Google changes its stance on Android Lollipop disk encryption from mandatory to optional

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Last year, when Google announced Android 5.0 Lollipop, one of the key features was full disk encryption that would make it impossible for someone to get data off your device even if they had the device. While this worked in a very specific scenario (it required having a passcode lock on the phone) it was still more secure than before.

Unfortunately, this came with a terrible performance penalty, as noted by AnandTech and Ars Technica in their reports, where the new Nexus 6 with disk encryption was slower than the older Nexus 5 in several tests due to its permanently enabled encryption feature. Read more »

Sony Playstation 4 sales reach 20 million units

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Sony announced that it sold more than 20 million Playstation 4 units as of March 1 (20.2 million to be more precise). The hefty number indicates units in customers’ hands, not ones that have been shipped to retailers.

Unsurprisingly, Sony Playstation 4 marks the fastest growth in the history of the gaming franchise. Read more »

Project Morpheus VR headset by Sony is coming in 2016

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The Project Morpheus VR headset for PlayStation 4 by Sony will launch in the first half of 2016. The Japanese tech giant unveiled a new prototype of the device today during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Sony first unveiled Project Morpheus last year. Read more »

Pebble Time becomes the most funded Kickstarter to date

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Pebble Time is now the most funded Kickstarter project to date. With over $14 million from backers, the smartwatch topped the previous champion Coolest Cooler by a cool million (the original Pebble is number three on the list).

The impressive feat was achieved only a week after the Pebble Time project kicked off. Read more »

Google is rumored to be working on Android Wear app for iOS

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A new rumor out of France claims Google is currently working on releasing the Android Wear app for Apple’s mobile platform. As you might have imagined, this would enable smartwatches running Android Wear to work with iPhones and iPads.

As this is nothing but an unconfirmed rumor at this point, the usual pinch of salt is advised. The new app for iOS could be launched during Google’s I/O developer conference in May, but it might get officially teased even sooner – so as to make (at least some) people think twice about buying an Apple Watch. Read more »

AT&T launches a case which enables LTE on the Wi-Fi iPad Mini on March 20

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AT&T is announcing that it will release the Modio LTE case for iPad Mini models on March 20. This is an intriguing concept – it’s a case that will bring LTE connectivity to Wi-Fi-only small iPads. It will work with the iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 2, and the original iPad Mini too.

The flip side is that you’ll need to sign a two-year contract if you want to get the Modio case for just $49.99. That’s right, we’re talking about a long-term commitment for a tablet case. That’s quite odd, but luckily you can also purchase it with no strings attached, though in that case you’ll need to shell out $199.99. Read more »

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu hands-on

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We stopped by the Ubuntu stand to play with the Meizu MX4 running the novel OS. Meizu had been building up to the MWC by teasing the new edition of the MX4, which happens to be only the second smartphone booting Ubuntu, after the entry-level BQ Aquaris E4.5.

When it comes to hardware, the MX4 is the exact same device we reviewed a few months ago in its Android flavor. It sports a 5.36-inch display of 1152 x 1920 pixel resolution, a Mediatek chipset with an octa-core processor and 2GB of RAM. It’s a distinctly better equipped device than the BQ Aquaris E4.5, and one that can be a more widely recognizable ambassador to the emerging OS platform. Read more »

EPIC is making the popular Unreal engine 4 open source and free for all

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Tim Sweeney, CEO, technical director and original co-founder on Epic Games announced today that the company is making the latest version of its famous Unreal engine free to download and use. The fourth version of the complete and very impressive creative suite is now open source, which means that developers can not only use the powerful tools, but also freely tweak them and ideally make them better.

There is somewhat of a catch though. The software package is free for use in everything all the way from educational purposes to commercial projects, but Epic still wants to capitalize on its creation. The scheme they have come up with is ingenious. Instead of charging its current $19 monthly subscription fee, the team is making the entire platform free-for-all with the agreement that if your Unreal-based creation starts making more than $3,000 per month, per quarter, they are entitled to 5% of that gross revenue. Read more »

Who’s afraid of the dark: testing Galaxy S6 camera’s low-light performance

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Samsung had a dimly lit setup to test the low-light performance of the Galaxy S6‘s new camera. With a Galaxy Note Edge and a Apple iPhone 6 on hand we snapped a couple of shots.

The idea is simple – a dark box with two holes just big enough to poke the camera of a phone. Read more »

Exclusive: OnePlus to enter a new product category in April – and it’s not a smartwatch or a tablet

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At the Mobile World Congress fair grounds in Barcelona we ran into Carl Pei, Global Director of OnePlus Global, and he shared some interesting information with us. OnePlus is preparing an entrance into a new product category.

Sadly, he didn’t specify which one it is, but he said what it isn’t – a smartwatch or a tablet. Does that mean the rumors of a OnePlus smartwatch are dead. Read more »

Pebble unveils Time Steel at the MWC, backers get the option to upgrade

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The Pebble team is playing Kickstarter like a fiddle – just as the campaign was losing steam after the explosive growth of the first 24 hours, the Pebble Time Steel was announced. This should inject the campaign with a fresh dose of enthusiasm, but will also draw in people who were holding out for the inevitable all-metal version.

Current backers needn’t be jealous though, they have the option to upgrade to the Time Steel if they are okay with the price premium. Read more »

Google allows preinstalling Waze app on Android devices

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While most handset makers are reducing the pre-installed ‘bloatware’ on the Android devices, Google has added the social traffic and navigation app – Waze in the basket of Google Mobile Services (GMS). Now handset makers will be able to pre-install the Waze app as part of the GMS bundle on the newly sold Android devices.

Waze provides smart navigation solution to its users thanks to the crowd-sourced data collected by those very users. The data includes traffic conditions, road obstacles, or even police traps and is seeded to users in real time through the app. Read more »

Updated Google Play Services 7.0 will bring better performance and experience for both Android users and developers

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Today the new version of the all-important Google Play services framework was announced through the official Android developers blog. This new version is a major update, hence the version number 7.0 and brings about numerous new features, APIs and optimizations to existing features, which will allow both developers and users to make the most of their applications, mobile hardware and the services Google provides.

For anybody not exactly sure what Google play services is or what it does – it is probably best known as the app that helps you seamlessly update your other applications through the Play store. It is actually far more powerful than a simple update delivery system. It is actually a whole framework, or collection of functions or API’s which allow developers to easily access various hardware features on your device, as well as remote Google features, such as maps, authentication and others within their applications. Read more »

SanDisk outs the iNAND 7132 – a high-performance embedded storage for smart devices

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The advancements in smartphone features are continuously pushing the limits of storage when it comes to speed and volume. Industry specialist SanDisk is keeping up with the trends and just unveiled its brand new iNAND 7132 storage solution for application in smartphones, tablets, and computing devices.

It’s targeted at flagship devices, which are the ones that require (and can benefit from) the improvements in speed. Read more »

Wiko Highway Star 4G and Highway Pure 4G hands-on

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Wiko announced two new smartphones yesterday and we have the hands-on impressions for you now. The Highway Star 4G and Highway Pure 4G are are both quite the lookers but also boast impressive specs.

The higher end of the duo is the Highway Star 4G and rocks a matte aluminum unibody with flat front glass. It also comes in various color options like Silver, Gold, Grey and Bleen (the cyan one). Read more »