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Droid ULTRA, MAXX and MINI

Verizon, in partnership with Motorola, has revealed the new line of Droid smartphones: Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, and Droid Mini.

Both the Ultra and the Maxx have 720p displays on 5-inch non-PenTile displays. The only visibly distinct difference between the ULTRA and the MAXX is that the latter is a bit thicker due the bigger battery, hence the name. The Droid Maxx boasts an insane 48 hours of battery life. Remarkably, the Ultra is razor thin--as thin as the original famed RAZR flip phone. Meanwhile, the Droid Mini features a 720p 4.3-inch display with comparable features for smartphones of that size. All are using this techy kevlar designed back plate. The Droid Ultra will cost $199, Droid MAXX $299, and the Droid Mini will be $99, all with two-year contracts with Big Red.  Here's a full list of them for all you spec lovers.

Click to continue reading Verizon announces a trio of Droid smartphones: Ultra, Maxx, and Mini

Read More | Droid Does

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Ubuntu Edge smartphone

Makers of Ubuntu, Canonical has launched a $32,000,000 Indiegogo campaign for a dual-boot capable smartphone that would feature Ubuntu Linux OS and Google's Android.

Dubbed Ubuntu Edge, the phone will be able to boot into PC mode when docked, with a monitor featuring the full-fledged Ubuntu desktop OS. 128GB of onboard storage is also in the mix, something that the next iPhone is also purported to have. Other key specs include a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass 720p display, instead of the Corning Gorilla Glass used in many smartphones today. Early backers can now opt for the day-one price of $600 and then, after initial sale goes public, the price will jump to $830 when the devices launches in May 2014. Here's the full run down of the Ubuntu Edge specs and a video preview:

Click to continue reading Back the Ubuntu Edge dual-booting Linux-Android smartphone on IndieGogo

Read More | Indiegogo

Facebook Home making of

Take a gander behind the curtain of how Facebook designers created the Facebook Home launcher for Android. The forty-five minute video essay shows the evolutionary process of cover feed, chat heads, and the premise of mimicking the real world experience with a software operating system not based on apps, but focused rather on people.

On May 8th, the designers behind Facebook Home (Justin Stahl, Francis Luu, Joey Flynn and Mac Tyler) presented a behind-the-scenes look at their work at the Bluxome Street Winery for a small crowd. In this four-part talk, they discuss how they combined their high-level goals with an iterative process and interactive design tools such as Quartz Composer to bring the first version of Home to launch.

Click to continue reading A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Facebook Home [Video]


Samsung Dev Event

It appears that Samsung is prepping for its first annual Samsung Developers Conference boasting a "cross-product, cross platform" event on October 27-29 in San Francisco. Perhaps, Samsung is shifting gears by lessening its dependence on Google's Android mobile operating system and blurring the lines of its long line portfolio of successful products with developers. The South Korean conglomerate has been working on different mobile OS like Linux based Bada and Intel processor based Tizen, which is a spin-off the abandoned Meego OS project by Nokia. Samsung promises more information to follow leading up to the event. Samsung and Google have had major successes as partners but, in the recent acquisition of Motorola, something that Google previously stated it wouldn't do and Samsung focusing on diminishing Google presence from its products have shown the relation is more stressed than first perceived.

Read More | Samsung Dev Con

SIM card hack


A SIM card vulnerability has been uncovered in the encryption used in millions of phones that could allow hackers to send spoof texts. These texts would execute nefarious software that enables them the ability to listen in on calls, as well as read and send text messages, all within a couple of minutes. It could even copy your SIM card.

Cryptographer Karten Nohl and his security team has estimated that 750 million phones in circulation today are using an old 56-Bit DES encryption standard used in SIM cards that can be exploited. Nohl will present his findings at the annual BlackHat security conference held in Los Vegas. It is estimated that 25% of 1000 SIM cards tested in North America and Europe were vulnerable to the exploit.

In addition, it has been reported that Nohl has fully disclosed his findings to the GSM association, and that they have notified carriers and SIM venders of who exactly can be exploited. Nohl suggested that older obsolete systems should be replaced with new triple-based DES encryption.

Read More | PCMag

Moto X Smartphone event

Motorola fans, mark your calendars for August 1st, as that's the date set for the Moto X event in New York city. Some details of the device have leaked, such as the "always listening" mode for Google Now, snapping the phone to activate the camera, and giving customers customization options of the design of the smartphone like colors on the sides and rear. There is some speculation that the device will be budget-friendly, costing around $199 off-contract and available on all major US carriers. Perhaps the idea is to take on the highly-rumored technicolored low cost iPhone. Motorola is looking for a winner this time around, as previously the subsidiary of Google has posted a quarterly loss $342 million on the top of massive $12.5 billion acquisition. Curiosity here at Gear Live if the Moto X will run Google's latest and greatest Android software as they are hosting thier OS Android and Chrome event on the 24th of July.


FireFly Online

FireFly, the popular television series with a cult following, is now set to debut as an online RPG social role-playing game for iOS and Android in 2014. It may come with a desktop version, and possibly even appear on game consoles as well. Here's a sneak peek trailer of the game, after the break, along with details:

In Firefly Online, players assume the role of a ship captain as they hire a crew and seek out adventures, all the while trading with and competing against the millions of other players to try to survive in the Verse: find a crew, find a job, keep flying.

FFO provides a variety of gameplay activities and systems so that players can fully experience life in the Verse.

  • Assume the role of a ship captain - create a crew and customize a ship
  • Aim to misbehave in space and planet-side adventures
  • Cross-platform player experience across devices (pick-up and play from anywhere)
  • Unique social features connecting Firefly fans
  • Create a shiny ship and explore the Verse

If you want more info on the game, sign up at the source URL below!

Click to continue reading FireFly Online iOS and Android Coming in 2014

Read More | KeepFlying

iPhone  5S parts

Alleged leaked photos have surfaced from Chinese website EXpreview of the iPhone 5S. Although it will supposedly have the same processor, it will include an upgraded PowerVR SGX 554MP4 graphic chip. Also, included in the upgraded specs is a 12 megapixel camera, dual LED flash, 2 GB of RAM, and support for NFC and 4G LTE Advanced networks. Rumors are pointing toward a fingerprint scanner from AuthenTech, and a display featuring IGZO technology from Sharp. Previous reports have also pointed to a slightly larger battery as well. Take it all with a grain of salt until Apple officially makes the announcement, but as we've seen over the past few years, new iPhone start leaking in the summer, and they are more often than not exactly what we see Apple reveal.

Read More | EXPreview

Google Invite

Google is hosting an Android and Chrome event next Wednesday, July 24 hosted by OS honcho Sundar Pichar. Very little is being revealed right now, but the timing is rather interesting in light of the Google I/O event in May and Apple's WWDC event in June. But sure enough, Android will get some much needed attention this time around as it's upgraded to 4.3 (or straight to version 5.0.) Hopefully, it will get some legit support for Bluetooth 4.0 along with the expected new features and UI tweaks. The event kicks off at 12PM EST (that's 9:00 AM for you folks in the west coast.) It will also be live-streamed on YouTube. Stay tuned here at Gear Live as we analyze, synthesize, and slice up the Key Lime Pie.


Sony Xperia i1 honami

Sony is working on an impressive smartphone in the Xperia i1 (codename: Honami,) with specs starting to leak. ePrice reports that the Xperia i1 boasts an incredible 20.7 megapixel ExmorRS camera with Sony Bionz image processing. That, in and of itself, though not quite Lumia 1020 territory, is pretty beast. Add to that a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processor and 5-inch 1080p display, and you've got yourself something worthy of being the next Sony flagship smartphone. We'll find out more at IFA in September, where Sony will undoubtedly show off its new wares.

Read More | ePrice

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