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Android compatibility coming to Livescribe 3 Smartpen this Spring

By Jimmy Westenberg

livescribe_3_smartpen

Most people out there would likely agree that writing on a piece of paper or in a notebook is much more comfortable than doing so on a touchscreen. Sure, there are styli and S Pens out there, but it’s just not the same. There are, however, companies out there trying to help users with that problem. Enter Livescribe, the company that created the smartpen that records handwritten notes and stores them away on the Livescribe+ app as you write them. For constant notetakers, this is a dream come true. However, the company’s newest release, the Livescribe 3, has only been compatible with iOS up until now. But the company has just given word that they’re creating a unique Android app, so Android users can start taking advantage of this awesome pen.

In an announcement at CES 2015, the company states that the Livescribe+ app will make its way to Android sometime in the Spring of 2015. The app will be compatible with every device running Android 4.4 KitKat or above and that supports Bluetooth Low Energy. The Director of Product Management at Livescribe, Greg Wong, assures users:

Livescribe+ for Android is much more than a port of our iOS app. We’ve approached every aspect of this app, from the color palette to the user interface, to optimize for the Android platform and customer expectations.

If you’d like to get your hands on one before Spring, head to Livescribe’s site to grab either the Livescribe 3 Smartpen for $149.95, or the Livescribe 3 Smartpen Pro Edition for $199.95. Don’t forget to stay tuned for more coverage of CES 2015 here at Android Authority!

Show Press Release
Las Vegas, NV – January 5, 2015 – Leading smartpen manufacturer Livescribe Inc, (www.livescribe.com) today announced that the award-winning Livescribe 3 smartpen will support Android devices this spring. Unveiled at Pepcom’s Digital Experience and previewed during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, the Livescribe+ app, currently available only for iOS devices, was designed from the ground up with Android users in mind. The app will be released this spring for select Android devices with KitKat v4.4 and above, and Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) support. The Android version of Livescribe+ will provide full support for the Livescribe 3 smartpen, and will include the key features already in the iOS version of the app.

“Since launch, we’ve been adding new features to Livescribe+ for iOS and also introducing expanded functionality through partnerships with Moleskine, Evernote, Microsoft and Fluid Touch,” said Gilles Bouchard, CEO of Livescribe. “Now we can start to bring those innovations to Android devices this spring and combine the physical world of pen and paper with Android smartphones and tablets.”

The Livescribe+ app will be available for select Android smartphones and tablets running Android KitKat 4.4 or Lollipop 5.0 with support for Bluetooth LE. Livescribe+ will include key features of the iOS version of the app, including the ability to transfer notes from Livescribe 3 smartpens, search handwriting and convert it to digital text. Customers can also create and play back pencasts that synchronize audio recordings with handwritten notes, and easily share their notes in standard PDF format. Any Livescribe 3 smartpen can save notes to both an iOS and Android device so customers have all their notes wherever they need. Additional features will be introduced in later versions of the software.

“Livescribe+ for Android is much more than a port of our iOS app,” said Greg Wong, Director of Product Management. “We’ve approached every aspect of this app, from the color palette to the user interface, to optimize for the Android platform and customer expectations.”

The Livescribe 3 smartpen is the company’s fastest-selling product to date, helping professionals, travelers, students, busy moms and dads, and anyone else who enjoys the feel of writing with real ink on real paper make their notes more useful on a smartphone or tablet.

At CES this week, Livescribe is giving the first previews of the Android app and the Livescribe 3 smartpen on an Android tablet at the Pepcom Digital Experience event and Livescribe’s CES suite at the Venetian hotel. Reporters interested in a first look at the app before it launches later this spring are encouraged to arrange a meeting by contacting press@livescribe.com.

For more information, please visit www.livescribe.com.

About Livescribe
Livescribe brings notes, words and ideas to life. Livescribe smartpens make it easy to connect paper and pen to the digital world and fundamentally change the way people capture, access and share what they write, draw and hear. Livescribe’s family of smartpens includes the Echo smartpen, the Sky wifi smartpen and the Livescribe 3 smartpen.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

ZTE SPro2 Projector making its way to AT&T

By Jimmy Westenberg

zte spro 2 first look aa (8 of 13)

Yesterday, we got a first-hand look at one of ZTE’s newest products unveiled at CES 2015: the ZTE SPro2 Smart Projector. If you are interested in picking one up when it becomes available sometime in the first quarter of 2015, you’re going to have to head over to AT&T for it. The carrier has just announced that they will carry the SPro2 as an AT&T exclusive. On the plus side, this little pico projector can handle 4G LTE speeds, but that also means you’re going to have to sign a contract and pay a monthly fee to connect this to AT&T’s network.

ZTE’s SPro2 Projector can output 720p images up to 120 inches in size, with a brightness of 200 lumens, which is double what its predecessor could produce. It can also work as a 4G LTE hotspot and connect up to 8 devices at one time. On the top of the device sits a 5-inch screen running Android 4.4 KitKat, and also has a 6300mAh battery, a Snapdragon 800 processor as well as multiple USB 3.0, HDMI and audio connector ports. If you’d like more info on this awesome projector, head to our hands-on and first impressions of the ZTE SPro2! (Or take a look at the video below)

Show Press Release
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2015 – AT&T1 will exclusively offer the ZTE SPro2TM on AT&T’s network — the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network and the network that has the nation’s strongest LTE signal.2 The latest version provides twice the projector brightness of its predecessor. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

“The ZTE SPro2TM combines the speed and reliability of an AT&T 4G LTE mobile hotspot with the ability to connect up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices” said Jeff Bradley, SVP, Device Marketing and Developer Services, AT&T. “AT&T customers will also enjoy features such as the added value and convenience of an Android powered, portable projector, a 5-inch touchscreen, and built-in battery power.”

1AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

2Claim basis: Nationwide carriers’ LTE. Signal strength claim based ONLY on avg. LTE signal strength. LTE not avail. everywhere.

– See more at: http://about.att.com/story/zte_spro2_projector_first_att_portable_projector_and_mobile_hotspot_coming_to_americas_strongest_lte_signal.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AttAttWirelessRssFeeds+%28AT%26T+Wireless+RSS+Feeds%29#sthash.Lqg7TPt7.dpuf

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Microsoft Office preview for Android tablets now available on Google Play

By Rob Triggs

Microsoft Office logo Android

Back in November, Microsoft opened up early previews builds for its new mobile Office applications for Android tablets to those willing to sign up and wait for an invitation. After taking on feedback over the past couple of months, Microsoft has announced that it is expanding its preview scheme by releasing its Office applications to everyone directly through the Google Play Store.

The new Office software for mobile unifies Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. Previously each platform had to make do with its own apps, meaning that feature sets differed depending on your operating system and updates were often slow and intermittent. By unifying the Office platform, Microsoft hopes to bring updates and new features to users in a timelier manner.

There are still a couple of conditions attached to the preview builds though. Firstly, Office is still limited to ARM-based Android tablets with a screen size between 7 and 10.1 inches. Your tablet will also need to be running KitKat or Lollipop versions of Android, so users on Jelly Bean or earlier are out of luck.

If you are interested in trying out the preview builds of Microsoft’s improved office apps, here are the links for Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

LG G Flex 2 vs Galaxy Note Edge: who has the right idea? (poll)

By Andrew Grush

lg g flex first look aa (48 of 49)

Both Samsung and LG have been teasing their efforts in the curved display arena for years now, though it wasn’t until late 2013 that we saw their first commercial efforts with the G Flex and Galaxy Round. Both of these devices were early attempts at wooing consumers in hopes of getting us excited for the future of curved displays.

So where’s this curved future heading exactly? While we can certainly envision a time when our phones can unfold and transform into a 7, 8 or even 10-inch tablet — we are still a far ways off from this. For now flexible and curved displays remain fairly limited, though Samsung and LG both seem to have chosen distinct paths when it comes to how they are implementing this technology.

Where’s this curved future heading exactly?

Late last year Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note Edge, essentially the spiritual successor to the Galaxy Round. The LG G Flex 2 on the other hand is the direct successor to the original G Flex. We’ve already conducted a full review of the Note Edge, and while the G Flex 2 was only announced yesterday we’ve already spent some time comparing it to both the original G Flex and the Note Edge.

With that in mind, we have to wonder: who is heading in the better direction? While Samsung is attempting to bring special functionality to its curves, LG’s approach is all about aesthetics and the feel in the hand. Which device do you believe is the most legit, or do you think they are both nothing more than gimmicks? For those that feel that neither Samsung or LG is doing “curved” right, do you think that curved displays in general are more gimmicks than true innovations, at least until the technology advances enough to open the door to folding mobile devices and the like?

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

MediaTek processor at heart of world’s first Ultra HD Android TV

By Gary Sims

Sony-4K-ultra-HD-Android-TV

MediaTek has been working with Google to port Android TV onto its MT5595 processor. The result is Sony’s latest generation of Bravia TVs, the world’s first Ultra HD TV platform running Android TV.

MediaTek’s MT5595 is a quad-core big.LITTLE SoC which includes two ARM Cortex-A17 cores and two ARM Cortex-A7 cores. The SoC also supports Google’s VP9 codec and the HEVC (H.265) codec, both of which are designed for 4K2K content streaming at 60 frames per second.

Consumers can watch movies from Google Play or cast their favorite entertainment from a mobile device to the Sony Ultra HD TV. The MT5595 also supports up to 4K2K streaming content.

We are very proud to stand alongside Sony in introducing the new Android TV device. The experience of Sony’s Android TV will set the standard for future smart televisions. This is a momentous occasion for MediaTek to be changing the way people watch TV with our strong partner, Sony.
Ching-Jiang Hsieh, President of MediaTek.

The MT5595 is a TV SoC and not only does it support 4K HEVC/VP9 at 60 frames per second, it also supports 4 x 2K HEVC/H.264 60 fps simultaneous decoding, as well as MediaTek’s ClearMotion technology for up-conversion of low-frame-rate videos. In terms of broadcasting it supports a large range of worldwide broadcasting standards including ATSC/DTMB/DVB/ISDB and HbbTV broadband.

Consumers can expect MediaTek-powered Sony Android TV devices to be commercially available by March 2015.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

ZTE Spro 2 smart projector coming exclusively to AT&T

By Nick Sarafolean

Yesterday, ZTE announced the Spro 2 smart projector and mentioned that it was working with US carriers to sell the device. Today, AT&T has announced that it will be the exclusive carrier to sell the Spro 2 smart projector. In addition to being a projector and streaming device, the Spro 2 is also a mobile hotspot, allowing up to ten other devices to connect to it and use 4G LTE. AT&T didn’t release any details on pricing or availability, though ZTE says that the Spro 2 will be available in early 2015.

The Spro 2 is an odd device, and one that many won’t understand. But it has a surprising amount of uses. Whether it’s watching movies with your friends anywhere and everywhere, or giving an important presentation to a client, people of all different walks of life can find a use for the Spro 2.

Do you see yourself using a device like the Spro 2?

Show Press Release

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2015 – AT&T1 will exclusively offer the ZTE SPro2TM on AT&T’s network — the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network and the network that has the nation’s strongest LTE signal.2 The latest version provides twice the projector brightness of its predecessor. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.

“The ZTE SPro2TM combines the speed and reliability of an AT&T 4G LTE mobile hotspot with the ability to connect up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices” said Jeff Bradley, SVP, Device Marketing and Developer Services, AT&T. “AT&T customers will also enjoy features such as the added value and convenience of an Android powered, portable projector, a 5-inch touchscreen, and built-in battery power.”

– See more at: http://about.att.com/story/zte_spro2_projector_first_att_portable_projector_and_mobile_hotspot_coming_to_americas_strongest_lte_signal.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AttAttWirelessRssFeeds+%28AT%26T+Wireless+RSS+Feeds%29#sthash.P3o8w9I6.dpuf

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Razer offers details on the Razer Forge TV, its Android TV console

By Nick Sarafolean

Razer, the company known for its gaming devices and accessories, has announced details on the Razer Forge TV, its Android TV console coming in Q1. The Razer Forge TV is a set-top box that allows all of the usual functions of Android TV but has an emphasis on gaming. Not only will it be able to play Android games, but software from Razer will allow it to stream games from your PC over Wi-Fi, allowing you to play PC-quality games on your TV.

Razer has packed the Razer Forge TV with a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, Adreno 420 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, HDMI and Bluetooth 4.1. Up to four Bluetooth controllers can be connected to the Razer Forge TV, allowing for you and a few friends to utilize multi-player. The Razer Forge TV will be sold by itself for $99.99, or with the Razer Serval Bluetooth controller for $149.99. You can also purchase the Razer Turret as an accessory, which is a wireless mouse and keyboard combo that sells for an addition $129.99. It’s designed to sit on your lap and still be fully functional.

While the Razer Forge TV will launch in Q1 2015, it won’t be able to stream PC games until Q2. That’s when the Razer Cortex: Stream software will become available. The beta software will be available for free for Razer Forge TV owners and will cost $39.99 for anyone else who wishes to use it, as it’s not device-specific and works with any game using DirectX 9 or higher.

Are you interested in the Razer Forge?

Show Press Release

LAS VEGAS (CES 2015) – Razer™, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced a product range centered around the Razer Forge TV, a high-performance Android TV micro-console to bring hardcore PC gaming and Android gaming into the living room. This new gaming ecosystem consists of the Razer Forge TV micro-console, Razer Cortex: Stream software and two Bluetooth peripherals, the Razer Serval and the Razer Turret.

Hardcore Android Gaming Experience
Razer Forge TV offers cutting-edge performance with quad-core processing, gaming-grade graphics, industry-leading wireless and network connectivity with 16 GB of internal storage, all packed in a sleek and silent form factor. This micro-console’s powerful hardware easily plays the most popular games from Google Play on a large screen for up to four players.
The Razer Serval, a console-style Bluetooth gaming controller, is able to navigate and play games on Razer Forge TV. The controller is designed by the same Razer engineering team that created the award-winning Razer Sabertooth Xbox controller. With four action buttons, two thumb sticks, and trigger and bumper buttons, the Razer Serval enables play with any controller-ready Android TV game or Android mobile game on-the-go using the device’s phone clip. The versatile gaming controller has the ability to remember up to four unique device pairings, making the switch between the Razer Forge TV, mobile phone, tablet, and PC easy without having to worry about multiple controllers and settings.
Bringing PC Gaming to the living room
The current approaches to playing PC games on a larger screen offer various challenges ranging from cost of additional hardware, game compatibility restrictions, laggy streaming technologies and the perennial problem of addressing the mouse and keyboard user interface issue in the living room
Enter Razer Cortex: Stream, the latest feature to Razer’s popular gaming launcher software used by millions of gamers worldwide, launching into beta in spring 2015. Providing ultra-low latency gaming and up to full-HD resolution with Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection, the proprietary game streaming technology sets the benchmark for streamed PC gaming. Razer Cortex: Stream is hardware agnostic and is compatible with Directx9 games and higher from any publisher.
This is rounded off with the Razer Turret – a wireless living room gaming mouse and lapboard that brings the power of a fully-fledged PC gaming keyboard and mouse in a sleek and ultra-thin form factor that has been designed to fit perfectly on your lap. With its fully anti-ghosted gaming keyboard and high precision 3500 DPI ambidextrous mouse, Razer Turret comes with dual wireless connectivity via Bluetooth 4.0 LE or Wireless 2.4 Ghz that ensures lag free gameplay and compatibility across multiple devices.
“Razer Forge TV is a device that is able to bring together the most popular elements of an entertainment center,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “It powers popular music and movie apps and plays Android TV games that an entire family can enjoy. For the hardcore gaming audience, it will bring PC gaming to the couch. Razer Forge TV is what we see as the future of consoles.”
Users can also interact with Razer Forge TV through their mobile devices, including iOS, Android, ChromeBook, Windows and more. A mobile remote control app is available for easy navigation and supports voice search functionality. Google Cast lets users send the Web, movies, shows and photos from Android or iOS mobile devices or laptops to televisions. Select Android TV games and media progress may be saved and played back on Android smartphones and tablets via a cloud save feature.
Razer’s history includes success blending hardware and software together with its critically acclaimed gaming peripheral and systems products. The company has shipped 13 million connected devices to-date, and close to 4 million people log onto Razer software on a monthly basis.

About the Razer Forge TV:
Razer Forge TV was built to bring hardcore PC gaming, Android gaming and entertainment to the television. The Razer micro-console opens the gateway for next-level Android TV gaming that is designed for the serious gamer. Intense full-HD graphics combined with the Razer Serval controller provide the detail and precision that is needed to dominate the living room.
Bring your friends into the action with support for up to four controllers. Powered by a quad-core processor and gaming-grade graphics, the Razer Forge TV makes the most of Android gaming. Pick up your games and movies where you left off when switching between your mobile device and Razer Forge TV.
Explore a massive selection of …read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Will we soon be able to watch brand new movies on our phones?

By William Neilson Jr

TheInterviewMovieAdPoster

“The Interview” is the most successful online release ever for a Hollywood movie. For the first time, customers were able to watch a new film from the comfort of their house and/or on their phone or tablet. Thanks to Sony Pictures Entertainment being hacked and movie theaters being threatened, Sony decided to release the film online at the same time that it hit select theaters.

“The Interview” then took in a surprising $15 million in its first four days of online sales and rentals. As the Los Angeles Times noted, “The Interview” was streamed or downloaded more than 2 million times over the holiday weekend after it was released on Google Play, YouTube Movies, Microsoft’s Xbox Video and a stand-alone website on Christmas Eve, the day before it hit theaters.

But will we soon be able to watch more new films on our smartphones/tablets? Not likely.

Movie theaters continue to resist shortening the window between theatrical and home release. At the moment, theaters have imposed a 120 day window (although, some can get the movie after 90 days). Theater operators argue that making a movie available in the home at the same time as it appears in theaters takes away from the theatrical experience and discourages people from going to the cinema.

Meanwhile, customers who go to movie theaters wearing Google Glass are being detained and threatened, customers who record and send twenty seconds of the movie to a family member are being arrested and customers who record a group of girls celebrating a birthday party at a movie theater are being arrested and jailed for two days.

Let’s not also forget theater owners considering whether it would be a good idea to jam cell phone signals in their theaters to cut down on rude behavior and piracy. Nevermind that it was illegal at the time to jam cell phone signals.

It isn’t all on the movie theaters though as movie studios have financially enjoyed such an arrangement with the theaters. The business of releasing a movie in the theaters, then on DVD and then on HBO/Starz has reaped the movie studios many billions of dollars over many years.

But with DVD business sales declining heavily and ticket sales declining even more rapidly, movie studios are suddenly realizing that they need to open up new distribution streams. The problem for the movie studios is that most money made by the studios does come from movie theaters. Movie theater chains know this and use this fact to fight back against movie groups that they do not like.

DVDSalesRevenue20072012 hollyquant

For example, several months ago, Netflix agreed to finance the “Crouching Tiger” sequel. While the movie was supposed to be released on Netflix on the same day as it hit Imax theaters, most theaters across the country refused to screen the movie due to the Netflix availability. According to Regal, the nation’s largest cinema chain, they did not want to participate “in an experiment where you can see the same product on screens varying from three stories tall to 3″ wide on a smart phone.”

This comes after several major movie theater chains refused to show the comedy “Tower Heist” after Universal Pictures wanted to make the movie available at an expensive price to consumers after three weeks from its launch at the theaters. When movie studios wanted to offer $30 video-on-demand movie rentals after the movie had been in theaters for 10 weeks, movie theater chains revolted.

Another victim in this business cycle are smaller theaters who continue to complain about the number of restrictions put in place by the movie studios due to exclusive deals signed with the major movie theater chains. For example, when “Gone Girl” debuted in October of last year, a number of small-town theaters in east Texas wanted to play the movie. But 20th Century Fox made the film available to only one venue in Kilgore, Texas, while other theaters would have to wait another week.

Going back to 2005, one poll (via TechDirt) showed that almost 75% of people preferred watching movies at home. That is 10 years ago when someone’s movie choices with streaming services were much more limited.

The movie industry openly admits to running a distribution pattern that has worked for decades. So, while technology is changing, the movie industry seems intent on trying to slow everything done for their own financial benefit. They will continue to pretend as if Netflix doesn’t exist and will threaten to ban any movies that don’t allow the theaters an absurd amount of window release time.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Android 5.0 Lollipop gets ported to the HTC HD2

By Gary Sims

HTC-HD2-Lollipop

If you were expecting the headline to read something like “Lollipop gets ported to HTC Butterfly S” or some other relatively new HTC device then sorry for the confusion! Yes, the HTC HD2 is ahead of the game again, this time with a port of Lollipop by XDA Senior Member macs18max.

For those of you unfamiliar with the HD2, it was HTC’s Windows Phone 6.5 device, released in 2009. It has a 4.3 inch, 800 x 480 display, 448MB of usable RAM and is powered by a 1 GHz single-core Qualcomm Scorpion processor. The perfect candidate for Android 5.0 Lollipop!

The Hd2 has a become a legend in the custom ROM community for its ability to run different operating systems. It probably has the world record for the number of different mobile operating systems that can run on a single device.

The HD2 has been seen booting Android 2.2 Froyo right up to Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as Ubuntu, MeeGo, Sailfish, Windows RT and Firefox OS.

It started out as a Window Phone 6.5 device, but when it was abandoned by Microsoft and didn’t get any more upgrades, the hacker community took the phone to heart and started porting. In its long and illustrious history the HD2 has been seen booting Android 2.2 Froyo right up to Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as Ubuntu, MeeGo, Sailfish, Windows RT and Firefox OS.

Android 5.0 Lollipop was successfully booted on the HD2 using the 3.0.101 kernel, however the ROM is in its very early stages, and only the display and audio are working at the moment. However macs18max has pledged to continue working on the port.

If you want to find out more and even try out this custom firmware then head over to XDA’s HTC HD2 Lollipop 5.0.2 thread!

Do you, or did you own a HTC HD2? Any thoughts?

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

HTC releases Q4 2014 results, third consecutive quarterly profit

By Nick Sarafolean

HTC has posted its Q4 2014 results and things are looking up for the company. HTC’s net profits came in at NT$470 million ($14.67 million USD), which is higher than the estimated NT$330.2 million that was predicted by analysts. That’s a notable increase from the NT$315.3 million ($9.8 million USD) that came in during Q4 2013. Total revenue was also up at NT$47.87 billion ($1.34 billion USD). Total operating profit for HTC came out to NT$180 million ($5.6 million USD).

The fourth quarter is a positive sign for HTC, indicating that its current strategy is working. Over the last two years, HTC has worked to cut costs within the company. In 2014, HTC launched a strong push into mid-range and developing markets with its Desire line of devices, which have sold well. This is in addition to continued sales of HTC’s high-end products, such as the HTC One (M8).

HTC isn’t out of the woods, though. The company’s sales have still continued to decline, even if the slide has slowed down significantly. It’s going to take a lot of work to reverse that slide, but HTC seems optimistic about its plan for 2015, having stated that “HTC’s 2015 roadmap will be our best ever”.

…read more

Source:: androidandme