Author Archives: Stefan Constantinescu

Android Device Manager gets updated, you can now force it to ask you for a password

Android Device Manager gets updated, you can now force it to ask you for a password

Last year, Google announced the Android Device Manager, a web console that let you see the current location of your Android phone or tablet on a map and remotely wipe it. Last month, Google released an Android app so you could control Android Device Manager from your phone. Awesome as that sounds, what if someone managed to steal your phone, figure out how to unlock it, and then wanted to make your life a living hell by remote wiping all your other Android devices? Sounds horrible, right?

HTC accidentally unveils the Desire 310

HTC accidentally unveils the Desire 310

HTC’s European website briefly featured a device that hasn’t been announced yet, the Desire 310. What makes the phone special is that it’s powered by a MediaTek chip. Note that Qualcomm owns a small stake in HTC, and just about every HTC product released in the past few years has used Qualcomm silicon. Let’s pretend the Tegra powered One X never happened, OK? Anyway, back to the Desire 310, it has a 4.5 inch 854 x 480 pixel resolution screen, quad core 1.3 GHz chip, half a gigabyte of RAM, 5 megapixel camera, and a 2000 mAh battery.

Video: Here are the first Google Glass games

Video: Here are the first Google Glass games

When smartphones started becoming a thing, no one could have predicted the rapid rise of the mobile gaming market. Large game publishers such as Electronic Arts are frankly stunned at how much money their mobile division is generating, and poor Nintendo, they’re slashing their forecasts. Which brings me to Google Glass. It’s a totally new platform, which means games need to be written for it. One would think that a company like Rovio would be the first to make a game for Glass, but nope, Google went ahead and made their own.

Mobile now responsible for over half of Facebook’s revenues

Mobile now responsible for over half of Facebook’s revenues

Now that Facebook is a public company, they have to report their financial results every three months. Yesterday night, the company detailed their Q4 2013 numbers. I won’t get into all the details, but I do want to share two numbers. In Q4 2012, basically one year ago, mobile revenues made up 23% of Facebook’s advertising revenues. That number has now more than doubled to 53%. The company’s Chief Financial Officer, David Ebersman, says it best:

“I think it’s inarguable that Facebook is a mobile-first company”

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner and 2K screen confirmed by @evleaks

Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner and 2K screen confirmed by @evleaks

This morning, @evleaks sent out two tweets, each with images, of two specific APK files that are on the Galaxy S5. For those who don’t know what an APK is, think of it as the Android equivalent of an .EXE file on your Windows computer. The two APK files in question are FingerprintService.apk and 3DTourViewer_WQHD_K.apk. Starting with the first one, it’s pretty much confirmation that the Galaxy S5 will have some sort of fingerprint sensor. Whether it’s on the front of the device like the iPhone 5s or on the rear like the HTC One Max, I don’t know.

Chrome web apps now support Android and iOS

Chrome web apps now support Android and iOS

The bodies of platforms and frameworks are littered across the battlefield of the technology industry. Once upon a time, you couldn’t use the internet without Adobe Flash. Just a handful of years ago, you needed a Windows PC in order to get “real” work done. Today’s signature platform war, Android versus iOS, is pretty much over. Those who can afford to spend $700 an iPhone buy an iPhone, and those who can’t buy an Android device. Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Firefox OS, they don’t count.

Samsung confirms they’ve made a 5.2″ 2K display, work is underway for a 5.1″ 4K display

Samsung confirms they’ve made a 5.2″ 2K display, work is underway for a 5.1″ 4K display

According to Korean media, a Samsung employee speaking at a conference where the company talks about their technology roadmap has confirmed that there will be a phone out on the market this year with a 560 pixel per inch display and 2K screen resolution. If you do the math, that means said display will have to measure roughly 5.24 inches on the diagonal. Samsung didn’t specifically say that the Galaxy S5 will be the first phone to use this display, but everyone is expecting that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

Galaxy NotePro preorders go live in the UK, Samsung wants you to give them $1080

Galaxy NotePro preorders go live in the UK, Samsung wants you to give them $1080

Of the four tablets that Samsung announced at CES earlier this month, everyone knew the Galaxy NotePro would end up being the most expensive. It has a 12.2 inch 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution screen, Snapdragon 800, 3 GB of RAM, and a stylus that uses a Wacom digitizer. The thing is, no one could really quantify the price tag since Samsung was keeping that number close to their chest. Today that’s changed. Samsung UK has begun accepting preorders for the NotePro, and they want 649 British pounds. That’s $1080. It’ll ship on February 4th, which is less than a week away.

Samsung’s Galaxy Grand Neo is official, will go on sale in Europe for 260 Euros ($355)

Samsung’s Galaxy Grand Neo is official, will go on sale in Europe for 260 Euros ($355)

Picture a Galaxy S4 in your mind. Now take out all the awesome components and replace them with three year old chips that Samsung probably has laying around on one of their factory floors. That’s the Galaxy Grand Neo. You’re looking at a 5.0 inch 800 x 480 pixel resolution screen, quad core (likely ARM Cortex A7) processor, 1 GB of RAM, 5 megapixel camera, and 21 megabit per second 3G connectivity. Samsung thinks you’ll gladly buy those specs for 260 Euros.

BlackBerry Messenger to add support for an ancient version of Android next month

BlackBerry Messenger to add support for an ancient version of Android next month

Mobile messaging apps are a dime a dozen. Chances are you have at least one installed on your phone, whether that be WhatsApp or Viber or LINE or Google Hangouts. BlackBerry is considered to be the originator of this category with BlackBerry Messenger, but they’ve only recently ported the service over to Android and iOS. Android being Android, BlackBerry couldn’t support every version of Google’s OS at launch, but that’s soon going to change. The company says that at some point next month, they’ll launch a version of BBM that supports Android 2.3 Gingerbread.