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Friday, July 18, 2014

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NVIDIA Shield Tablet and Controller leaked in full glory

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 03:44 PM PDT

shield-tablet-leak-1


NVIDIA is getting ready to announce its new Shield products, but it seems they just can't stay away from leaksters' hands. A new set of slides has hit the internet with all the details you could ever ask for. The second-generation Shield launch is rumored to include a Shield Tablet and Shield Controller.


The processor manufacturer was not the most successful at launching the NVIDIA Shield handheld gaming device. This could have triggered their desire to alter the form factor and strategy. Instead of a handheld gaming platform, the new NVIDIA Shield set-up consists of two pieces. The tablet could work as a standalone device, designed for both gaming and daily tasks. Meanwhile, the controller will be available when you are ready for game time.


Let's start by taking a look at the rumored 8-inch pad. The NVIDIA Shield Tablet is said to come with 1080p display, a powerful Tegra K1 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16-32 GB of internal storage, 5 MP cameras (both), Bluetooth 4.0 and a microSD slot. There will be WiFi and WiFi+LTE versions, priced at $299 and $399 accordingly.


shield-tablet-leak-2 shield-tablet-leak-3


The interesting part here is the remote, which is now completely unattached to the Shield gaming device. It's quite an interesting concept, and we must say it's not a bad idea. After all, this could make for a much more flexible experience. Having to carry and deal with the controller at all times is simply not the most convenient way to go about things.


The controller will cost only $59 and feature WiFi Direct connectivity, ensuring a strong and speedy connection. It also comes packed with a microphone and all the buttons and joysticks you can expect on a good gaming pad. In essence, it looks much like the controller we saw in the NVIDIA Shield, but unattached and with what looks like a much more ergonomic build.


shield-tablet-leak-6


Both devices are rumored to go on sale this July 29th, so we probably won't be waiting much longer for the official announcement. Europeans may have to wait a bit more, though, with a release date rumored to be set on August 14th. The rollout will continue in other markets throughout the Fall.


Do keep in mind these are all rumors and leaks. Nothing is official until it is announced, no matter how credible and consistent the leaks are. We will be sure to let you know all the details as soon as they come!




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Industrial design finished for the Recon Jet HUD glasses

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 02:42 PM PDT






We've been covering the Recon Jet HUD glasses for a very long time. It was over a year ago they were first announced, but a few delays have pushed the launch date back. It was seven months ago that the hardware was redesigned, and production was set to ramp up. However, a email blog post from Recon CEO Dan Eisenhardt says that the industrial design has now finished.





















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Friday Pro Tip: You can choose which notifications toggle your smartphones LED

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 02:33 PM PDT

Moto-X-notification-LED Most Android-powered smartphones pack a front-facing LED as a visual method to notify users of incoming notifications. This is particularly useful in situations when users are unable to have the sound activated on their phone. Sometimes this feature can be a little annoying, though, as a light flashes for each and every missed call, voicemail,



The post Friday Pro Tip: You can choose which notifications toggle your smartphones LED appeared first on Cult of Android.


















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Motorola Moto X at least $100 off right now

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 02:27 PM PDT

Moto X


As the Motorola Moto X+1 marches ever closer to its release, we've seen a number of promotions for the Moto X, bringing the price down lower and lower. Now Motorola is back at it, this time offering $100 off for the 16GB model or $125 off for the 32GB and 64GB variants. To get in on the deal you'll need to apply the "MBXISMOT" coupon code at check out, which brings the pricing down to $299.99, $324.99 and $374.99 respectively.


The Moto X might be far from a specs-monster at this point, but there's no denying that it is a solid device and is certainly worth what Motorola is asking. On the other hand, those that are looking for the best that Motorola has to offer might be better off waiting for the Moto X+1.


What do you think, anyone planning on picking up the Moto X at rock-bottom pricing ahead of the X+1's arrival later this summer? If this promo does seem up your alley you'll need to act quick, as it will officially expire on the 23rd of July.




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Glympse and Kik team up to help friends share their location

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 01:53 PM PDT






Popular location-tracking service Glympse is announcing a partnership today with Kik Messenger that will bring offer time-limited location sharing between friends. Now you can share your location or request that a friend share their location using Glympse straight from a Kik conversation, found right from inside the app.





















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Google Glass US tour swings by Boston, MA on July 26th – RSVP now

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 01:35 PM PDT

Glass Boston logo


After kicking off nearly a year ago, the next stop in the Google Glass' US road tour has been revealed: Bostonians, come on down. Android fans near Massachusetts' capital will finally have the opportunity to try out the world's most controversial new wearable come this July 26th. The event — which takes place at the Boston Center for the Arts — looks to be a good time filled with drinks, conversations with the Glass team, and of course, Google Glass.


Even if you've decided you're not a fan of Google Glass, the event will be the perfect opportunity to see how much you dislike a product after actually using it. Keep in mind you'll first need to RSVP if you plan on attending, but rest assured the entire 8 hour event (starts at 10am) is completely free of charge. You can RSVP here .


If you're curious as what to expect, check out the Glass team's video highlighting their first stop in Durham, North Carolina down below.





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HTC to enter the smartwatch game, according to new leaked photo

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 01:34 PM PDT

HTC Watch


Before everyone starts yelling the F-word, ("Fake," of course, not ****), it seems that the above picture is of an upcoming HTC smartwatch. The information on the screen, as most of you will notice, is fake, as it appears to have some elements of Sense 6 — the device will feature Android Wear, and Android Wear devices will not have any manufacturer skins.



However, according to @evleaks, who has some street cred regarding accuracy of his past leaks, the hardware is a "100% faithful reproduction." (Of course, he could have left the screen blank, as to not suggest what the screen will look like/not look like, but beggars can't be choosers, right?)


As one @evleaks follower pointed out, it looks a bit like a Pebble Steel with Android Wear. He didn't seem to pleased with that, but I don't really have any issues with it. The Pebble Steel was hailed for aesthetics — if this watch ends up looking anything like it, I don't think that'll necessarily be a bad thing. However, many would probably like to see a circular screen on the device (hello, Moto 360).


More to come on this, obviously, so stay tuned.


Source: @evleaks 1 / @evleaks 2




Come comment on this article: HTC to enter the smartwatch game, according to new leaked photo





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Project Athena is the Chromium team's experimental redesign of Chrome OS

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 01:26 PM PDT






Material Design is Google's attempt to unify design across its products. We've seen the first of it with Android L, but it won't be too long before it shows up in other products. A screenshot for an upcoming experiment of Chromium OS, called Athena, shows what it might look like with a touch of Material Design.





















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Google shows off an early look at Chrome OS’s Project Athena

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 12:50 PM PDT

project-athena


Even before Google announced Material Design and their plans to bring it to both Chrome OS and Android, there were signs that Google was preparing a new window manager for Chrome OS dubbed Athena. Now Google's Francois Beaufort has shared a screenshot of what this Athena redesign will look like.


Now it's important to note that this is a "first draft" and therefore the look is subject to change. With that out of the way, you can see that the interface employs a new stacked card interface that is somewhat akin to the new 'recents menu' in Android L Developer Preview and seems to fall in line with the overall Material Design layout. While I personally think the colors used make the interface a bit ugly, we have to remember that Google is still working on the effort and that it will likely be much more refined when it arrives to Chrome OS later this year.


What else can we expect from the new UI? Previous reports indicate Athena will be better optimized for touchscreen-based Chromebooks and a spilit-screen mode. For those that want to experience the work in progress for themselves, Beaufort leaves the following instructions:



By simply checking out the chromium source code and compiling the convenient "athena_main" target with ninja -C out/Release athena_main, you'll be able to follow the Work In Progress.



Bearing in mind that this is a work in progress, what do you think of the new Athena window manager so far?




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Noded: Smart Timeline Calendar – Indie app of the day

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 12:49 PM PDT



What is Noded?


Noded is an application that kind of mashes up calendar, to-do list, task list, and note taking functionality into a premise all its own. In Noded you view everything as a timeline and you add tasks, events, notes, etc. Each event shows up accordingly on the time line based on when it is which gives you a really simple and easy way to see what needs done and what is coming up.


Events are positioned in descended order with the events that are furthest in the future at the top and the events that are closest to the present at the bottom. This was an interesting set up choice as you have to scroll down to the bottom to see things happening now but the app usually does a good job at holding your spot between uses so you don't have to scroll through a long list to get to where you were.


You can assign days to each event along with times but as far as calendar functionality goes, that's about all you get. There is also a designation for "whenever" that sites permanently at the bottom of the list. This is a good place for general notes if you don't need them done at a specific time. There is also a theme engine that allows you to customize your own primary, secondary, and background colors but you have to buy the premium version of the app for $0.99USD in order to get that functionality. We also noted a distinct lack of reminder notifications and there are no widget options so you can only use the app.


Using this as a to-do list or a task list is a matter of imagination more than having actual functionality. You just add nodes to the app for your task then delete them when you're done. That's the feeling one gets fairly frequently with this application. There aren't many specific features but the freedom and layout of the app lends it to a number of uses and we both liked and disliked that. We liked it because those who prefer a more free form workflow will enjoy this app. We disliked it because people who need more features aren't going to find much here for them.


noded review



There should be more timeline calendar apps like this.




PROS


  • Interesting time line concept works well for casual users.

  • Make-your-own-theme is fun.

  • Free to use with IAPs for extra features.

  • No Google Calendar which is nice if you don't want to be tied into Google Calendar.




CONS


  • Could use more task and calendar features.

  • No Google Calendar integration which is lame if you use Google Calendar.

  • A little buggy from time to time.






6.5

Overall, this is an interesting application. It's definitely faster than flinging through a calendar but we feel like business users will want to stick with the more feature-heavy, true-blue calendar apps rather than switch to this. For casual users, this is more than good enough and it's free to use.





Check out the last indie app of the day: Balloons 3D Live Wallpaper




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HTC One E8 hands-on

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 11:52 AM PDT






Turns out an M8 in a plastic shell is still a pretty awesome phone.


A couple of months after the launch of the HTC One M8 came word of a new plastic-clad variant aimed at emerging markets — the HTC One E8. Looking like a mashup of various HTC designs from the past year or so, the E8 aims to translate the core of the M8's high-end experience into a less expensive package. Right now HTC is targeting markets like China, Russia and India with the E8, so there's no indication of any wider international launch. Nevertheless, we've got the device in-hand, and we've given it the full hands-on treatment.


And as it turns out, transplanting the M8's guts into a soft-touch plastic shell makes for a pretty compelling smartphone.





















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Tasker gets updated to v4.4, adds tons of new features

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 11:45 AM PDT

how-to-use-tasker


For hardcore Android fans looking to make the most out of their experience, there's few apps more valuable than Tasker. With a little tinkering, just about anything is possible with the automation app, and now a good thing is getting even better in version 4.4.


The latest update introduces a truckload of new features, alongside tons of bug fixes and improvements. Here's the full changelog of new features:



  • action category System

  • state System / Active User

  • testing Mobile Data via Net / Test Net

  • initial NDK framework for device compatibility testing

  • AutoCast, UDPSender, Send/Expect and Twilight to action plugin suggestions list

  • state Power: added Other

  • event: Steps Taken (Android API 19+)

  • event: Received Data SMS

  • action HTTP Get/Post: added optional User Agent parameter

  • action Element Focus

  • event Assistance Request (drag up through bottom-middle of display)

  • contact group matching via CG:groupmatch

  • contact group selection dialog e.g. for Call state

  • action Phone / Test: Contact Email, Name, Nickname, Organisation

  • state NFC Status (Android API 18+)

  • element Button, Text, EditText: font parameter (inc App Factory packaging)

  • action Test Tasker: global vars, local vars, profiles (named), scenes and tasks (named)

  • action Run Shell (not root): Stop action from another task will interrupt shell process and give result code 258

  • scene element Image: Click Highlight Colour

  • Test Display: Display AutoRotate and Orientation

  • Servers Ultimate, Screenshot Easy, Task Light to builtin action plugin list

  • monitor notification: pulldown action: disable (Android API 15+)

  • prefs / monitor: two custom pulldown action tasks (Android API 15+)

  • variables in action labels are replaced when action is logged to Run Log

  • Run Log: Perform Task mentions task name

  • Run Log: warning about disclosing sensitive info in variables

  • Prefs / Monitor / Display Off: control for magnetic field sensor

  • action Set Tasker Pref: setting for Steps and Magnetic Field sensor

  • sensors in Prefs / Monitor / Display Off Monitoring, option Yes, And Keep Android Awake

  • condition operators equals and not-equals (strings)

  • Day Select: added Last month day

  • BT Connected state: detection of existing connections for some device classes (headset, health, a2dp)

  • action: Battery Info settings: help text noting that it's not usable with Samsung ROMs


If you already use Tasker, today's update will bring plenty of welcome changes and new features to the mix. For those that have never tried it, we won't lie, the learning curve is step but it's worth it.


To download the latest version of Tasker you'll want to head on over to Google Play.




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Google Glass takes wicked road show to Boston July 26

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 11:24 AM PDT






There are only a few places in the world where you can try out Google Glass in person without having to plunk down $1500 to own one first — and on July 26th one of those places will be Boston, Massachusetts. The Google Glass road show is hitting up Boston later this month, camping out at the The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts for one day.





















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HTC Android Wear smartwatch render makes its way online

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 11:21 AM PDT

HTC was among the initial batch of Android Wear partners announced by Google earlier this year, but so far we've yet to see any images of HTC's device or get any spec details about it. That's changing today, as a render has surfaced that claims to give a preview of what the HTC wearable will look like.


@evleaks today posted an "artist reproduction" of HTC's Android Wear device, showing a smartwatch with a square face and a metal band. It's worth noting that the screen is not accurate and just for fun, the hardware shown in this render is said to be a "100% faithful reproduction."


Considering HTC's history of creating quality Android hardware like the One (M7) and One (M8), there's understandably a lot of hype surrounding HTC's impending Android Wear device. The unit shown in this render doesn't appear to have any super amazing features or anything like that, but since this is just a reproduction, it's probably not a bad idea to hold off on making any judgments on HTC's smartwatch until we get a look at the real deal.


What features do you hope to see included in HTC's Android Wear device?





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Amazon Introduces Kindle Unlimited, All The Reading (And Listening) You Can Handle For $9.99 A Month

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 10:06 AM PDT

kindle


We've heard rumblings about a possible Netflix-like service for books provided by Amazon, and now that service has come to fruition. It's called Kindle Unlimited, and it essentially offers customers access to over 600,000 titles from the Kindle Library and 2,000 on Audible, with unlimited reading or listening on both for roughly $10 a month.


image


Of course, Amazon isn't the only one offering a service like this, as Oyster just launched its all-you-can-read book buffet last month for the same price.





Amazon Introduces Kindle Unlimited, All The Reading (And Listening) You Can Handle For $9.99 A Month was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




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Evleaks brings us first look at alleged HTC Android Wear device

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 09:54 AM PDT

htc-watch


Back in May we heard a report suggesting that HTC's upcoming Android Wear device would offer both a polycarbonate and metal option. It was also revealed that the watch would come in a rounded form-factor, similar to the Moto 360. Now a new image has made its way to the net courtesy of Evan Blass (Evleaks) which shows off an HTC watch with a square design.


The watch seems to sport a premium looking band, though its square shape doesn't seem much different from what we've seen with the Gear Live and G Watch. Before we get too carried away, it's important to point out that the image is an artist's rendition of the watch and not a real press-quality render, though supposedly the "hardware is a 100% faithful reproduction." At least according to Evleaks, the UI shown off on the watch is just a placeholder though, as the actual watch will run the same non-altered Google Wear UI we've seen with other devices.


So is this image legit? While we can't say for sure, we have our suspicions. For one thing, if HTC was just going with a square design, you think they would have wanted to get it out ahead of the Moto 360, so that way it wasn't overshadowed. Bottome-line, until we have a true render or leaked image, it's important to take this entire report with a grain of salt.


What do you think, like the design or are you hoping that it's a fake and that HTC is really working on a rounded watch?




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5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Google Play Weekly

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 09:54 AM PDT




It's Friday which means it's time for another Google Play Weekly! In this week's episode we talk about Android L stuff making its way into Nova Launcher. As part of Google's Wednesday update, Google Wallet got updated and brings it a few big new features. You can now make your Android Wear watch face look like it's something out of Star Trek. Google Play Music has begun rolling out to six new countries. Rumors have begun circulating that Amazon Instant Video will be coming to Android proper very soon. Now here are five Android apps you shouldn't miss this week.




commandr android apps Commandr


[Price: Free]

Yes friends Commandr is back here on the Google Play Weekly show and it's because of a big update that makes it even better. Using the Accessibility APIs that Google provides, the Commandr devs have updated their app to work offline and you don't have to use the phrase "take a note" anymore. That means using Google Now, you can, with and without internet access, tell Google Now to simply turn Bluetooth, WiFi, etc on or off and it will do just that.

Get it on Google Play






Google Chrome - android apps Chrome Browser


[Price: Free]

Google Chrome for Android got an update this last week as part of Google's update Wednesday. It's rolling out in stages but the update includes the return of Doodles to the new tab page, various bug fixes and performance improvements, and a couple of security fixes including omnibox spoofing and same origin policy bypass fixes. More secure is more awesome.

Get it on Google Play






Android Wear Android apps Wear Camera Remote


[Price: Free]

This app is really cool. What it does is allow you to use your Android Wear device as a sort of viewfinder for your phone camera. Yes, this means it mirrors what your camera sees on the watch. The applications for this are limited only by imagination. One fun trick is to set up your phone to look at a pot of water and then you go back and watch TV using the watch to check and see if it's boiling. It's free and open source and you should check it out.

Get it on Google Play

Android Wear Android apps




Android apps Timberman


[Price: Free / $0.99]

If you're ready to hate life again then we recommend you try out Timberman. This is one of those easy-to-grasp-but-hard-master titles that is frustratingly addictive and difficult. It has already been likened to Flappy Bird in that regard even if the game play is really nothing like Flappy Bird. It's free to play with ads but you can get rid of them for a buck (as an in app purchase) if you so choose.

Get it on Google Play






Wear Mini Launcher Android Wear Android apps Wear Mini Launcher


[Price: Free]

Last and certainly not least is the Wear Mini Launcher app. By using this app you can have a standard app drawer on your smartwatch just like on your smartphone which is apparently something that isn't a thing yet already. The only real complaint is that the hotspot for this app is the same as dismissing notifications but other than that, people seem to like it and it's free.

Get it on Google Play

Android Wear Android apps


Wrap up


Don't forget to check out the Android apps and games sections of the Android Authority forums!




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Battery-less Philips Hue Tap switch taps in for US availability

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 09:54 AM PDT






US customers can now buy the Philips Hue Tap switch from the Apple Store to easily control their Philips Hue lights. Previously the Hue Tap was only available in Europe, which makes sense as Philips is a Dutch company. The switch has no batteries and is powered through kinetics simply by pushing the buttons. Yep, buttons — there are four three smaller round affairs and one big button that comprises most of the face.





















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How to customize the lock screen on the LG G3

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 09:26 AM PDT






LG lets you tweak the G3 lock screen to get it just how you want it


As far as lock screens go LG has long made some of the better OEM efforts. That trend continues with the new G3 and it doesn't end with what you see out of the box. There are a bunch of different options available to tailor your G3 lock screen experience from wallpapers to widgets via app shortcuts.


It's incredibly simple to change up what's on your lock screen. Everything is contained within one handy menu, and to get at it you'll need to head into Settings > Lock screen. Then the fun stuff can begin.





















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Huge Tasker v4.4 Update Fixes Some Bugs And Adds So, So Many Things

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 09:21 AM PDT

task Tasker is right up there with our lord Matias Duarte in the amount of love it gets from the Android community. There's really no other way to get anywhere close to the same kind of automation running on your device. The new v4.4 update adds even more functionality to this already robust app. Heck, you almost don't have to touch the phone anymore. That doesn't really sound as fun, though.



Massive v4.4 changelog incoming.





Huge Tasker v4.4 Update Fixes Some Bugs And Adds So, So Many Things was written by the awesome team at Android Police.




Android Match

Battery cover image leaks for unknown Motorola device

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:35 AM PDT

motorola_moto_x_1_battery_cover


An image of a battery cover supposedly meant for a Motorola smartphone has surfaced on the Facebook account for HellomotoHK. The cover is made out of a kevlar-like material or has been designed to give that appearance and is reminiscent of some recent Motorola Droid device covers.


The cover includes several access holes on the back with two large ones seemingly configured in a manner similar to the HTC One (M8) duo camera. According to HellomotoHK, the cover may be meant for the Motorola Moto X+1 or a Google Play Edition version of the same device. It is also possible it may be intended for an updated version of a Motorola Droid device for 2014.


source: HellomotoHK

via: Phandroid




Come comment on this article: Battery cover image leaks for unknown Motorola device





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Google Play to rake in more cash than the App Store by 2018

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:33 AM PDT

Google-Play-Store While Android has a significantly larger user base, iOS has always been the more profitable platform for app developers. That's expected to change over the next three years, however. One analyst believes that by 2018, Google Play will bring in more revenue than the App Store for the first time ever. One of the reasons



The post Google Play to rake in more cash than the App Store by 2018 appeared first on Cult of Android.


















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Amazon Kindle Unlimited: all you can read and listen for $9.99 a month

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:27 AM PDT



Following a revealing leak yesterday, Amazon has made its new Kindle Unlimited all you can read service official.


The simplest way to describe Kindle Unlimited is "Netflix for books." Pay $9.99 a month and get access to 600,000 titles in Amazon's collection, including current best-sellers and classics, as well as 2,000 audiobooks available on Audible.


Among the best-sellers listed on the Kindle Unlimited service page are The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry Potter series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, Water for Elephants, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, All the King's Men, The Princess Bride, Kitchen Confidential, The Sisterhood, and many others. Audible titles include the Hunger Games trilogy, Life of Pi, The Handmaid's Tale, and more.


Not all titles in Amazon's massive ebook catalog will be available through Kindle Unlimited. Titles you can listen for free through the service will sport a special logo. Using Amazon's newly launched Whispersync for Voice service, you'll be able to switch between the ebook and audiobook version of a title on the fly, without losing your place.


Kindle Unlimited is available for Kindle ereaders and other Amazon devices, as well as through Amazon's Android, iOS, and Windows apps. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial, and if you make the jump, you'll get three months of full access to all Audible titles.




Android Match

Amazon announces Kindle Unlimited subscription service

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:21 AM PDT

amazon_kindle_unlimited_banner


Following up on the news yesterday that Amazon was about ready to launch a new subscription service, today Amazon has officially released Kindle Unlimited for $9.99 per month. The service functions in a manner similar to Netflix. Once customers pay the monthly subscription fee, they have unlimited access to the library of titles included in the service. The comes to over 600,000 ebooks and thousands of audiobooks.


Some of the titles listed with the service include Water for Elephants, Life of Pi, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Some major series are represented as well like The Hunger Games and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


To help entice new customers, Amazon is offering the first 30 days for free. To sweeten the deal, Amazon is also throwing in a three month trial subscription to Audible and a library of 2,000 audiobooks that can be accessed via Whispersync. These titles are unique in that you can switch been reading and listening without losing your place.



Click here to view the embedded video.


source: Amazon




Come comment on this article: Amazon announces Kindle Unlimited subscription service





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Kyocera to push the bar in smartphone durability with sapphire displays [VIDEO]

Posted: 18 Jul 2014 08:19 AM PDT



If Apple was planning on making people believe they were the first to use sapphire in smartphone displays for a more durable screen, Kyocera has made it a point to spoil those plans. The Chinese company has put out a video directly targeted at all the iPhone 6 rumors tipping the tech world off to Apple's plans to use the displays.


They counter the rumors by saying that they have been doing this a lot longer than Apple has, with 41 years of experience using sapphire in everything from computer components to watch faces. And now they're planning to beat Apple to the punch in smartphone displays.


They're calling it the "Sapphire Shield," and if you know anything about sapphire you'd know that it's supposed to be virtually indestructible. Coins and keys wouldn't be able to make scratches and dents, and it would come out looking like a champ if it were dropped flat on its face onto a slab of concrete. Sapphire is said to be used as transparent armor for many military vehicles, and if it's good enough for a soldier it should be more than good enough for your smartphone.


kyocera sapphire shield


The problem with sapphire is that it's expensive — a lot more expensive than tempered glass like Corning's Gorilla Glass being used in so many smartphones. It was only last year that sapphire displays were going for $20 to $30 a pop, whereas Gorilla Glass can be had for under $3 per unit. Kyocera says they have found a way to make sapphire-based displays affordable, though, and that we'll be hearing something very soon from their camp.


As much as we make fun of Kyocera's phones for being underwhelming and uninspiring, one thing we can say they've always done well is durable smartphones. This is a natural step forward for them, and hopefully it can be used as a barometer for other OEMs to get in line and compete — we sure wouldn't mind a future with fully indestructible displays.




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