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Facebook adds video calling to Messenger

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2015 0:53

Facebook adds video calling to Messenger Facebook has announced the addition of video calling to Messenger as the company looks to take on Skype and FaceTime.

The updated Messenger app will allow you to call anyone by simply tapping the video icon.

Reads the Facebook statement:

Today, we're introducing video calling in Messenger. Now you can have face-to-face conversations with your friends and the people you care about, via Messenger.

You can quickly start a video call from any conversation with just one tap. If you're messaging with someone and realize that words just aren't enough, you can simply choose the video icon in the top right corner of the screen and start a video call right from within an existing Messenger conversation.


Voice Calling has already been standard through Messenger for some time, if you prefer to not see the person on the other line.

Video calling in Messenger is available today for iOS and Android in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Laos, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, the UK, the US and Uruguay.

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AfterDawn: News

Canon results show nobody wants compact digital cameras anymore

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2015 23:17

Canon results show nobody wants compact digital cameras anymore Canon reported their quarterly earnings today and one thing is clear: nobody is buying compact digital cameras.

The Japanese company is the world's largest camera maker.

Profits came in at 33.93 billion yen ($284 million) for the period ended March 31st, much lower than the 53.64 billion yen ($450 million) analyst estimates for the quarter. This complete miss was due to an even larger drop in digital camera sales than expected.

Since Apple released the iPhone and Google released the first Android phone, sales of compact digital cameras are down 70 percent. The company lowered its forecast to 7-7.8 million units sold, a 23 percent decline from 2014.

High-end SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses saw a decline, as well, but lesser in scale. Sales are projected at 5.8 million, a 9.4 percent YoY decline.

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AfterDawn: News

LG's luxury Urbane smartwatch now available in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2015 22:57

LG's luxury Urbane smartwatch now available in U.S. LG's new Urbane smartwatch is available now via the Google Store, the first smartwatch to include Google's massive new Android Wear update.

The stainless steel watch with a circular display also comes with a leather band, giving it a luxury feel compared to rubber bands and plastic seen on many other Android Wear devices.

Google recently unveiled the Android Wear update, which enables Wi-Fi on some devices (meaning no Bluetooth necessary for some features even when your phone is not around), a low-power mode to dim the display while your apps remain open and even gesture-based navigation.

The device sells for $349 with free shipping and comes in both gold and silver. Google expects to start shipping on May 8th.

Grab the watch here.




AfterDawn: News

Best Buy to support Apple Pay on iOS now and in-store later this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2015 22:18

Best Buy to support Apple Pay on iOS now and in-store later this year Major retailer Best Buy has finally announced support for Apple Pay.

The company has announced that their iOS app will now allow customers to purchase using Apple Pay for delivery or in-store pickup. If you are looking to use Apple Pay in the physical store, however, you have a few more months to wait.

Best Buy says that "later this year" shoppers will be able to use the NFC-based service to pay with their iPhone 6/6 Plus at local checkout registers. "Today's consumers have many different ways to spend their money and we want to give our customers as many options as possible in how they pay for goods and services at Best Buy," the company added.

While it is unsurprising that a major retailer would support Apple Pay, the announcement is surprising given Best Buy's previous stance on the service. Best Buy, Walmart, Sears, CVS and Rite Aid all created the Merchant Customer Exchange (CurrentC) mobile payments platform to compete against Apple Pay but that service has gotten zero traction in the industry so it's clear Best Buy adapted to the situation.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung's upcoming Gear smartwatch will be round

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2015 21:02

Samsung's upcoming Gear smartwatch will be round Samsung has revealed that its upcoming Gear smartwatch successor will have a circular display, keeping in line with the more popular non-Apple Watch designs.

In addition, the company will release their SDK for the Gear to developers even before the launch of the product, to ensure everything is smooth when it is released as current Samsung developers move away from the boxy shape of the previous smartwatches from the company.

"Samsung has actively adapted its approach to wearable device development as the leader of the rapidly developing category," said JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. "Through meaningful and progressive innovation, Samsung welcomes to developers and industry leaders to join this open collaboration effort to enrich and create unique user experiences for a new smart mobile life."

In their teaser media invite, the company promises apps from CNN, Yelp, Fidme, Baidu and Apposter as well as a specialized weather app.

If you are a developer, check out developer.samsung.com/wearable to get early access.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple Watch Edition to cost over $30,000 in Brazil

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2015 20:20

Apple Watch Edition to cost over $30,000 in Brazil If you are currently residing in Brazil and are looking to get the trendiest and most expensive smartwatch out there, the Apple Watch, you better have a fat wallet.

Thanks to huge import tariffs designed to protect local businesses, and a volatile local currency, the Apple Watch Edition that costs $17,000 in the U.S. will set you back over $30,000 in Brazil.

Even the cheapest Apple Watch, the Sport edition that retails for $349 in the States will cost you $625 in South America's most populous country.

This is not the first time we've seen a mind blowing number for an electronic device in Brazil. Last year, gaming fans had to drop over $1800 to purchase the Sony PlayStation 4 that retailed for $399.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple has another stellar quarter even as Mac and iPad sales fall

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2015 19:54

Apple has another stellar quarter even as Mac and iPad sales fall As expected, Apple has reported another massive quarter, thanks yet another strong showing from the iPhone and huge growth in China.

In addition to their big revenue and profits, Apple has announced it will return $200 billion to its shareholders via special dividends and stock buybacks over the next 24 months.

For the quarter, Apple had revenue of $58 billion, up 27 percent year-over-year, and net profit of $13.6 billion, up 40 percent YoY.

Apple sold 61.2 million iPhones for the quarter, up 40 percent YoY, and the average selling price for the smartphone was $658.53. Apple CEO Tim Cook noted: "We're seeing a higher rate of people switching to iPhone than we've experienced in previous cycles, and we're off to an exciting start to the June quarter with the launch of Apple Watch." Cook did not elaborate on Watch pre-order sales figures.

iPads remained a drag, with 12.62 million units sold, down 23 percent YoY and an average selling price of $430. Cook says the Mac and larger screen iPhones are cannibalizing the tablet and he's certainly right, and there does not appear to be a plan in place to slow down the falling sales.

Mac computers saw 4.56 million units sold, down from 4.7 million expected as consumers wait on the new line of thinner MacBook Pros.

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AfterDawn: News

Leaked Windows 10 for mobile build shows updates to Live Tiles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2015 23:28

Leaked Windows 10 for mobile build shows updates to Live Tiles The latest Windows 10 for mobile, build 10070, appears to show an update for the Live Tile app system that leaves very little room next to each tile.

Allegedly running on the Samsung ATIV S (which has a 4.8-inch 720p display), the update seems to line up four tiles per line with thin borders between each, seemingly squeezing as many tiles as possible.

As with all early builds, the tile sizing is subject to change but as of right now it looks pretty decent, at least on a 4.8-inch display.

Overall, the entire build is said to be buggy, but that is to be expected three months ahead of launch.




AfterDawn: News

Sony had to fight really hard to get an Xperia phone into James Bond's hands for 'Spectre'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2015 22:02

Sony had to fight really hard to get an Xperia phone into James Bond's hands for 'Spectre' Thanks to WikiLeaks, we have an interesting look into the negotiations that it took Sony Electronics to get their latest Xperia smartphone into the hand's of James Bond for the upcoming Spectre.

Despite the fact that Sony Pictures is producing the film, there was no playing favorites, and Sony will have to pay an exorbitant amount to get the phone featured in Spectre.

Here are some of the emails:

30 September 2014

"The mobile phones seem to be the priority for placement. I know that the phones are Sony's priority as well. I've been asked to have the design team focus on creating an ber modern phone instead of focusing on an existing product."

"I told AMy that we would try to get the phone in the film . I would like for you to send me a photo of the phone that they would like for us to use and Sam will ask the art department to alter it according to his specifications ..we do not want to do it the other way around..I told AMy that if we are to use the phone we would need to get compensation as we would be giving up a potentially huge product placement deal."


Followed by:

2 October 2014

"Barbara wants to get a PLACEMENT FEE for putting the phone in. She understands that Sony is willing to commit to a marketing/advertising campaign of 18MM, but she wants an additional placement fee. In the past, Sony Electronics/Mobile has not paid a fee...but has paid the following:

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AfterDawn: News

Here is the brand new 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 3' trailer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2015 21:32

Here is the brand new 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 3' trailer Activision has released the first official gameplay trailer for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, the latest in the blockbuster franchise.

The publisher also confirmed the release date, which had been leaked yesterday.

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is a dark, gritty future where a new breed of Black Ops soldier emerges and the lines are blurred between our own humanity and the cutting-edge military robotics that define the future of combat," reads the statement.

The soldier in play appears to have a plethora of new and cool tools, including the ability to transform his arm into a gun and send out a swarm of nano bots.

COD: Black Ops 3 goes on sale November 6th and if you pre-order 6 months early (now) you can get access to the multiplayer beta.

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AfterDawn: News

Google discontinues their 2013 model of the Nexus 7 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2015 12:31

Google discontinues their 2013 model of the Nexus 7 tablet Google has confirmed this weekend that the 2013 model of the Nexus 7 has now been discontinued, fully replaced by the newer and more powerful Nexus 9.

The original N7 was a great 7-inch tablet that was ultimately much more affordable than the iPad and was therefore popular among consumers.

While the Nexus 7 cost just $199, Google has moved to a more premium product, at $399 for its Nexus 9. The Nexus 9 packs an 8.9 inch 1536 x 2048 pixels display, a Nvidia Tegra K1 processor and upgraded cameras as well as a sleeker smaller bezel design.

If you are still in the market for a 7-inch tablet, Samsung has too many to count.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia: No we do not want to build phones again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2015 9:43

Nokia: No we do not want to build phones again Nokia has denied recent reports that the company was preparing to reenter the phone manufacturing business.

"Nokia notes recent news reports claiming the company communicated an intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of a R&D facility in China. These reports are false," Nokia said. "Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets."

That quote is about as strong of a categorical denial as you can get, but for Nokia fans not all may be lost just yet. The company did suggest the Nokia brand could return as part of smartphone brand licensing, meaning OEMs could build devices and stick the Nokia name on it for added recognition.

Additionally, Nokia's sales agreement with Microsoft forbids them from entering the mobile phone business until 2016.

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AfterDawn: News

Are you struggling with 'Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder'? Try the HTC One M9

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2015 23:40

Are you struggling with 'Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder'? Try the HTC One M9 HTC has released a strange video this week, aimed at the smartphone duopoly of Apple and Samsung.

The ad, which mocks current pharmaceutical commercials, says users should move on to the new HTC One M9 if they are struggling with the fictional disease "Bi-phonal Displeasure Disorder": "SAD (Samsung Affective Disorder)", and "iOS (Irritable Operating System)."

Now, the diseases do have a cure - 'Cellami' (metalidone boomsoundide), but you don't need the medicine if you have an M9, because "your phone is the best."

Check out the ad here:

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AfterDawn: News

BitTorrent Inc. lays off large portion of its employees

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2015 23:00

BitTorrent Inc. lays off large portion of its employees In an effort to streamline their business and keep costs down, file sharing company BitTorrent Inc. has laid off around 40 of their 150 U.S.-based employees.

BitTorrent will move most of its resources to its Sync cloud storage and P2P tech that was released last year.

"We've recently realigned resources based on a regular evaluation of the business," noted BitTorrent. "Regrettably, this did include some employee departures. The business however, remains healthy, profitable and growing."

The company has seen its fair share of struggles in the last half decade as it tries to use the file sharing protocol made popular by pirates in the 1990s and 2000s for alternative, legal endeavors.

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AfterDawn: News

Jolla delays shipping date for Tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2015 9:17

Jolla delays shipping date for Tablet Jolla, the Finnish startup looking to break into the mobile industry, has delayed the initial shipping times for its popular Jolla Tablet.

The tablet was one of the highest funded campaigns in Indiegogo history, but just like with nearly all Indie tech items, consumers can expect some delays.

"We've been working very hard all year to get the Jolla Tablet ready. We have progressed very well in many areas, but as there are still many open items remaining, we are forced to postpone the delivery start of the Jolla Tablet," says the company.

It appears that most of the issues are related to the display, clearly an important part of a tablet. "On the hardware side we've had some implementation challenges with the original display. Since we want to offer you the best possible hardware, we chose to switch to a new display. This display is better than the original with a more balanced color spectrum. The display change also causes a slight delay in the tablet production," noted Jolla.

New shipping date is expected at the end of July.

You can read more about the tablet and its specs here at AfterDawn.





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