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Among the many frustrations we had with Samsung’s first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, was the limited number of apps available for it. While the company offered premium access to select partners, it never came out with a software development kit (SDK) for anyone and everyone to submit their own app. When the Gear 2 was announced earlier this week, Samsung also promised that it would deliver an SDK for its latest series of wearables. At the company’s developer keynote at MWC this morning, that’s finally changed — Samsung has announced the “immediate availability” of kits for the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, as well as another SDK for S-Health.

There’s a bit of a difference between the Gear and the Gear Fit kits, however. The Tizen-based Gear SDK will make it possible for developers to create applications that run on both Gear 2 watches (using both Android apps and web apps), while the Gear Fit version offers an emulator and the ability to control the device from an Android app. We’ll continue to update you as we get more information at this morning’s keynote.

Courtesy – Engadget


Opera Max has one goal: to save your bandwidth. It compresses data on its servers before sending to the end user. The company already uses it in its browsers, such as the Opera Mini, but this time, it’s not only web pages that are compressed — it’s also videos, photos and other types of data.

The app is extremely simple to use. Start it up, and it lingers in the background, saving your data. Unless you’re adamant about experiencing the best possible video and photo quality on your smartphone, we see no reason why you shouldn’t try it out. Opera claims it’ll shave a good 50% of your mobile bandwidth during typical use, and many of us could do well with a lower mobile data bill.

There’s one catch, though — the app is only available for Android. Opera Max is available now as a free download from Google Play.

Courtesy – Mashable


Watson, IBM’s Jeopardy-conquering super computer, has set its sites on mobile apps. Not long ago, the recently created Watson Business Group announced that would offer APIs to developers to create cloud-based apps built around cognitive computing. Now IBM is launching a competition to lure mobile app creators to its new platform. Over the next three months the company will be taking submissions that leverage Watson’s unique capabilities like deep data analysis and natural language processing to put impossibly powerful tools to the palm of your hand. IBM is hoping for apps that “change the way consumers and businesses interact with data on their mobile devices.” It’s an ambitious goal, but considering the way Watson spanked Ken Jennings, it seems something that is well within its reach. The machine has already changed the way we view computers and artificial intelligence, not only by winning Jeopardy, but by making cancer treatment decisions and attending college. Now it wants to make your smartphone smarter than you could ever hope to be.

Courtesy – Engadget


Most of us assumed it was only a matter of time before Google released the Now launcher that debuted on the Nexus 5 to the Play store. Now that day has come… provided you’re the owner of a Nexus or Play Edition handset that runs KitKat. The new homescreen is the one you’ve already come to know and love on the newest Nexus phone, complete with the ability to say “Ok Google” from any home screen to automatically launch Now’s voice command functions. Breaking the launcher out from the core Android code also means it’ll be easier for Google to update and add features to it going forward, without having to release an entirely new version of the OS. Now the next step will be getting the launcher on more phones, even if it still requires you to have KitKat. Though, as the internet giant successfully breaks its own apps and services away from the Android core, the Nexus program becomes less and less important.

Courtesy – Engadget

ara google

Google’s got plenty of moonshots brewing in its Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP), but one of the most intriguing is its modular smartphone design, called Project Ara. Because Ara’s a platform designed to lets users swap out hardware (processors, cameras, or sensors) on the phone, it presents unique opportunities for developers to build different kinds of modules and the software needed to make them all work. That’s why ATAP’s going to be doing three developers’ conferences this year, with the first one set to happen April 15-16 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

Folks that want to attend, but are outside striking distance of the Bay Area need not fret, however, as there will be a live webcast and interactive Q&A sessions of the conference, too. This initial event will focus on building the modules themselves, as Google will be making an alpha version of its Module Developers’ Kit available at the beginning of April. We don’t know what the other two conferences will be about (though software development for Ara seems a good bet), but more info and the conference agenda can be found at in the coming weeks.

Courtesy – Engadget


We know that it’s no longer rare to discover alien worlds, but NASA just made it downright commonplace. The space agency has confirmed the existence of 715 exoplanets discovered using the Kepler space telescope, ballooning the number of verified planets to nearly 1,700. Scientists validated the huge number of celestial bodies by looking for targets in batches — the more objects were clustered together, the more likely it was that there would be multiple exoplanet candidates. The bonanza helps illustrate the frequency of planets among the stars, and it has also uncovered four more potentially habitable worlds. Researchers might not be much closer to finding the Holy Grail of a life-bearing planet, but they’ll at least know where to focus their attention.

Courtesy – Engadget


If you’ve ever wanted to know how the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint security works beyond a basic overview, you’ll be glad to hear Apple has just delivered a motherlode of new details. An updated version of its iOS Security white paper (PDF) explains much of what happens to your finger data after you touch the sensor. In short, your information may be more hack-resistant than it seems at first glance. Each A7 chip has a unique secure space that neither the A7 nor Apple can read, and every authentication session is encrypted end-to-end. The company is also offering a deeper explanation of what it does with your fingerprint image, noting that the print only lasts in memory until it’s turned into a decryption key. As we’ve known for a while, there are safeguards that wipe out that key after 48 hours of inactivity, a reboot or five failed login attempts. While the new insights will only have so much usefulness when developers can’t use Touch ID for their own apps, they suggest that there’s little to no chance of fingerprint theft or a large-scale data breach.

Courtesy – Engadget

Google Trends is now, finally, a screen saver


The flying toasters and infinite space your sleeping computer’s been living with are being retired. No, After Dark isn’t being resurrected and, well, does Windows even come with a screen saver built-in anymore? It’s Google, and specifically the Trends section of Google, that’s leading the bleeding edge of screen saver tech: Mac users can now download a Trends-driven screen saver that…yep, it culls trending Google topics and pushes them to your screensaver. It’s quite pretty! Head over here to grab it for yourself.

Courtesy – Engadget

Incoming search terms:

  • yhs-d2s_a


A number of organizations offer public map data through Google Maps, but finding it can be tricky — if you even know it exists. That may not be an issue now that Google has just launched its Maps Gallery. The web portal showcases location info from both Google and a slew of its Maps Engine partners, ranging from the World Bank’s internet usage stats to National Geographic’s historical overlays. This is really just the start of the search firm’s map discovery efforts, though. Google tells TechCrunch that it wants to surface public maps in regular search results, and it would also like to draw attention to Maps Engine Lite data created by amateur cartographers.

Courtesy – Engadget

T-Mobile has just announced that LG’s flagship G Flex smartphone, as well as the long-rumored Optimus F3Q, will be available starting February 5. Pre-orders for both phones open up today.

The G Flex is one of LG’s most hyped phones yet, with a curved, 6-inch OLED HD display, 13-megapixel camera, and a curved 3500mAh battery.

On T-Mobile’s Simple Choice Plan, buyers will pay 24 equal monthly payments of $28 alongside their monthly voice, text and data charges. T-Mobile throws in a 6-month membership with Netflix to sweeten the deal.

AT&T already put the G Flex up for pre-order on Friday, and Sprint’s pre-orders open up on January 31, but neither carrier has announced official ship dates or in-store availability.

T-Mobile’s promise of physical, available G Flex smartphones by February 5 could make a difference in the minds of consumers during this pre-order period.

Meanwhile, the Optimus F3Q will be available on the same February 5 date for $13/month.

This is the first official mention of the F3Q, although press shots and specs leaked out last week. As rumors suggested, the F3Q has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 4-inch IPS TFT display, and a 5-megapixel camera.

Courtesy – TechCrunch

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