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TweakTown News Posts - Page 2260

Google's refreshed Hangouts app to come preinstalled on the Nexus 5

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Apps | Posted: Nov 1, 2013 3:32 am

If you didn't already know, Google just unveiled its new superstar smartphone, the Nexus 5. Alongside it, it unleashed Android 4.4 KitKat, which seems like a much bigger upgrade than we're used to, which is great.




One of the killer features of KitKat is that Hangouts has been updated and features proper SMS and MMS integration - which is great! Google says you'll even be able to import existing conversations into Hangouts, another nice touch.


Animated GIFs make an appearance, as well as the Auto Awesome animated photos feature which is found in Google+. These new features will hit the refreshed Hangouts app which will come preinstalled on Nexus 5 devices, and be made available through the Play Store in the coming weeks.

TweakTown DOTD: Memtest86 ISO

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Nov 1, 2013 2:36 am

Our Download of the Day is Memtest86 which is available in ISO form. The best way to test memory is not within the OS, but out of it. This is where a bootable USB stick with Memtest86 on-board comes in handy, if you want to give your RAM a stability test, try it out here.




Our Downloads section will continue to expand as time goes on, but for now there are a bunch of drivers and software we have for your downloading pleasure, go and check it out!

HTC One will get Android 4.4 within 90 days, Play Edition within 15

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Nov 1, 2013 12:00 am

After this mornings Android 4.4 announcement many were left wondering which of the top Android phones would be getting the update. Google said that its Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices would be receiving the update but its Galaxy Nexus would not. It appears that the HTC One will be the first non Nexus device to receive the update, beating Samsung's Galaxy S4 to the punch.




HTC has confirmed to Engadget that its HTC One will receive the update within the next 90 days and that the Google Play edition of the device will get its update within the next 15 days. Developer and Unlocked versions of the One will get their updates within the next 30 days. It is unclear if or when other HTC Devices will see Android KitKat pushed to them. Samsung, Sony, and LG have not yet released any update into either, though I fully expect to see update information from them in the next few days.

16GB version of the Nexus 5 is already sold out in the US

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 11:45 pm

Well, well - Google has sold out of its 16GB Nexus 5 smartphones in the US, leaving just the 32GB variant on the Play Store's virtual shelves. It's only been a couple of hours since it launched, so this should come as a surprise for few.




The original Nexus 4 when it launched last year sold out in minutes, so we're just seeing history repeat itself. The new Nexus 5 features some impressive specifications with an even more impressive price point: just $349. The specs inside the Nexus 5 are the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, a quad-core part clocked in at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel OIS rear-facing camera with LED flash, 4G LTE support (!), NFC, Bluetooth and of course, Android 4.4 KitKat.

ReportTT: Panasonic to stop manufacturing Plasma TVs

By: Charles Gantt | More News: HT & Movies | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 10:55 pm

A recent report from Reuters suggest that Panasonic has decided to end its production of plasma-based TVs for ever. The cancellation comes after Panasonic President, Kazuhiro Tsuga, decided to begin weeding out the weak performers in its operation and focus on the higher-margin products.




The company is trying to plug a $15 billion hole it has had to suffer over the last two years from its TV division, and with new technologies like OLED growing cheaper and more popular by the day, this only makes sense. This is bad news for videophiles around the world though, as Panasonic is one of the last manufacturers of Plasma Displays, leaving LG and Samsung to carry the technology forward.


Plasma display technology might be old, but video enthusiast worldwide prefer it because it produces very deep and rich blacks, and provides a superior contrast ratio. Unfortunately the tradeoff is that the panels are expensive to produce, consume lots of energy, and generate massive amounts of heat. They are also much heavier than their LCD counterparts and as such, have fallen out of favor with the mainstream consumer.

Google unveils new wireless charging pad for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 9:55 pm

Last year when Google announced it's Nexus 4 the company also released a wireless charging puck that users could place their Nexus 4 or Nexus 10 onto without the need to plug in a micro-USB cable. The company did the same today with it's announcement of the new Nexus 5.




This year's Nexus wireless charger is less puck-like and more of a flat platform which is most likely intended to aid in accommodating the 2013 Nexus 7 and upcoming Nexus 10 tablets along with the new Nexus 5 smartphone. Google says that the Nexus wireless charging base will go on sale today in the Play Store, but as of this writing pricing, and the product page have yet to be released. I would like to thank Engadget for the use of their photo for this article.

FAA finally approves usage of electronic devices during entire flight

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Current Affairs | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 8:55 pm

Today marks a milestone on Aviation history with the FAA announcing that it will soon allow airline passengers to use their electronic devices throughout the entire flight. The announcement comes after months of deliberation within a study group of aviation experts that was put together by the FFA.




Unfortunately, as to how fast we will see the new guidelines put into place is anyones guess. Before individual airlines can begin allowing passengers to use their mobile gadgets during takeoff and landing, the airline must first prove that their planes are safe to operate under such conditions. Additionally, passengers must still put their cellular devices into "airplane" mode to prevent excessive RF interference from affecting air to ground communications.

Google releases Android 4.4 KitKat for the next one billion users

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 7:51 pm

Shortly after Google announced it's new Nexus 5 smartphone this morning, the company unveiled the latest version of Android, version 4.4 KitKat. Unlike the 4.3 update we saw earlier this year, Android 4.4 is much more than a minor update, and ushers in some features that many have been requesting for some time now.




The first major change that one might notice is that the notification bar is now translucent, and when full screen in an app, the bar disappears entirely which is part of what Google is calling "Immersive Mode." This new mode hides everything on the screen except what the user wants to focus on. Furthermore, the overall look and feel of KitKat is akin to that of Jellybean, but it appears to be slightly more refined.


Google is also now making calling easier than ever by helping you search across your contacts, nearby places, or even Google Apps accounts (like your company's directory), directly from within the app. Furthermore, the new Hangouts App for KitKat merges your SMS and MMS messages together to a single screen in which you can receive Google Hangout messages and Video calls.


Additionally, Google has now trimmed down the memory requirements for Android and 4.4 KitKat is able to run on lower-end handsets with as little RAM as 512MB. Google says that not only Android, but the Chrome and YouTube apps have also been optimized for 4.4 and use as little RAM as possible. This is great news for lower-end devices that have never really been able to benefit from cutting-edge Android updates.

Google launches its next-gen flagship smartphone, the Nexus 5

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 6:52 pm

As we reported earlier this morning, Google has just launched its next-gen flagship smartphone, the Nexus 5. The device is manufactured by LG in partnership with Google and features the latest version of Android, KitKat. The Nexus 5 will be available starting today at an MSRP of $349 in the Google Play Store, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.




As expected, the Nexus 5 features a quad-core 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, and 2GB of RAM. The display is a full 1080p 4.95-inch IPS LCD with a pixel density of 445ppi. Gorilla Glass 3 from Corning ensures that the screen stay scratch free and will not shatter from small drops. Wireless charging has been built in, and the Nexus 5 sports a 2,300mAh battery for up to 7 hours of continuous LTE internet usage.


4G LTE, 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC handle the wireless connectivity, while a micro-USB, SlimPort, and a 3.5mm audio port handle the wired connections. Internal memory is available in 16GB or 32GB configurations, but it appears that no microSD slot is available. An 8-megapixel rear camera features optical image stabilization, and a 1.3-megapixel front facing shooter rounds things out.

Continue reading 'Google launches its next-gen flagship smartphone, the Nexus 5' (full post)

We sit down with Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson the makers of CastAR

By: Charles Gantt | More News: Gaming | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 5:40 pm

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson, the two co-founders of Technical Illusions, the company behind CastAR. Many of you might remember Jeri Ellsworth from her many exploits in the Maker community, or from her time at Valve where she worked alongside Rick Johnson developing the early prototype of CastAR.



I won't go into much detail on CastAR in this post, but you can read my initial report on the next-gen gaming system which I wrote when Technical Illusions launched their Kickstarter campaign. Since its launch on October 14th, the CastAR project has raised over $674,000 and is well on their way to reaching their stretch goal #2 of $700k. The campaign still has 14 days left and a third stretch goal of $800,000 still needs to be met. Head over to the Kickstarter source link below and back the project.


I would like to thank Jeri Ellsworth, and Rick Johnson for taking time out of their busy schedule to sit down with me and wish them the best of luck with Technical Illusions and CastAR. With the gaming innovation we have seen appear in 2013, the future of gaming is here and I feel that Technical Illusions is right at the front of the pack leading the way!

Continue reading 'We sit down with Jeri Ellsworth and Rick Johnson the makers of CastAR' (full post)