Xbox One games are installed to the console’s hard drive and registered to users’ Xbox Live accounys. It remains unclear how the system will handle used games and Microsoft has failed to address the issue. According to a report from gaming news website MCV, retailers will be allowed to charge whatever they want for pre-owned Xbox One games, however both Microsoft and publishers will receive a percentage of every sale. Microsoft is looking to take control of the pre-owned market and will reportedly only allow specific retailers that have agreed to its terms to resell games. More →
It is no secret that Google would like to be a wireless carrier. The company has long been rumored to be eyeing various partnerships to launch its own wireless network as soon as this year. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google is looking to fund, build and help run wireless networks in emerging markets in Africa and Southeast Asia. The company is said to be interested in connecting people to the Internet who live outside of major cities, while at the same time improving speed in urban locations. Google will reportedly create the business model to support the networks in collaboration with local companies. Google is said to be trying to win over regulators to launch its wireless networks on airwaves that are typically reserved for TV broadcasts. These airwaves are capable of transmitting signals through buildings and other obstacles across longer distances than traditional cellular networks because they operate at lower frequencies.
Snapchat has taken the mobile world by storm. The application allows users to send pictures and videos to friends that will self-destruct after a maximum of 10 seconds. Even better, if someone tries to take a screenshot of the image, the sender is automatically notified. Although its founders may not be proud of it, the application has become rather popular among the “sexting” crowd, a practice in which you send naked pictures and videos to another person. The application isn’t perfect, however. As we saw earlier this year, SnapChat videos can be secretly saved. The truth of the matter is that while Snapchat deletes the images from its servers, they are still stored deep inside the receiver’s smartphone and can be retrieved with the proper knowledge. There are ways to permanently delete Snapchat photos, though. More →
A French firm that specializes in camera optics and image sensor analysis has found the camera on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone outperforms the iPhone 5 and Nokia’s Lumia 920. DxO Labs ranked the Galaxy S4′s camera as the second highest rating among smartphones it tested. The firm praised the 13-megapixel camera for its fast and accurate autofocus, good auto-exposure, rich colors in different lighting conditions and impressive detail preservation in bright light. The Galaxy S4 scored a total of 79 points out of a possible 100, ahead of both the iPhone 5 and Lumia 920, which scored 74 points and 64 points, respectively. More →
Google was rumored to debut a new version of Android earlier this month at its I/O Developers Conference. The event has come and gone, however, without a single mention of the operating system. Recent reports suggest that an update will be available in the coming months with support for a more power efficient Bluetooth standard, but little is known about the update. A forum member on XDA-Developers recently posted images of a Nexus 4 that appears to be running a test build of Android 4.3. The images reveal the new version will retain the “Jelly Bean” name, similar to Android 4.2, and will be only a minor update consisting of small changes and bug fixes. One change appears to be a slight cosmetic update to the Android camera software with the controls being relocated from the center to the side. A second image follows below. More →
Nokia on Thursday filed a second patent infringement complaint against HTC with the International Trade Commission. The company has alleged that HTC’s products, including its flagship HTC One smartphone, infringe upon its protected technologies. In a statement to ZDNet, Nokia accused HTC of not taking action to prevent infringement and said the company has instead “tried to shift responsibility to its suppliers.” Nokia had previously filed a suit against HTC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California San Diego, claiming 10 of the company’s products, including the HTC One and HTC First, infringe three of its patents. In its new complaint, Nokia has asked the ITC to ban sales of the HTC One in the United States.
Recent rumors suggested that HTC will follow Samsung and release a “Google Edition” of its flagship smartphone. According to a report from Russel Holly of Geek.com, the same person who scooped the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, an HTC One running stock Android will be announced “within the next two weeks” for a summer launch. The news is perhaps the most reliable yet, however HTC has repeatedly denied plans for a Google Edition of its popular smartphone. The HTC One has been praised for its metal design, front-facing speakers and high-end internal hardware, however some critics have complained about the company’s Sense user interface that runs atop the Android operating system. Despite this, the smartphone has been well received by consumers with shipments recently nearing the 5 million unit mark.
There are some concerns about gaming on the next-generation Xbox One. The system doesn’t allow independent developers to self-publish games on Xbox Live Arcade and Microsoft’s used game policy is still unclear. The company did confirm that it has big plans for its in-house gaming studio, however. Phil Harrison, a corporate vice president at Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, revealed in an interview with VentureBeat that Microsoft is investing heavily in the gaming experience for the Xbox One. The executive noted that the company is planning to invest more than $1 billion for new content, including 15 internally developed titles in the coming year, eight of which will be brand new. The Xbox One is expected to help breath new life into the struggling gaming industry when it is released later this year.
Amazon brings the Kindle Fire HD to more than 170 countries, expands Appstore to nearly 200 countries
Amazon on Thursday announced expanded availability of its Kindle Fire HD tablet lineup. Both the 7-inch and 8.9-inch models are now available for preorder in more than 170 countries worldwide. The Kindle Fire HD is equipped with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display and a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4460 processor, while the 8.9-inch model features a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution display and a 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP4470 processor. The Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HD 8.9 are available for $199 and $269, respectively, and will ship to new countries beginning June 13th. Amazon also announced that it has expanded access to its Android Appstore, which can now be used by customers in nearly 200 countries worldwide.
A new report suggests that Nokia is preparing to launch its 41-megapixel Lumia smartphone, codenamed EOS, this coming summer. According to MobileGeeks, the handset will launch during the second week of July, on or around July 9th. The most recent rumors claim the Lumia EOS would be similar to the Lumia 920, with a polycarbonate case and a 4.5-inch 720p display. The biggest differentiator will reportedly be the smartphone’s 41-megapixel rear camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and Nokia’s new “Pro Camera” application. Earlier reports suggested the Lumia EOS would arrive on AT&T in the United States sometime this summer.
Microsoft has released a second advertisement targeting Apple and its popular iPad this week. The company compares the iPad to an ASUS VivoTab RT, noting that the Windows RT device is slimmer, lighter and can perform more functions than Apple’s tablet. Microsoft highlights Windows RT’s multitasking ability, integration with Office, and convenience with features such as a built-in microSD card reader and compatibility with “nearly all printers.” This is the second advertisement released by Microsoft that targets the iPad, as an earlier video mocked the supposedly inferior voice recognition capabilities of Apple’s Siri voice assistant. Microsoft’s Windows RT commercial follows below. More →
A new report suggests that Apple is preparing to begin testing its long-rumored low-cost iPhone sometime next month. According to Japanese website Macotakara, the handset will be available in a variety of colors, including Navy, Gold-Orange, White, Gray, Pink, Green, Blue and Yellow-Orange. Only 1,000 units of the low-cost iPhone will reportedly be produced for field tests in June, with consumer production slated to take place between July and September. Earlier reports claimed Apple would offer the device for as little as $99 or $149 from retailers. It has also been suggested that the cheaper iPhone would feature a shell made of polycarbonate plastic to bring the price down.
Game developer Bungie has teamed up with Iron Man director Jon Favreau and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito to release another teaser trailer for its upcoming game Destiny. Little is known about the lore behind the new science fiction first-person shooter, however expectations are already sky-high for the new game since Bungie was the studio responsible for the first three smash-hit Halo games. Destiny will be released for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014. Bungie is planning a “worldwide gameplay reveal” during Sony’s E3 press conference on June 10th. The teaser video follows below. More →