The GSMArena blog is moving house, make sure you update your bookmarks

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I had the pleasure to write the first ever public post on the GSMArena blog back in October 2009. Today, almost six years later, I have the honor of writing the last one too.

Don’t you worry, we are not scrapping the project, just on the contrary – we’re promoting it. As part of our redesign and reorganization efforts, from now on, the usual blog content that you know and love will become an integral part of our main website content as a separate tech column.

Throughout all these years we kept the blog running almost like a separate website, using an entirely different content management platform compared to our main website found at GSMArena.com. This presented with lots of challenges in terms of re-using and interlinking content between the two, updating both with new features, patching vulnerabilities and even training editors to work efficiently with two different types of user interfaces – it has generally been a big headache for our developer’s team trying to keep the looks of features and styles consistent across the two outlets.

In the same time we are humbled by the fact that so many people keep choosing us as their source for news about all things tech on a daily basis. We’ve been amazed by the audience response and we’ve been enjoying a healthy traffic growth rate throughout all these years. So we decided that it’s time to make our lives easier and take this blog to the next level with it becoming a fully-fledged part of GSMArena’s homepage where it rightfully belongs.

All the content that we’ve produced as part of blog.gsmarena.com will remain accessible here forever for your perusal – the same goes for the Disqus commenting subsystem. Our new blog column will use the main website’s commenting system where you will have the option of either posting anonymously or logging in with either your Facebook or Google+ account.

It was a fun ride. But there are a lot more fun times ahead and we’re merely changing lanes here. So hop on as we push ahead.

This way to GSMArena Blog 2.0

Barnes & Noble is shutting down its international Windows Nook store

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If you happen to be an avid reader and like the whole idea of an e-book device, then you probably own a Kindle. Yet, Amazon’s signature device does have quite a few alternatives, most-notably the Barnes & Noble Nook, which a lot of users do find to be more-convenient than a Kindle.

All seems to be good and well with the company’s e-ink readers, but a new email sent out to international users paints a different story for the company’s Windows client base. It informs user outside the US and UK that the Windows Nook app will stop functioning on August 7. Furthermore, payments form Microsoft accounts are no longer supported, so any purchase made through that channel may be eligible for a full refund. Here is the original memo: Read more »

Nokia Z Launcher gets minor update, still in beta

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While the Nokia sub-unit that Microsoft acquired is going through some hard times, the Nokia company still musters some excitement and continues to develop its launcher replacement, the Nokia Z Launcher.

The latest update brings a short changelog but it’s all welcome improvements. Read more »

New Office 2016 for Mac now available for purchase

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Microsoft has released the final version of Office 2016 for Mac. The company had released a preview back in March but now you can purchase the full version from Microsoft.

Office 2016 for Mac is a complete revamp of the old Office 2011. The new app brings the new UI design seen on the Windows and mobile versions of Office while harmonizing with the new design and features of OS X. It supports features like fullscreen mode, multi-touch gestures, and also has Retina assets for all the high resolution Macs. Read more »

ZTE now offers Verizon-compatible version of its Spro 2 pico-projector/LTE hotspot

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The ZTE Spro 2 is an odd (but probably useful) pairing between a pico-projector and an LTE hotspot. Oh, and it runs Android. With full access to the Google Play Store. And it has a 5-inch touchscreen. You’re probably intrigued by now.

Well, if your interest has been piqued, you should know that starting today there’s a version of the Spro 2 out which works with Verizon’s network. Up until this point you were only able to get an AT&T-compatible model, which retails for $499. Read more »

Asus ZenFone 2 can run Windows 7 in case you really need it to

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The latest smartphone that can boot an OS it will likely never need is Asus ZenFone 2. A crafty XDA Developers member ported Microsoft Windows 7 to the Intel Atom-based smartphone.

The desktop OS was ported on the ZE551ML variant of the ZenFone 2. Read more »

Mac OS X El Capitan public beta goes live

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Apple released a public beta of Mac OS X El Capitan. The desktop OS joins the iOS 9 public beta in being available to anyone who’s interested to try it out.

Just like its mobile counterpart, OS X El Capitan public beta is a more polished release than the versions that have been available to developers since WWDC. Read more »

Facebook News Feed Preferences change to give you more control over what shows up

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The News Feed is one of the most important parts of Facebook, so this is pretty big news. The social network has announced that it’s giving its users more ways to tweak what shows up in the News Feed.

This comes by way of a revamped News Feed Preferences menu, which launches on iOS today and will become available for Android and the Web “over the coming weeks”. Read more »

Legendary Pictures has a new set of VR experiences for Google Cardboard

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Say what you want about Google Cardboard, but the low-budget stereoscopic headset can be a lot of fun. Sadly, compatible and amusing content still seems to be scarce and hard to come across. Which is why we are happy to share every new bit of fun we find, like Legendary Picture’s new app.

It is available for both Android and iOS devices and should work fine as long as your smartphone has enough power to play back the content, which shouldn’t be an issues for most. And since it is simply done in stereoscopic 3D, you are not even limited to using only Google Cardboard. A lot of third-party products exist for a variety of devices and screen sizes and a quick search online should get you quickly geared up for some VR fun. Even if you don’t have a headset and curiosity hasn’t really convinced you to splurge a few bucks, Legendary has also included a traditional 2D viewing mode. Read more »

Google Play web design gets an update

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Google has rolled out the updated design of the website to everyone. The redesign is only focused on improved product pages more than anything else.

If you click on any item on the website now, you will be greeted by a narrow view that looks almost like someone copy pasted the Google Play app UI on to the web page. The narrow column wastes quite a bit of space on the side. Read more »

IBM has announced the world’s first 7nm chip with functioning transistors

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IBM hasn’t really been at the forefront of tech innovation for quite some time now, or at least, that is what its shrunken consumer electronics segment has led us to believe. However, the company is still investing heavily in research and development and like many others, is trying to advance modern computing. The latest breakthrough comes in a revolutionary new chip, manufactured using a 7nm process.

The major milestone is the result of a $3 billion investment in research and was accomplished in collaboration with Global Foundries, Samsung and the SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering in Albany, New York. The scale-down was achieved by using Silicon Germanium (SiGe) channel transistors and Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography integration. Read more »

Update to Google Messenger for Android brings stickers and location sharing

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Google updated its popular Messenger app for Android with support for Stickers and Location Sharing. In the previous update, Google added support for emojis.

With sticker support, Google Messenger follows the suite of its competitors, headed by Facebook Messenger. Read more »

Google just outed an Ethernet adapter for the Chromecast

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Many competitors have been launched recently, but Google’s Chromecast streaming HDMI stick still rules this market, having netted 10 million sales last year alone. And today the company behind it has revealed an accessory that has the potential to make the Chromecast even more useful.

What you see above is an Ethernet adapter for the Chromecast. Without it, the stick can only connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. But if you don’t have Wi-Fi, or it simply isn’t convenient to connect your Chromecast to it for whatever reason, this neat little adapter is the solution. Read more »

LG G Pad F 8.0 arrives at US Cellular too

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After having so far made its way to both AT&T and T-Mobile, the LG G Pad F 8.0 has landed at yet another carrier. The company we’re talking about is US Cellular, which has started selling the tablet today.

It is priced at $129.99 with a new two-year contract. Alternatively, you can get it through an installment plan, in which case you shell out nothing upfront, followed by 24 monthly payments of $10.50. There’s no possibility to purchase the G Pad F 8.0 on a prepaid basis (at least not yet). Read more »

Apple is raising App Store prices in some countries and introducing new low-cost tiers

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Apple has sent an email to registered developers letting them know of some upcoming changes to pricing in certain territories. In four countries, prices in the App Store will increase within the next 36 hours.

These are Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. In South Korea, the move is made because of a 10% value-added tax (VAT) which is now included in app prices. For developers based outside of South Korea, Apple will collect and pay that tax. Developers who are in South Korea will need to take care of this themselves. Read more »