Wearing a device to track your steps is nothing new, but the Fitbit Zip looks to be the budget solution that brings users into the connected fitness data world. The verdict is still out as far as if wearing fitness gadgets will make you more fit, but it's hard to argue that it doesn't at least make you more aware. The Zip is the least expensive way to start tracking and syncing your steps, calories burned, distance, and other stats, linking easily to your smartphone to give you a pretty look at all the data. The question is, does the Fitbit Zip do enough to take attention away from the more feature-rich Fitbit One, Nike FuelBand, and other competing devices? Join us for our full Fitbit Zip review as we find the answer.
The LG Optimus G was released a couple of months ago, and was a statement from LG that it would no longer be seen as a mid-range smartphone manufacturer. The company took its time with this one, focusing on a few key areas that it felt would set this phone apart from the wildly crowded Android smartphone pack, where Samsung has been recognized as the leader. The phone is available on both Sprint and AT&T for $199 with a two-year contract. The question is, did LG deliver? On the surface, it seems to have checked all the right boxes, what with 4G LTE, quad-core processor, Corning Gorilla Glass 2, and a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display. Is it enough? Follow along with us in our full LG Optimus G review for the answer.
All you Samsung Galaxy Rugby Pro users on AT&T, listen up! We just got word from your carrier that the long-awaited update that'll allow you to upgrade your device to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is now available. That means that your push-to-talk capable device will now let you use feature like Google Now, Quick Settings, and even DriveMode, which aims to prevent texting while driving. When you're ready to upgrade, just hit the link below.
Read More | Galaxy Rugby Pro Android 4.1 upgrade
Sprint is bringing FM radio to select Android and Windows Phone devices this year with the NextRadio tuner app. This move makes Sprint the first US carrier to herald FM radio in such fashion, and shows the amount of faith the carrier puts in a format some might say is already dead.
Sprint also revealed an application bundle for the Sprint Zone on Android dubbed "Entertain Me." The bundle will feature Sprint TV and Movies, Sprint Music Plus, Spotify, Slacker, iHeartRadio, Shazam, and Rumpus.
Microsoft is officially retiring its Messenger service and will redirect users, and their contacts, to Skype.
According to The Next Web, users will retain access to Microsoft Messenger until March 15th, at which point they will then be prompted to join Skype. The migration will be made with your contacts in tow, so that alleviates some of the stress involved in the changing of hands. Mobile users of Skype will be glad to know that Microsoft account support is already mixed in with the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 to make the transfer as swift as possible.
How do you feel about the death of Messenger? Let us know in the comments.
Read More | The Next Web
Canonical, makers of the open source Linux Ubuntu desktop OS, is in the process of turning Ubuntu into a mobile operating system and has sets its sights on a 2014 launch. The OS boasts an intuitive take on the lock screen, and uses gestures for navigating through the device. However, will this be enough to take on the juggernauts that iOS and Android have become? As of now, even with the power of Microsoft behind it, Windows Phone is still catering to a niche market, and RIM is still staggering to regain its footing as it revamps the BlackBerry operating system (formally QNX, now dubbed BlackBerry 10.) Will the Open Community come through and help propel Ubuntu's mobile OS?
Read More | Ubuntu
We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2012!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S vs. iPhone original:
iPhone 5 certainly got a lot of attention this year, and our image gallery comparing it to previous iPhone designs served as our most popular post in all of 2012.
Bitcasa brings its unlimited cloud storage from the desktop to the mobile-verse today, with Android and Windows Phone 8 users getting first dibs. An iOS and Mac version are promised in early January, however, so you won't feel left out in the cold for too long.
The apps for Android and Windows 8 stream media through its native player with two-way file access so you can access your files from your Surface. Android users can also link their camera app to Bitcasa, so each photo they take is automatically saved to the cloud.
Read More | Google Play Store
The new version of Google Play Books for Android has a new feature that reads books to users on its own. The feature is titled, obviously, "read aloud," and works with most books without the need for the book to come with a "read aloud" enabled feature.
You'll also find a new pinch-to-zoom feature, as well as double-tap-to-zoom. Further, the app now makes recommendations on other books you might find enjoyable after you finish reading one book. Though, if you're like me, you prefer to soak in the totality of a one book world before even thinking about diving into another.
Read More | Google Play
Facebook wants more of its employees carrying Android devices, employing vaguely propagandistic posters around its Menlo Park campus. The posters outline the growing lead Android has over iOS, projecting that lead to double by 2016. The goal is to get Facebook employees using devices that the majority of their app users use, or "Droidfooding," as the campaign is casually known.
“In the early days we gave employees iPhones primarily”, a Facebook spokesperson said to TechCrunch. This recent shift to a more Android OS orientated workplace is part of an effort to make it as simple as possible to test future Facebook For Android and Facebook Messenger apps.
“We’ve created more awareness that Android devices are available” Facebook says. "There's plenty of people here carrying around both devices, and not just engineers and not just mobile people.”
Read More | TechCrunch