|Google won’t approve Glass apps with facial recognition until it implements privacy protection Jun 1st 2013, 13:20
Google Glass is a product that exciting to many people thanks to its ability to display information on its small display and capture both photos and video using its built-in camera. However, that built-in camera has also raised some privacy concerns from folks that feel uneasy about Glass wearers having a camera that’s constantly mounted to their head. Tonight Google attempted to assuage some of the concerns surrounding Glass with a new Google+ post on facial recognition.On the official Project Glass Google+ page, Google explains that it has a policy to disallow facial recognition in its products until it’s rolled out “strong privacy protections.” The company says that that’s the same case with Google Glass, meaning that Google will not be approving any Glass apps with facial recognition until its got privacy protection in place.
Google Glass is currently only available to Explorer Program members, with #ifihadglass contest winners joining them soon. Google says that it’s using this early period in Glass’s lifecycle to listen to users and the public and to shape its policies accordingly. The company’s statement on facial recognition apps shows that it hears the concerns that consumers have about Glass and that it will do what it needs to in order to help integrate Glass into everyday life, both for the wearer and for others. I’m sure that dedicated users could hack facial recognition apps onto Glass if they really want to, but many folks will still be relieved to see Google taking a stand on the matter.
Via +Project Glass, AllThingsD
|LG Optimus F3 for Sprint leaks out again, this time wearing purple Jun 1st 2013, 06:05
Looks like black won’t be the only color option that Sprint’s LG Optimus F3 is offered in. Less than two weeks after we got our first peak at Hesse and Co.’s flavor of the Optimus F3, a purple version of the Sprint-bound device has been revealed by @evleaks. This purple Optimus F3 looks similar to the black model that leaked out last month, save for the color of course, complete with LG logos and a set of physical and capacitive keys on its face. There doesn’t appear to be any Sprint branding on the unit, but we can see the “Sprint Zone” app on the unit’s home screen.There haven’t been any official announcements from Sprint or LG regarding this Optimus F3, but a previous report claimed that the device could be released sometime in the coming weeks. Once it does arrive on Sprint shelves, the Optimus F3 is expected to feature a 4-inch WVGA touchscreen, dual-core processor, 4G support, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and a 2,460mAh battery. Pricing for the Optimus F3 will reportedly be “aggressive,” which would make sense considering the unit’s lower-end spec list. We’ll have to wait until the F3 is released before making any judgments on it, but with 4G connectivity and Jelly Bean, the Optimus F3 could make for a respectable entry-level handset so long as it can provide a smooth user experience.
|White Nexus 4 now available, Google including free bumper with purchase May 31st 2013, 17:30
Well, that didn’t take long. Just a few short days after LG made the white Nexus 4 officially official, the pale smartphone has been made available for purchase. The white Nexus 4 is available in both 8GB and 16GB versions in the Google Play Store, with pricing set at $299 and $349, respectively. Google is also including a free white bumper with the purchase of each Nexus 4, which is an offer that applies to both the black and white versions of the device. New Nexus 4 orders placed in the Play Store are expected to ship out in 1-2 business days.For those that like options when it comes to their shopping experience, T-Mobile is now offering the white Nexus 4 on its website as well. The carrier is selling the 16GB white Nexus 4 for $427.99, but unlike its other smartphones, T-Mobile isn’t offering a monthly payment plan for the Nexus 4.
After months of rumors and leaked photos, it’s nice to finally see that the white Nexus 4 is available for purchase. Some may be disappointed that the device doesn’t offer more built-in storage or official LTE connectivity, but those consumers will be able to buy the Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One that have those features if they really want them. For anyone that wants to stick with Google’s Nexus family, the arrival of the white N4 provides a welcome color choice during the shopping experience, and the free bumper case is certainly a nice inclusion. Your wait is officially over, white Nexus 4 fans, so click the links below to find the model you want and get to buying!
Via Google Play Store: 8GB white Nexus 4, 16GB white Nexus 4 , PhoneScoop, T-Mobile
|What are some of your most anticipated devices in the latter half of 2013? May 31st 2013, 16:15
Tomorrow marks the beginning of June, and also the beginning of the second half of the year. This first half we’ve seen some pretty awesome devices come out: the Samsung Galaxy S 4, the HTC One, the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10, the LG Optimus G Pro, and more. But now that the first half is done and out of the way, we’ve got a lot to look forward to in the coming months ahead of us.I wanted to start my weekend on a positive note, and what better way to do that than to talk about devices that we are interested in seeing released during this last half of the year? We know of several, but there are certain key devices that interest me more than any others (whether they’re rumors or not). On that note, let’s dive in and talk about some of these devices!
Nokia Lumia 925
The Lumia 925 is probably the phone that I’ve done the most research on the past few weeks, and likely my next personal device. The Nokia Lumia 925 is the third to follow the design of its progenitor, the Nokia Lumia 920. The body of the Nokia Lumia 925 is what makes it stand out from both the Lumia 920 and the 928; it sports a toned-down polycarbonate backing but has an aluminum trim, giving it a touch of class compared to its vibrantly colored counterparts. While in the past I’ve praised the Nokia Lumia line for offering more colors than your standard black and white, offering a more professional looking Lumia like the 925 doesn’t seem like a bad idea. Aside from the housing, the only other notable difference is that the camera on the 925 has been slightly improved by adding a sixth camera lens and Nokia’s ‘Amber’ update, which adds new camera algorithms and also improves the phone’s low-light shots (presumably that can compare and surpass that of the praised HTC One).
Motorola’s Moto X seems like a decent enough device, but mostly I’m just glad to see that Motorola is still in the game, despite being criticized by Google earlier in the year. Honestly, seeing that criticism made me think that we couldn’t expect much from Motorola in the near future, so this phone comes as both a surprise and a pleasure. I like Motorola Android devices because the skin isn’t that much different from stock Android itself, so it doesn’t take up a whole lot of space with a lot of extra unnecessary features. Well, at least it didn’t used to; the way Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside described the Moto X was a little sketchy, basically saying that the phone would be all-knowing of its surroundings. I’m not entirely sure how to process that given such vague details, but none-the-less Motorola’s new addition to the smartphone market is definitely one of the models that I will be keeping my eye on for the next several weeks – especially given that it’s said to compete with the Galaxy and the iPhone line of devices. Speaking of iPhones…
While previous releases of the iPhone would lead us to believe that the next device would inevitably be called the iPhone 5S and not feature anything more than a slightly updated hardware and the eloquently described ‘flat’ iOS 7, I’m still wondering if perhaps Apple has something else up its sleeve. Although almost right after my article where I predicted that maybe Apple really was going to start changing things up, the call for a flatter, simpler iOS 7 was discussed by Jony Ive and led me back into believing that the iPhone won’t change – and maybe it won’t. Regardless, I’m still very interested to see what Apple will produce for us this year and whether they happen to come out with the iPhone 5S, the iPhone 6, or perhaps different iterations of the iPhone altogether I’m sure I’ll have something to say about it afterwards.
Although it’s only three phones in a lineup of many, I’m interested to hear what phones you, the reader, are interested in seeing come out for this second half of the year. Are you hoping to pick up a new Nexus? What about a new Galaxy Note? Have you already settled on a device that came out during the first half of 2013? Tell me about your most anticipated devices in the comments!
Images via Hack That iFone, Engadget
|MicroSD vs. cloud storage: Which do you prefer? May 31st 2013, 11:15
Our gadgets have become personal memory storage devices for a lot of different types of data. We store our photos, music, videos, files, and all other types of information in them using three different methods: internal storage, microSD card, or cloud storage. But when you run out of internal storage, where do you turn: MicroSD or cloud storage? Are there any advantages one has over the other?There are a lot of advantages to using cloud storage over the use of older technology like memory cards, one of the most prominent being that as long as you primarily use cloud storage you’ll always have a back-up without having to remember to manually transfer data and information from device to device. I can’t begin to count how many times I have seen friends, family, customers, or even myself get frustrated because I forgot to make a backup of my microSD card in my computer and all of the sudden one morning the microSD card decides it wants to stop working. Or that one time you take the microSD card out and you scratch it in just the right way so that you’ll never see your precious data again. If it’s never happened to you, count your blessings; it’s an aggravating situation.
However, I do like microSD cards for the fact that you have that peace of mind that your saved data isn’t flying around somewhere on the Internet, unbeknownst to you. However, just because your data isn’t lurking around the web doesn’t mean that it’s not prone to being stolen or missing. If you’re phone gets stolen, you’re likely going to get your memory card stolen too – unless you get one of those really nice and clever muggers that have enough time to make off with your phone and leave your microSD card in its place. If they make off with a phone that deals with cloud storage, they’ll need to know your ID and password in order to do anything with your data – which you also fortunately have access to from other Internet-enabled devices.
While cloud storage does sound great form a lot of standpoints there are also negatives to using them. Along with any other online service you can never be 100% sure that your data and information is completely safe, especially because your data rests between your hands and the hands of another company. While I personally haven’t run into any problems (that I know of) of leaked information or data, it’s not completely unheard of. One of the more popular cloud storage services, Dropbox, admitted to being hacked back in July of 2012, which resulted in users receiving spam e-mails and a few accounts getting unauthorized access from said hackers. After hearing about this, I was pretty turned off by the idea of cloud storage in general.
But then I remembered that having a phone that uses a microSD card as a form of expandable memory is just as dangerous as cloud storage can be – and realistically, which is easier? Finding an exploit through a major software company to access accounts or swiping a phone off of the table from a distracted owner? If I had to guess, the latter of the two would be easier than the first. Then again, as mentioned before, most people who steal phones likely aren’t stealing it for your photos and music – which is mostly what gets stored on microSD cards anyway. Having your Dropbox or Google Drive hacked usually means somebody is trying to get ahold of your information. Regardless, in the end, neither one is 100% safe from theft.
Realistically, the only way to avoid having our data and information stolen is to simply not having any data or information available on any device at all. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people reading this website, you probably have something personal floating around on a website or device somewhere.
Personally, I utilize both options in my devices. I use cloud storage on my iPhone, which has no microSD card slot, and I use microSD and cloud storage on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. If you have both options, you might as well use them. While microSD can’t provide you with cross-platform access like some cloud storage services can, it can give you more memory available on your device for all that music, your movies, and games that you might be using your device for; not to mention it won’t eat up your data. Cloud storage, on the other hand, is useful for other purposes like providing external storage for devices that don’t have microSD card slots or accessing data across multiple platforms.
It’s clear that both methods certainly have their advantages and disadvantages, but now I want to hear from you, readers: Which method do you prefer, if any? Do you use both, or prefer to use only one? What are your thoughts on each method? Give a sista a shout in the comments below!
|EE expands its 4G LTE network to 12 more U.K. towns, now available in a total of 74 cities May 31st 2013, 11:00
U.K. carrier EE has been steadily expanding its 4G LTE network ever since it first went live in late 2012, and now the operator’s LTE footprint has grown once again. EE recently announced that its LTE service is now live in Ashton-under-Lyne, Chatham, Gillingham, High Wycombe, Merthyr Tydfil, Oldham, Oxford, Rochester, Runcorn, Sale, Stafford and Wigan, which adds another 12 U.K. towns to EE’s LTE network. The carrier says that its LTE service is now available in a total of 74 U.K. locales and covers more than 50 percent of the U.K.’s population.Looking forward, EE says that it plans to cover 70 percent of the population of the U.K. with its LTE network by the end of 2013, with 98 percent coverage expected by the end of 2012. The operator has also said that it plans to begin work on carrier aggregation for its LTE network this year, which it says will increase the capacity and performance of its LTE service, and that it’ll also start investing in new services like voice over LTE (VoLTE). It’s clear that EE has some ambitious plans for its LTE network, which is exciting news for EE customers and lovers of speedy mobile data. You can find the full announcement of this LTE expansion by hitting up the the EE link below.
Via Android Central, EE
|HTC reportedly prepping 7-inch Android and Windows RT tablets May 31st 2013, 09:50
HTC isn’t exactly a stranger to the tablet market, having released hardware like the Flyer and Jetstream in the past, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a new slate from the Taiwanese manufacturer. That could be changing soon, though, as a new report claims that HTC is planning to launch a pair of new tablets running Android and Windows RT.Sources speaking to Bloomberg say that HTC is currently working on a 7-inch Android tablet as well as a 7-inch Windows RT slate. Details on both units are fairly light for now, but the Windows RT model is said to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and both devices will reportedly be released “around September or October.” HTC allegedly had a 12-inch Windows RT tablet in the works, but one tipster says that that unit has been given the axe due to its high cost as well as weak demand for Windows RT-powered hardware.
Thanks to the fact that HTC followed through on former executive Phil Roberson promise that HTC would be scaling back its tablet efforts in 2012, the company hasn’t been relevant in the tablet market for a while. However, Roberson also said that HTC wasn’t planning to completely stop working with tablets, and now it sounds like HTC may be ready to jump back into the tablet game with Android and Windows RT-powered offerings. We’ll have to wait until the devices hit the market before making any judgments, but considering HTC’s long absence from the tablet world and the recent popularity of the One, I’m sure that expectations for HTC’s new tablets will be high.
Via TechCrunch, Bloomberg
|AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active revealed in new image leak May 31st 2013, 08:55
After getting two peeks at what is likely the international version of the Samsung Galaxy S 4 earlier this month, a new leak that shows off an AT&T-branded version of the device has emerged. Posted to The Unlockr by @evleaks, the image shows several renders of a device that looks fairly similar to the Galaxy S 4 Active that appeared last week, but without the bright red-orange rear cover. This unit has a gray back cover instead, complete with an AT&T globe logo beneath the device’s camera and flash.The Galaxy S 4 Active’s spec list is rumored to include a 5-inch 1080p display, 1.9GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor and a ruggedized body. The device is expected to feature the model number SGH-I537 on AT&T, and since @evleaks says that “the date on that screenshot should be pretty telling,” it’s possible that AT&T will launch the S 4 Active on June 21.
While the Galaxy S 4 Active is hardly the first ruggedized Android phone to be made, many of the devices that we’ve seen in that category to date feature low-end or mid-range specs, meaning that consumers interested in a tough smartphone have typically had to settle for less-than-high-end hardware in order to get a device that can stand up to a beating. It looks like the Galaxy S 4 Active could change that, though, with a Galaxy S 4-like feature set that ought to be plenty high-end for most people.
In addition to the Galaxy S 4 Active, today’s report claims that AT&T is planning to add a few other Samsung devices to its shelves in the near future. It’s said that AT&T will soon offer the SM-G730A “Golden”, a Galaxy S III mini variant; SGH-I527 “Melius,” a version of the Galaxy Mega 6.3; SGH-I257 “Serrano,” a Galaxy S 4 mini variant; and the mysterious SGH-I217 “Zest.” It’s not clear when that hardware will be launching at AT&T, but if today’s report holds true, AT&T customers that are also fans of Samsung’s Galaxy products will have a lot of new hardware to look forward to.
Via The Unlockr
|Nokia EOS said to be undergoing testing at AT&T as more possible spec details surface May 31st 2013, 07:25
Rumors of a device codenamed the “Nokia EOS” began trickling out earlier this year, teasing a Windows Phone handset that would feature a “true” PureView camera similar to the 41-megapixel sensor found on the Nokia 808 PureView. We’ve haven’t heard much about the device for a few months now, but that’s changing today thanks to a new report with some fresh spec details.According to sources speaking to WPCentral, the Nokia EOS is currently going through early testing at AT&T under the codename “Elvis,” which is being used to prevent the phone’s true identity from being outed. The phone is said to sport a 41-megapixel camera with a xenon flash and a “Nokia Pro Camera” mode that will allow for fine-tuning of the camera’s controls. It’s said that the phone will capture a 35-megapixel image and a 5-megapixel image when a photo is taken, with one shot meant to be saved while the other is intended for sharing. The EOS will reportedly to sport a camera hump on its backside, though the hump is expected to be smaller than the one on the 808 PureView.
When it comes to the rest of the EOS’s spec list, the sources of today’s report claim that it’ll feature an OLED display with a resolution of 1280×768, a polycarbonate body (yellow is expected to be a color choice), 32GB internal storage and a body that measures around 1mm thinner than the Lumia 920. The software on the EOS will purportedly include the Windows Phone 8 GDR2 and Nokia Lumia Amber updates, meaning that features like FM radio support, flip to silence and double tap to wake should all be included.
With the Nokia EOS/Elvis allegedly in testing at AT&T, there’s a chance that a launch could take place in the next couple of months. WPCentral mentions July as a possibility, but nothing has been nailed down quite yet. So long as the rumors hold true, it sounds like the EOS is a flagship Windows Phone that AT&T customers can get excited about, especially those folks that’ve been starving for a new AT&T Lumia model as they watch Verizon and T-Mobile land the Lumia 928 and Lumia 925. I’m sure that many folks will be happy to finally have a Windows Phone with a “true” PureView camera as well, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of photos the EOS is capable of producing. Will you buy a Nokia EOS if the rumors surrounding it turn out to be real?
|Expert Spotlight – Marco Hanna – 5-31-13 May 31st 2013, 06:28
As spring turns into summer, the HTC One remains in the #1 position on both sides of the Official Smartphone Rankings. And Marco Hanna, our newest video editor agrees with that position. Find out below what other four smartphones he selected and his reasons behind it.Marco Hanna- Video Editor for PhoneDog.com. Follow him on twitter @GEMarcoHanna