On Gear Live: Google Pixel 3a Thoughts, iOS 13 Leaked Features, & Google Duplex on the Web - Geared Up!

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Moto X Black and White

Now that the Moto X has landed on Verizon and AT&T, Sprint is up next to launch the customizable smartphone from Motorola. Sprint will have the Moto X for $199.99 with the typical two-year contract, but for a limited time, customers switching over a number from a competing carrier will get $100 off the price instantly, making the phone just $99.99. Sprint will offer the Moto X in woven black and white, with support for the highly-customizable Moto Maker versions coming later.

Gallery: Moto X comes to Sprint in black and white for $199.99


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Samsung Galaxy note 3

At today's Unpacked event, Samsung announced its new S Pen-powered Galaxy Note 3, a bigger version of the large smartphone, with much improved internals. Aiming to end the talk of people complaining about the cheap plastic feel of Samsung devices, the company has given the Note 3 a faux-leather backing. You get a 5.7-inch 1080p display (up from 5.5 on the Note 2,) and the device will support the new LTE Category 4 as well as the new Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch. You get a 13 megapixel camera on back, with a 2 megapixel version up front, and the rear camera can record in up to 4K resolution at 30fps, a first for a smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will start shipping on September 25th rocking Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, available in black, white, and pink.

Gallery: Samsung Galaxy Note 3 drops September 25 with 5.7-inch display, faux-leather shell


Galaxy S 4 Android 4.4

If you're rocking a Samsung Galaxy S III or Galaxy S 4 and are wondering when you'll be able to get in on the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update, today's Unpacked event made it clear that the software is coming to your handheld sometime during the month of October, around the same time as the update that will enable Galaxy Gear functionality. No word on when Android 4.4 KitKat will be made available.

Gallery: Android Jelly Bean 4.3 coming to Galaxy S 4, S III in October


Android 4.4 KitKat

Google Android (and Chrome) head Sundar Pichai has announced the next version of Android: KitKat. Yep - Android 4.4 will be known as KitKat, a name Google got the rights to use in partnership with Nestle, and continues the tradition of Android versions being named after sweet confections. While Google had been using the name "Key Lime Pie" internally for Android 4.4, "very few people actually know the taste of key lime pie," according to Android director of partnerships John Lagerling. Not sure why that matters, but obviously KitKat is a bigger marketing play.

No new features of KitKat have been announced just yet, but at least we know the name, and have a new Android icon with integrated chocolatey KitKat goodness integrated in.

Google is currently running a promotion that lets buyers of specially-marked KitKat packs to have a chance to win a free Nexus 7 or some Google Play credit.

Read More | Google Android KitKat 4.4

Gallery: Google announces Android 4.4 KitKat


Google Nexus 4

With Apple expected to release the lower-cost iPhone 5C next month, Google has just cut the price of the Nexus 4, dropping it to $199 for the 8GB model without contract--that's $100 less than it cost just a day ago. If you prefer the 16GB version, you can get that one for $249. These prices are a steal for the Nexus 4, which is widely seen as the best current Android smartphone, even thought it lacks LTE. This is a much more inexpensive way to get the pure Google experience in a smartphone than it would be to buy the Google Play editions of the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4. The price cut is now live in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Korea, the United States, and the UK.

Read More | Google Nexus 4

Gallery: Google slashes price of Nexus 4, now $199 with no contract required


HTC One Mini

The HTC One Mini has finally been given a release date, and you can get your hands on the 4.3-inch version of what we deemed the best current-generation Android smartphone in just four days on August 23rd. The HTC One Mini boasts a 720p display, 1.4GHz dual-core SnapDragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM, 4-megapixel UltraPixel camera, 1,800mAh battery, and runs Android 4.2 out of the box. You'll have to be an AT&T customer for the priviledge, and you'll need to be willing to drop $99 and sign a two-year contract to make it all happen.

Gallery: AT&T HTC One Mini available August 23rd for $99


Chromecast

Well, the rumors were correct on the mysterious device that momentarily showed up on Google's support page. The Chromecast is a media dongle that allows you to sling web content the web and cloud-stored content, using a smartphone or Chrome browser as a remote control. It's a bummer that it still doesn't have the ability to stream or mirror content stored on the device like Apple's AirPlay, but hey, for $35, we can't complain.

Click to continue reading Google Chromecast media streaming dongle goes on sale for $35, Netflix promo yanked

Read More | Google

Gallery: Google Chromecast media streaming dongle goes on sale for $35, Netflix promo yanked


ChromeCast

 


A few eagle-eyed Google support page visitors spotted a mysteriously unknown device dubbed Chromecast. It has since been removed from the site, as if it never existed. Luckily, someone took a screenshot for posterity. There are no concrete details of what it actually is. However, there is some speculation of it being an HDMI dongle streaming device for TVs, while websites like Droid Life say it might be a Apple AirPlay-like feature to sling content from a Cromebook to the TV. Hopefully, the mystery will be solved at today's Google event. In the meantime, let the speculation continue.

Read More | Droid Life

Gallery: Mysterious Chromecast device shows upon Google support page


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]

Gallery: A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Facebook Home [Video]


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.

Gallery: Google’s Motorola Moto X event set for August 1 in NYC


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