Mojang

By J. Angelo Racoma

Minecraft pig and Xbox

Update: In a blog post on Xbox Wire, Microsoft just confirmed it will acquire Mojang. Minecraft will continue to be available on all platforms, including Android. Mojang confirmed the rumored acquisition price of $2.5 billion. Markus “Notch” Persson, Carl Manneh, and Jakbok Porser, the three founders of Mojang are leaving the company.

Original post:

Mojang, the creator of popular sandbox game that has crossed console, desktop and mobile platforms, is reportedly in talks with Microsoft for a possible acquisition. According to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, the Redmond software and cloud services giant is making an offer to acquire the Stockholm-based independent game producer to the tune of US$ 2 billion.

This planned acquisition will be the first big-ticket purchase by Microsoft after Satya Nadella took over as CEO. This is also the first major acquisition after the firm started to refocus its corporate strategy toward a cloud-services oriented firm.

To date, Mojang has largely been independent, with three co-founders Markus “Notch” Persson, Carl Manneh and Jakob Porsér, being its only board members and share-holders. The company has previously rebuffed any outside investment or acquisition offer, preferring instead to rely on revenues and focus on its own development lifecycle. In fact, Persson has been outspoken against the intervention of big technology corporations in startup companies like his own.

“Mojang exists because I got lucky with ‘Minecraft,’ and it got way bigger than I could handle on my own,” Persson wrote in June this year. As for potential investments and acquisitions, he said these were tempting, but “at the end of the day we choose to do what either makes the most sense for our products or the things that seem like fun for us at Mojang.”

Neither Microsoft nor Mojang would confirm the acquisition talks, although such an arrangement will help bolster Microsoft’s own position in the gaming industry, particularly with a title as popular as Minecraft. Mojang chose to launch the console version of Minecraft on Xbox in 2012, well ahead of the platform’s arch-rival in the business, Sony Playstation. The Xbox and platform has accounted for about a third of Mojang’s revenue from its game sales in the previous year. Mojang has recently launched Minecraft for Xbox One, as well. It can be noted that unlike many free-to-play games that are popular of late, Minecraft is an outright purchase — $7 for the smartphone and tablet versions, $27 for console and $20 for PC.

Interestingly enough, Mojang has actively avoided porting the game for Windows Phone, because it deemed the platform not sizeable enough to warrant its own release. With an acquisition, Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 tablet users might have hopes for a Minecraft release soon — or perhaps bigger projects in the future.

The question now is what kind of changes will take place if and once Mojang is, indeed, acquired by Microsoft. Being independent, the team has prided itself in not having any outside pressure from owners or investors in shipping products and building for different platforms. “Financially speaking, we have no pressure whatsoever to rush into any new projects,” said CEO Manneh earlier this year.

According to sources, however, it was Persson himself who opened up the possibility of an acquisition, having approached Microsoft a few months ago. With a positive working relationship with Microsoft for the Xbox, parties have worked on a framework and a tentative acquisition price. “Notch” is not likely to remain after the acquisition, although he will reportedly help out with the transition.

Will an acquisition mean a focus on Microsoft-owned platforms? Or will developers start working on other Microsoft projects, as well, where a sandbox-type 3D environment will come into play? Sources cited by Bloomberg say that Microsoft will most likely maintain versions of the game for competing platforms, in line with its strategy to produce high-quality versions of its productivity applications for both its own operating systems like Windows, as well as competitors’.


Source: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Southwest passenger creates Wi-Fi hotspots like “Bomb On Board”

By William Neilson Jr

Southwest Logo

How stupid can one person be? Let’s find out. Let’s pretend that it is last week. Specifically, it is September 11, 2014. So, what better day to pretend that you have a bomb on an airplane.

A passenger on a Southwest plane at Seattle-Tacoma Airport was detained after creating Wi-Fi hot spot names such as “Southwest – Bomb on Board.” One passenger noted that the name of the hotspot also changed to “the bomb is on this seat” and a name describing the attractiveness of the flight attendants.

The passenger did this before the plane had even taken off so the pilot pulled the airplane off to a side tarmac where police cars surrounded the plane and officers boarded. The plane eventually made its way to Denver but only after the plane was delayed several hours due to the plane having to be searched and the bags re-scanned.

AOL


Source: Consumerist, ABC News; …read more

Source:: android authority

    

Deal: get a refurb Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 for $240 on Woot (US only)

By Bogdan Petrovan

samsung galaxy tabpro 84 aa-27

Remember the TabPRO series that Samsung announced at CES in January? The AMOLED Tab S stole the spotlight as Samsung’s flagship tablet, but the TabPRO series remains a great choice, especially if you can get it for a great price.

Woot is offering a good deal on the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 today: for $239.99, you can get a factory refurbished TabPRO 8.4 WiFi with 16GB of storage and a three-month warranty from Samsung.

The deal is valid for today only (17 hours left at the time of this writing) or until supplies last. Even if it’s a refurbished unit, we think this is a great deal for what the TabPRO 8.4 offers, including a Quad HD LCD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, expandable storage, and a 4,800 mAh battery.

Get the Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 16GB WiFi (refurbished) on Woot

Our Josh reviewed the TabPRO 8.4 back in March and he loved its stunning display, lightweight build, and snappy performance. Here are his video impressions:

Let us know if you went for the deal!

…read more

Source:: android authority