DigiTimes: Expect new flagship phones from HTC, Samsung, and LG during H2 2013

DigiTimes: Expect new flagship phones from HTC, Samsung, and LG during H2 2013

There used to be a time when companies introduced new phones once, maybe twice, in a given year. That release cycle is now nothing but a distance memory, and according to DigiTimes, the second half of 2013 is going to be just as exciting as the first.

Apex Launcher 2.0 is out, steals Apple’s iOS notification badges if you’re into that

Apex Launcher 2.0 is out, steals Apple’s iOS notification badges if you’re into that

Some people can’t stand the software customizations that handset makers put on their smartphones. You know what I’m talking about, Samsung’s TouchWiz, HTC’s Sense, Sony’s TimeScape, and the list just goes on and on. Luckily, there’s an easy way to change the way you interact with your phone. All you have to do is install what’s called a third party launcher. Many of them exist, just Google “Android launcher” and see for yourself, but the most popular one, by far, is Apex Launcher. Why? Because it looks like stock Android.

Google Translate now supports an additional 16 ‘translate by camera’ languages

Google Translate now supports an additional 16 ‘translate by camera’ languages

Google Translate, an app that I use on a near daily basis since I live in a foreign country with a notoriously difficult language to learn, has just added 16 languages to the “translate by camera” feature. In case you haven’t heard of said feature, it does exactly what you’d expect it to do. You point your camera at some text, the Translate app scans the text, and then it spits out the results in your preferred language.

The guy in charge of Google Wallet is leaving Google

The guy in charge of Google Wallet is leaving Google

Osama Bedier, who put in eight years at PayPal, joined Google in 2011. In May of that year, Google announced Google Wallet as an attempt to kick start the mobile payments revolution that tech companies have been talking about for what feels like at least a decade. Unfortunately, the service never really took off, which might explain Bedier’s decision to leave.

Video: Nokia compares their upcoming 2013 flagship to the best smartphones from 2012

Video: Nokia compares their upcoming 2013 flagship to the best smartphones from 2012

Nokia is going to come out with a new phone next week. Unfortunately, it’s been leaked to high heaven, and everyone pretty much knows it’s going to be called the Lumia 928. Verizon is expected to offer it, with the highlight feature being insane low light performance. It’ll have optical image stabilization and likely a Xenon flash.

Looks like Google Glass can do augmented reality, but don’t expect that any time soon

Looks like Google Glass can do augmented reality, but don’t expect that any time soon

Lance Nanek took it upon himself to play with Google Glass using debug mode to figure out what the device is capable of doing. Turns out the answer is a lot. Nanek discovered that Glass comes with 13 sensors, including ones for orientation and magnetic fields. He thinks that if developers really wanted to, they could create augmented reality apps. One example Nanek discusses is a to-do list that’s location based. So say he’s looking at the shed in his back yard, Google Glass can remind him that he needs to paint in.

LG holding an event in Macau on May 30th, what could they possibly be announcing?

LG holding an event in Macau on May 30th, what could they possibly be announcing?

LG is sending members of the press an invitation to an event due to take place on May 30th in Macau, China. Considering that the LG Optimus G Pro will be out in two different countries by the time that date rolls around, I’m really confused as to what we’ll see here.

The new desktop version of Google Maps will look like Google Maps for iOS

The new desktop version of Google Maps will look like Google Maps for iOS

According to the Google Operating System blog, which isn’t an official Google site, but they do get quite a few scoops, Google is going to launch a redesigned version of Google Maps at some point in the near future. They even have some screenshots, albeit small ones, so you can get an idea of what it’s going to look lie.

Microsoft: Office 365 will come to Android, we’re just not going to tell you when

Microsoft: Office 365 will come to Android, we’re just not going to tell you when

Microsoft, the leader in office productivity software, probably laughed at Google when they released Google Docs. Google’s office productivity “solution” lacked a ton of features, it only worked when connected to the internet, and it wasn’t compatible with DOC files.

Irony: Samsung to exit the microSD card market, right after telling GS4 owners they should buy a microSD card

Irony: Samsung to exit the microSD card market, right after telling GS4 owners they should buy a microSD card

The 16 GB version of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 ships with roughly 8.5 GB of free space. The internet complained so much about this egregious fact that the company had to issue a statement that said people should be thankful Samsung spends so much time and energy making TouchWiz. And that if you need more storage, you should just buy a microSD card.