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Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon has announced its first smartphone, and it's called the Fire Phone. Jeff Bezos is still on stage giving us a rundown of the long-awaited device, but here's what we know about it so far:

  • The Fire Phone sports a 4.7-inch display
  • It's powered by a quad-core 2.2GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 graphics chip
  • It sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and an f/2.0 five element lens
  • The Fire Phone uses a multi-camera array that powers its 3D user interface
  • Dual stereo speakers which are aligned for landscape mode for watching media
  • It ships with flat-cabled, tangle-free magnetic earbuds
  • Owners of the Fire Phone get unlimited cloud storage of all the photos they take with the device in Amazon Cloud Drive (huge!)
  • The Amazon Firefly feature allows you to use the phone to recognize over 100 million items, plus any text around you. You can then interact with it immediately, in a matter of seconds.
  • Obviously, all Amazon services will be built in--Prime Video, Prime Music, Kindle, WhisperSync, and even the MayDay button for customer service
  • The 32GB Fire Phone will cost $199 with two-year contract, and is exclusive to AT&T. You can get the 64GB version for $299.
  • You can pre-order the Fire Phone now--it ships on July 25th and includes one-year of Amazon Prime

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iOS 8 beta 2 download

Apple has just released iOS 8 beta 2, which can be found in the Developer Portal right now. iOS 8 beta 2 build 12A4297e works with supported iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models, and is available as an over-the-air update to users already running a previous iOS 8 beta on their devices. If you're already running iOS 8, you can update over-the-air by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Or you can go and grab the necessary download at http://developer.apple.com. Apple originally showed off iOS 8, and released its first beta, at WWDC 2014. The full release will come in the fall. Apple also released OS X Yosemite Developer Preview 2 today as well.

If you are a paid members of Apple's iOS developer program, here are the links for iOS 8 beta 2 downloads:

iPad:

iPhone:

iPod touch:

Click to continue reading Apple releases iOS 8 beta 2 build 12A4297e to developers, download here!


Chris Weber Microsoft Nokia

Chris Weber is the CVP of Mobile Devices Sales at Microsoft, re-joining the company through it's purchase of Nokia, where he was in charge of global sales. He knows his way around every Lumia device, and is now aiming to make sure that Windows Phone first-party hardware is an even player at the devices table. We were able to sit down with Chris to talk about Nokia, Lumia, Windows Phone, and what changes need to be made in order to realize the success he is seeking. Check out the full interview below:

When is Windows Phone 8.1 coming out?
The answer varies by device and operator. The Lumia 630 and 635 are the first 8.1 products, launched internationally. We’re also working with our current products, and any Windows 8 phone is upgradeable to 8.1. There is currently a developer preview, but the operator version requires further testing. 8.1 is a completely different experience. Things like the background wallpaper, increased customization, and especially Cortana, which is one of the best features.

There are key differences between Cortana and similar services on other devices. It proactively learns. The other day I was flying to Moscow. The week before, it asked if it wanted me to track my flight to Moscow. There is a link that says "Do you want to know how I knew that?" Cortana looked at my calendar and started looking up flight numbers. It also has geo-fencing. You can say "Remind me that Ignacio owes me $100." I can say remind me when I send an email, when I arrive home, etc. Or "Remind me to pick up my dry cleaning" and when you get in the area, the message pops up. "Remind me to pick up milk at the grocery store” and you get the choice of having it remind you when you are near any grocery store, not just one specific one.

Back to being on the plane, I said "Remind me to download the music for guitar when I get home." It's really, really good. Flow writing, which is similar to Swype, means I can do emails faster on my phone than on the keyboard now. I got a new phone and it wasn't running 8.1 and the hunt and peck was tough!

Click to continue reading Chris Weber interview: The future of device branding for Windows Phone


Nokia Lumia 1520

Microsoft has an ambitious new idea to set themselves apart from Android and iOS. They want to install their video game motion sensor technology in an upcoming Windows Phone. Tom Warren of The Verge says that Microsoft insiders have slipped him some elusive information on the new phone.

The goal is to eliminate as many buttons and screen swipes as possible from the new phone. It should be able to answer a call simply by holding it up to your ear and end a call when it is dropped into a pocket. Place it on the table to put it on speaker, wave a hand in front of the screen to dismiss alerts, and push buttons without touching the phone, these are the feats that Warren says the phone will be capable of.

The 3D features, as they are being called, are not unique to Microsoft. Amazon is purportedly going to reveal a similar device June 18th. Eliminating screen smudges is cool, but I am not certain if I would be willing to buy a whole new phone to do it though. Given that the Kinect didn't sell consoles on its own merit, I am skeptical if it will do so in the even more competitive smartphone market.

Still, if the 3D sensor allows me a full size keyboard without taking up any real space, it might just be worth a glance.


LG G3 battery life

The unlimited leaks surrounding the LG G3 left little to the imagination. We got a very in depth look at the massive smartphone, with a quad-core processor boasting 3GB RAM, 32GB storage, and 5.5-inch 2K display. Very impressive numbers. Those are the kind of systems that consume a lot of power.

Power has always been the greatest limitation of electronic devices, but the G3 is certainly pushing those limits. It boasts the kind of battery life you'd expect from a tablet, weighing in at 8 hours and fifty minutes. This beats out the 8 hours and 20 minutes of the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Sony Xperia's 8 hours and 10 quite handily. My iPhone gives me about five.

It also takes the lead in charge time. From empty to full the G3 finished its tests in 120 minutes, two faster than the next fastest (the S5 again). The Xperia took close to four hours.

LG has not revealed all their secrets regarding the G3, but they say they have replaced a lot of metal on the insides with graphite, as well as implemented adaptive frame rate based on the phone's usage.​


Amazon Kindle Smartphone

Amazon has released a new video that teases what we expect to be its new Kindle smartphone. You can see people in the video interacting with...something...whatever it is, it has been masterfully cut from the footage. The users are all impressed, saying things like "It moved with me!" and "How does it do that?" while swaying back and forth. Of course, the rumored Amazon smartphone was said to include six cameras near the display that would track the movement of your head in order to provide an interactive, glasses-free 3D user interface.

While the video, which we've embedded below, doesn't give away much of anything, what we are expecting is a smartphone with a 4.7-inch display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 13-megapixel camera, and 2GB RAM. And that crazy software UI. As you can see in Amazon's teaser image above, the device is black, and has a beveled rear edge. The company has planned a big launch event in Seattle on June 18th, where we'll bring you all of the news as it's announced. For now, check out the video after the break.

Click to continue reading Amazon seemingly set to reveal Kindle smartphone in Seattle on June 18


iOS 8 devices

Apple announced iOS 8 and gave us a look at a bunch of the major features during its WWDC 2014 keynote (you can watch the WWDC 2014 keynote here.) We got a question in from Nick F. asking:

"I'm curious if my iPhone 4S will be able to run iOS 8. How do I know if it is compatible?"

You may be wondering if your iOS device is compatible with Apple's latest and greatest, so here's a look at the full list of Apple products that will be able to be upgraded to iOS 8:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPad 2
  • iPad with Retina display (iPad 3 and iPad 4)
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini
  • iPad mini with Retina display
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

As you can see, as it pertains to the iPhone line, the iPhone 4 (released in 2010) and older will not be compatible with iOS 8. With iPad, it'll be the original model that won't be able to use the new operating system. Meanwhile, the only iPod touch that can run iOS 8 is the 5th generation model. That's quite a generous line-up when compared to competing smartphone and tablet platforms!


If you missed the WWDC 2014 keynote, we've pretty much had you covered here at Gear Live as far as the news coming out of the event. However, sometimes, seeing is believing, and many would rather watch the historic event for themselves. Now you can. Apple has made the video available to view on demand on YouTube and on the Apple Web site. If you'd prefer to download it, you can grab it in iTunes using your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. We've embedded the YouTube version right here for you!


Yosemite ios 8 handoff setup

With plenty of people now running both iOS 8 beta and OS X Yosemite Developer Preview in order to kick the tires on Apple's upcoming operating systems, we're hearing that a lot of people are confused as to how to get the cool Handoff feature working. Handoff, announced during the WWDC 2014 keynote, is what allows the two operating systems talk to each other and pass app information back and forth seamlessly. Here's how you do it:

Click to continue reading How to set up Handoff in OS X Yosemite & iOS 8


Fleksy for iOS 8

Apple announced that third-party keyboard support would be a major feature in iOS 8 just two days ago during its WWDC 2014 keynote, and just like that, Fleksy is already showing that it's up and running on Apple's upcoming mobile operating system. The Fleksy keyboard is actually available already on iOS, but only within the Fleksy app itself, as well as in apps that have built-in the Fleksy API. What changes in iOS 8 is that Fleksy (and other keyboards) will be able to take over as the system-wide keyboard for all applications, should a user choose to do that. You can download the Fleksy app now for a preview, and sign up to join the iOS 8 Fleksy beta.


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