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the::unwired Articles
Friday, 30.08.13
INTRODUCED: HTC unveils the HTC Fetch Bluetooth 4.0 LE Tracker
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:05 CET under 04 - Android News

Today, HTC unveiled its HTC Fetch, a small black Bluetooth dongle which is said to help you not losing your phone or leaving it behind anymore. By pairing with the phone, the sleek and compact 29.35 x 29.35 x 9.3 mm keychain device activates the phone's ringtone if 15 meters of each other. If both are lost, a convenient map location feature informs the owner where the HTC Fetch and phone were last together. The HTC Fetch is designed to secure a phone and belongings, allows last seen tracking, acts as a remote camera shutter and it's said to be easy to set up and easier to use. Thanks to Bluetooth 4.0/LE, the coin cell battery is good enough for a working time of up to 6 month.

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APPEARANCE: Samsung Gear Manager shows basic Samsung Galaxy Gear functions
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:52 CET under 04 - Android News

Following Samsung's official unofficial confirmation that it will launch a smart watch called "Galaxy Gear", well known @evleaks has posted yesterday night two screenshots of an Android app which is expected to be the user interface for configuring and controlling the Galaxy Gear. According to these screenshots, the Galaxy Gear, which is also called "SM-V700" will feature NFC for easier Bluetooth pairing and the the watch itself can handle special "Samsung Apps" (otherwise it wouldn't be smart but just a watch). Other than this, the app seems to allow to configure the installed apps, clocks and possibly watchfaces, and can remote contact the watch in case it is missed by using "Find my Watch".

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Thursday, 29.08.13
LOCATION: Foursquare goes past Location Sharing - puts Recommendations in the Focus
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:49 CET under 04 - Android News

Following yesterday's launch of Foursquare for Windows 8, Foursquare just announced to start rolling out a new feature which goes past location sharing but has automatic recommendation in focus. With over 4 billion check-ins and with more than 32 million tips, Foursquare's location accuracy has hugely improved and it's said that it can now be proactive recommend - helping users to discover the greatest things nearby without even having to open the app. As before, Foursquare still allows to check in when users want to share with friends but now, Foursquare may give great recommendations even if not checked-in. However, according to Foursquare, the dev team has done a ton of tinkering about battery drain of using background location.

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KICKSTARTER: Pressy brings back the physical Camera Button - and more - to Android [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:07 CET under 04 - Android News

Ever, since the physical camera key was removed from most smartphones (and that's one reason I still like Windows Phone - for not removing it but making it a feature), I'm blaming HTC, Samsung & Co for its decision! I still think that physical buttons have their meaning but well, neither the HTC One, nor the Samsung Galaxy S4 have it anymore. However, a new project, which was just started yesterday over at Kickstarter, came to my attention: "Pressy". Pressy, which is described as "the almighty Android button" is said to bring back the simplicity to our phones. It allows to perform your favorite and most common actions with a simple, intuitive physical button. To get started, plug the Pressy Button to the headphone jack, download the free app, and Pressy is ready to go.

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EXPERIENCE: Twitter introduces Conversations View
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:58 CET under 04 - Android News

In the early days of Twitter in 2008, long before it became as popular as it is today, Twitter showed every @-reply of someone you followed in the home timeline but Twitter noticed that with increased popularity a stream can become pretty noisy and switched the mechanism it showed @-replies in a stream. In 2009 Twitter started to only show @-replies if someone follows the recipient of the @-reply as well, otherwise the reply didn't appear anymore; making the stream less noisy. However, last night, Twitter updated its Android and iPhone apps, as well as Twitter.com, to make it easier to discover and follow conversations in the home timeline. Tweets that are part of a conversation are now shown in chronological order so it's easier to follow along.

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Wednesday, 28.08.13
FRAUDULENT: Review Fraud for Apps in Google Play Uncovered?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:19 CET under 04 - Android News

Sometimes, if you think you have heard everything about Internet fraud, you receive an info about a new scam and this time it hits the users of Google Play. The Google Play reviews are one of the most important information an Android user can get about an app he or she is going to download and I'm not different at all. If an app has 4 or 5 stars and a couple of good comments, I consider to download and even to purchase it. Also it's often recommended to pay close attention to Google Play reviews since this is, thanks to "swarm intelligence", the best method to protect yourself from fraudulent apps which might be malware. And what are resourceful racketeers doing? They offer small and independent developers to rate their apps positive - for money!

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PRELISTENING: Jolla unveils Sound Pack - including Ringtone - of its upcoming Jolla Sailfish OS Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:28 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

Are you as curious about Jolla's first Sailfish OS smartphone, which is expected to hit the market end of this year, as I am? Well, while Jolla is unveiling every single piece of info step by step, JollaUsers brought the good news today that Jolla has just released their smartphone sounds so all of the fans can use it on their current phones or computers. The sound-set is a collection of the Official (?) Jolla "The Other Half" ringtone, IM tone, E-Mail tone, alarm tone, Message tone and the lock and unlock sounds. The ringtone truly promises something great. While I have my doubts that it will become as iconic as the Nokia tune or other similar iconic sounds, the ringtone itself seems to represent the bright vision of Jolla; but listen yourself.

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Tuesday, 27.08.13
ENHANCED: Evernote updates Evernote for Windows Phones - adds new useful but known Features
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:07 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Evernote has just announced that its Windows Phone version is receiving a collection of new features including a new multi-shot camera, improved image viewing inside notes, speech-to-text capabilities, smart note titling and support for Windows Phone 8. Whether out at dinner or photographing a whiteboard at the office, sometimes it makes sense to make more than one snapshot per note. And with today's update, Evernote is introducing its new multi-shot camera that allows to take as many photos as a user want without exiting camera mode. And to make viewing these images a better experience, Evernote has now also added slideshows; which also works with any note that contains images.

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SERVICE: Nokia Music receives Feature Update with Favorite Artists and Notifications
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:19 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Today, Nokia announced a feature update for its Nokia Music, which is part of the company's Lumia Windows Phone 8s. The Nokia Music update now creates even more ways to enhance the listening experience by adding notifications and favorite artists to the mix. This allows to "like" favorite artists to further personalized music experience. Nokia Music will also like artists based on the playing history and the contents of the on-device music library. Nokia Music will let users also know if any new gigs are announced, so tickets can picked up early. Last but not least, to get the full experience, pining Nokia Music with Live Tile notifications to Home Screen isn't only showing the artwork for recently played tracks, but also shows alerts whenever there's news.

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Monday, 26.08.13
LOCKED-OUT: Google latest Chromecast Firmware Update locks-out Local Media Playback
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:58 CET under 04 - Android News

Late last week, Google released a firmware update for its Google Chromecast Media Streamer and as much appreciated firmware updates are - in most cases  - this update closes ways to use the Chromecast for playing local content, from an Android smartphone to the Chromecast. As Koushik Dutta, developer of AllCast, wrote on his Google Plus page, "Google's latest Chromecast update intentionally breaks AllCast. They (Google) disabled 'video_playback' support from the ChromeCast application." He continues that "I'd strongly suggest holding off on buying a Chromecast until we can see how Google chooses to move forward on third party applications. There are also other (open) platforms and stacks that one could buy/support as well."

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OBSERVATION: Is Twitter trialing Picture Preview within Mobile Apps Timeline?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:47 CET under 01 - General News

Ever, since Twitter was release, sharing photos via the micro-blogging service was one of the most important and used features but it took Twitter a little bit longer to realize it by introducing its own photo and picture hosting which is now alive for roughly two years. And indeed, within my timeline this feature is heavily used but so far, you only knew that the tweet contained a photo by the respective URL, within the tweet (for instance pic.twitter.com/xyz) and only opening the tweet showed the respective picture; doesn't matter if on the web, Twitter's original Android, iOS or Windows Phone apps. However, yesterday evening my timeline on one of my Android devices showed me the picture preview straight within the timeline, without opening the respective tweet.

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UPGRADE: HTC announces immediate release of Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5 for HTC One X, One X+, One XL and Butterfly
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:09 CET under 04 - Android News

Following all the trouble that the HTC's last year's HTC One S won't receive any Android 4.2.2 goodness, HTC Germany has just issued a press release where it said, that starting today, the HTC One X, HTC One X+, HTC One XL and HTC Butterfly will receive the anticipated Android 4.2.2 and HTC Sense 5 upgrade. While the Android 4.2.2 upgrade will come with all the Android goodies like quick-settings, lock-screen widgets, Day Dream, and more; the HTC Sense 5 upgrade is even more important since it features a cleaner and flatter user interface and sports some new features like BlinkFeed, Zoe Gallery, Video Highlights, autofocus lock and the HTC Music Channel with lyrics.

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ACCESSORY: HTC unveils HTC Mini+ Specs - Comes with Consumer Infrared and Laser Pointer
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:47 CET under 04 - Android News

Silently, HTC put the HTC Mini+ on its global website and following all the previous information, we finally know officially what the Mini+ will be about. According to HTC, it's the "multi-tasking solution for everyone" which allows to take calls while using the phone to surf online as well as watching videos or playing games. Instant notifications of texts, events and E-Mails ensure users won't miss a thing. Hands-free remote camera control allows to take pictures from the connected phone at a distance. It even doubles as a TV remote control, and pairs with select HTC devices to operate multimedia streaming through your HTC Media Link HD. Last but not least, it comes with a built-in laser pointer and slideshow remote control.

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Friday, 23.08.13
SURPRISE: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:41 CET under 01 - General News

As Microsoft just announced, Chief Executive Officer and Microsoft co-founder Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most. In the meantime the Microsoft Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board's lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo.

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THOUGHT: Instagram, EyeEm and Co. - Or how your Smartphone Photos can become your own Art
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:16 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Ever, since I got my first digital single-lens reflex camera in the mid 80's (a Canon T50), I was fascinated from photographing and even learned how to develop my own back & white and color films and prints when I did a couple of internships at Ilford Photo. Over the time, this experience also made a big fan of photo art. As the time evolved, I went through different Canon, Nikon and Sony cameras, first still analogue, only to became digital later. And while I still using my Nikon D80 and my Sony Nex5 for professional photos here on the::unwired and events, my daily camera became my smartphone! It's my digital eye, doesn't matter if I use it at home, while commuting or in vacations - the smartphone is 99 % of the time with me.

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SERVICE: Delta streamlines In-flight Service with Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phones for Flight Attendants
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:45 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As Delta Air Lines announced yesterday, more than 19,000 Delta Air Lines flight attendants began using last year's announced Nokia Lumia 820 Windows Phone 8 smartphones yesterday, that will streamline on-board purchasing. As every airline, also Delta mentioned that its 19,000 in-flight professionals are there for the safety and comfort of customers. Equipping them with innovative solutions means they can better meet customers' needs on board of every flight. This solution was developed by Microsoft, Avanade and AT&T after months of development and feedback from flight attendants. The Windows Phone 8 smartphones will include a Delta-specific customer experience developed by Avanade on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of sale platform.

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Thursday, 22.08.13
FIGURES: Windows Phone becomes Latin America's second most widely used Mobile Platform
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:31 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Yesterday evening, Microsoft has released a press release where the Windows Phone maker said that - according to IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker report - Windows Phone was, in the second quarter of 2013, the second most widely used operating system in the Latin American region. With more than 20 countries in Latin America where the Windows Phone range of devices is available, the report shows that Windows Phone has been ranked second in Mexico for the second consecutive quarter, and in the second quarter of 2013, Windows Phone was also ranked second in both Colombia and Peru. In other countries, such as Argentina, Chile and Brazil, Microsoft's mobile platform has also grown in popularity, ranking third in the second quarter of 2013.

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PHOTO: Semi-Official Instagram App 6tag hits Windows Phone Marketplace
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:37 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

There's still no official Instagram Windows Phone app in sight but the good news is there's now a Windows Phone app available which is said to be somehow approved by Instagram and therefore uses the official APIs: 6tag. Previously known as 6tagram, 6tag is the yet most full featured Instagram app for Windows Phone. It features some of the original Instagram filters like XPro-II, Earlybird, Rise, Amaro, Hudson, Lo-Fi, Sutro, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977, allows video recording and sharing with cut scenes (premium feature) and supports linear and radial Tilt-Shift with blur effects for extra depth of field. All this can then be shared directly to Instagram, without any workarounds. However, there's even more.

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Wednesday, 21.08.13
WEARABLE: Omate releases full Omate TrueSmart Specs - Runs on Android and features 2G/3G [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:24 CET under 04 - Android News

Following the earlier Omate TrueSmart info, Omate just unveiled the full specs of its - so called - "new generation smartwatch 2.0", which is said to combine smartphone capabilities along with wireless connectivity, location based services and a camera - all on the wrist and all in a premium build quality. But the Omate TrueSmart isn't just an accessory for smartphones but it packs a GSM/GPRS/EDGE at either 900/1800 or 850/1900 MHz and UMTS/HSPA at 850/2100 MHz phone with a micro SIM card as well as wireless connectivity and expandable memory up to 32 GB into a wristwatch. All this is used through the "Omate UI" launcher which runs on top of Google Android 4.2.2; which is said to come with a wide range of features and qualified Android apps.

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OUTLOOK: Jolla on Track - First Batch of Smartphones sold-out with ETA End of 2013
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:36 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

As Jolla, the new Finnish smartphone maker unveiled today, the first production batch of its Jolla smartphone with Sailfish OS has been fully booked by consumers and selected sales channels around the world. Jolla launched its first smartphone at the #JollaLoveDay event in May. At the same time, Jolla kicked off an online pre-order campaign, which reached its first batch limit by mid-July. Online pre-orders were received from 136 countries in all. For those, who missed the first opportunity, Jolla said it's now doing its best to offer a 2nd chance later in the autumn; and recommends that everyone interested in Jolla to sign up at jolla.com to be the first to know about any new developments, such as the opening of the next pre-sales campaign.

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WEARABLE: Omate TrueSmart - New Generation Android Smartwatch said to Kickstart today
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:53 CET under 04 - Android News

Are you ready for another smartwatch? No, I'm not talking about Samsung's upcoming release of the Galaxy Gear but about another Kickstarter funded smartwatch which wants to follow the great success of the Pebble. The "Omate TrueSmart" is said to go live today on Kickstarter.com. In design and development for over 1.5 years, with an international team from 8 countries across 3 continents, the Omate TrueSmart is said to go to the public on Kickstarter.com today at 10:00am PDT / 16:00pm CET. The Omate TrueSmart is pre-announced to be a "new generation smartwatch 2.0", featuring a regular wrist watch design; and it's said to work as companion accessory to smartphones and standalone.

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Tuesday, 20.08.13
ENHANCED: Google adds Waze Traffic Incident Info to Google Maps Mobile
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:48 CET under 04 - Android News

With the latest release of Google Maps 7.0 for Android, Google also added incident info which it got so far from public sources. That's indeed very useful, since you might want to know why a road has traffic jam and appears in either orange, red or even black. However, today Google announced the next stage incident information. Following Google's earlier takeover of Waze, Google Maps for Mobile users will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users. This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, UK and the US.

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UNVEILED: MHL Consortium announces MHL 3.0
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:49 CET under 01 - General News

The MHL Consortium today announced the MHL 3.0 specification to address the latest consumer requirements for connecting a mobile device like smartphone or tablet to displays, marking major advancements in the areas of audio and video transmission over an MHL link. With double the bandwidth compared to the previous specification, MHL 3.0 delivers 4K (Ultra HD) resolution and a wider color gamut to create a more brilliant visual experience, solidifying MHL's growing presence in the living room. By using a bi-directional channel that's significantly faster than MHL 2, the new specification enables concurrent 4K video and high-speed peripheral support of mass storage and input devices such as a touch screen, keyboard and mouse.

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LEAK: HTC Zara Android Smartphone shows its Face on Renderings
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:12 CET under 04 - Android News

Always well informed @evleaks has posted another device rendering of a yet unannounced HTC smartphone which is said to be the "HTC Zara" (code-name). According to @evleaks, the Zara will run on Android 4.3 with the yet neither announced nor released and therefore upcoming HTC Sense 5.5 UI. Furthermore, Zara is said to feature a Qualcomm MSM8930 dual-core CPU at 1.2 GHz, a 4.5" qHD touchscreen, 1 GB RAM and 8 GB flash memory, which can be expanded with microSD memory cards, a 8 megapixel (and therefore not so UltraPixel) main camera and a 2100 mAh battery. While the Zara seems to sport some design-aspects of the HTC One, like the front facing dual-speakers, it's questionable if it will come with BoomSound stereo speakers.

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Monday, 19.08.13
UPDATE: HTC starts Software Update roll-out for the HTC One - adds support for HTC Mini+ and Google Keyboard
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:48 CET under 04 - Android News

HTC has just started to roll-out a minor firmware update for the HTC One, which already hit France. According to the provided information, the v2.24.401.8 update, which only is 32 MB small, is said to add compatibility for the upcoming HTC Mini+ remote control as well as the original Google Android keyboard, which is available from the Android Google Play market as a free download. If HTC has now started to roll-out a minor firmware update, which contains support for the HTC Mini+, it shouldn't take too long anymore to see it released in Europe, even if HTC has yet not officially announced it but all we have is the::unwired's earlier observation of a software update as well as Clove's later blog post of the expected launch.

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REPORT: Beats by Dr. Dre to drop HTC?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:48 CET under 01 - General News

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Beats Electronics LLC, maker of popular Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and speakers, is looking to buy out HTC's left 25 % stake in the company to bring in a new investor that can provide it with fresh funds for growth. Following the earlier reduction of 25 % (initially HTC took over 50 % of Beats Electronics), this would finally move HTC out of the headphone and loudspeaker business again; even if it is questionable if HTC would also remove its Beats sound enhancements from its upcoming Android devices. However, sources told WSJ.com that Beats is now in talks with an investor that could provide debt financing and possibly take a minority ownership stake in the coming weeks

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CONCEPT: AirCast for Android allows to Stream Videos from Android to Google Chromecast [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:15 CET under 04 - Android News

Koushik Dutta, who is currently pretty active in developing Google Chromecast enhancements for Android, and who has recently shown some proof of concepts, has yesterday released the first public Beta of its "AirCast" for Android. AirCast is an Android app that lets you share videos from your on device Gallery, Dropbox or Drive to your Chromecast enabled TV. As he wrote on Google Plus, he spent a couple hours on Saturday to "reverse engineer" the Chromecast protocols and he did it with - as he wrote - "great success"! Thanks to the reverse engineering, he's now "able to get around all the developer white-list restrictions"; and because of this he's "actually not using the Chromecast or MediaRouter SDKs anymore".

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Friday, 16.08.13
GAME: ClickThePic Multiplayer and Multidevice Android Game - best Played with MHL or Google TV
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:53 CET under 04 - Android News

Normally I'm not writing here about games, except if a unique idea catches my attention, if the game is somehow wireless or if it was developed by a friend. Well, ClickThePic for Android is such a game which I had the pleasure to Beta test the past months. It's a yet unique kind of wireless multiplayer and  multidevice game for "quick pic clicker". ClickThePic requires a "viewer" device and can host up to 4 "player" devices. The goal is to click the shown picture as fast as possible; being faster than your friends. The "viewer"-device shows pics which have to be clicked on the "player" devices, which are all connected via Bluetooth to the "viewer" device. The fastest player gets the point - straight forward.

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ENHANCED: Nokia releases Nokia Pro Cam for Lumia 920 and Lumia 925
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:26 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Initially announced and released exclusively for the Nokia Lumia 1020, Nokia's high-end camera phone, Nokia now followed-up with the promised Nokia Pro Cam release for the Lumia 920 and Lumia 925. The Nokia Pro Cam isn't just another camera user interface for Windows Phone 8 but it takes Windows Phone to the next level - to a kind of DSL camera UI. The camera also works in auto-mode, yet it has easy access to reframing where you can rotate, scale and change the aspect ratio of your pictures. But when you want to create that perfect composition, go to the manual controls to change exposure, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and focus. Current camera settings are clearly displayed on screen so you can see if you need to make any adjustments.

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SPONSORING: Huawei becomes Champion Partner of Borussia Dortmund
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:04 CET under 01 - General News

German and European Football (for the U.S. readers - Soccer) and telecommunication seems to somehow fit. Sony (Ericsson) was once the premium partner of the UEFA and therefore the sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, which HTC became the sponsor of after, including the Europa League. Samsung is one of the few premium sponsors of FC Bayern München who's tricot partner is Deutsche Telekom; and today Huawei announced it will become a "Champion Partner" of Borussia Dortmund, Germany's second best football team (after FC Bayern München). While neither Huawei nor the BVB have unveiled full details, the long-term cooperation is said to include both Huawei areas, the consumer and the enterprise division.

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BLOCKED: Google blocks official Microsoft YouTube Windows Phone App
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:36 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Just when you and I thought Google and Microsoft came over its dispute, after Microsoft launched its own YouTube app for Windows Phone earlier this week, we have to figure out hours later that it's not the fact at all. Last May, after Microsoft launched a much improved YouTube app for Windows Phone, Google objected on a number of grounds. Therefore Microsoft took the app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. As said, this week, after Microsoft thought that it addressed each of Google's points, the app was re-launched, only to have Google technically block it now. In a blog post with the title "The limits of Google's openness" , David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust, Microsoft went straight and explained the situation from Microsoft's perspective.

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Wednesday, 14.08.13
MULTIMEDIA: Official Microsoft Windows Phone App returns to Windows Phone Market
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:45 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

It took Microsoft a little bit longer, to solve its dispute with Google, but finally Redmond brought back the long-time missed YouTube app for Windows Phone which is again available as a free download from the Windows Phone Market. As before, the app allows to experience the world of YouTube on Windows Phone and allows to access your YouTube account to easily explore and manage YouTube's vast catalogue of videos, channels and subscriptions. Furthermore the app allows to pin videos, playlists, channels and even search queries to the Windows Phone Start screen as Live Tiles. Live Tiles flip to show YouTube's most popular videos or your subscriptions' latest uploads.

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SOCIAL: Google updates Google+ for Android - adds 5 Features you've asked for
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:01 CET under 04 - Android News

Virgil Dobjanschi, social networking Android developer at Google, has posted a Google+ message where he informed us that Google is rolling-out a Google+ update for Android which contains - according to him - 5 updates "you've been asking for". According to the posting, the latest Android app (v4.1) includes a number of highly-requested improvements including lot easier account and page switching, fully supported Google Apps for Business features, Google Drive photos and videos which are now available from Google+, location sharing includes more controls (after Google turned off Latitude last week) and last but not least Messenger is going away while Hangouts is sticking around (for now?).

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RUMOR: HTC to dump Windows Phone (8)?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:29 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

According to always well informed and close to Taiwanese sources DigiTimes, HTC is said to "likely drift away from Windows Phone (8)". Following last years global launches of the HTC 8X flagship Windows Phone 8 device and the HTC 8S mid-tier smartphone, HTC's global Windows Phone 8 market share is said to be under 5 % now, while Nokia now accounts of a market share of 80 %, and Samsung, which has also not put too much energy into Windows Phone 8, became the second largest Windows Phone 8 vendor. HTC, which is a long time supporter of different Microsoft mobile OS and smartphone platforms seems to definitely shifted its focus to Android.

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Monday, 12.08.13
LEAK: Sony to go interchangeable "Lens Cameras" for Android and iOS Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:03 CET under 04 - Android News

Sony Alpha Rumors has received information and photos of so called upcoming Sony "Lens Cameras", namely the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100. As Sony Alpha Rumor noted, these "lenses" aren't normal lenses, even if they look like but they have built-in sensor, Bionz processor, WiFi/NFC wireless connections and an SD card slot. And because these lenses neither have a LCD screen nor the usual camera controls, these lenses will be used and controlled through attached smartphones or tablets; where they are mounted to. According to the info, the lenses can be magnetically attached on a smartphone and they are said to work with Android and iOS.

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UNVEILED: YouTube Video shows the HTC Mini+ Remote Control in action
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:29 CET under 04 - Android News

Remember when I wrote first time about the upcoming release of the HTC Mini+, HTC's updated remote control which was initially introduced with the HTC Butterfly and which was confirmed with a later blog post by Clove? Well, there's a Chinese YouTube video now which shows the HTC Mini+ in action! Nothing new at all, at least not what I expected (an infrared eye to work as a TV remote control with the HTC One mini as the earlier software update suggested) but the video shows just the standards like finding the connected HTC One by remote ringing it, remote camera access and remote controlling the One's media player. Nevertheless, it seems the HTC Mini+ is in production now and should be available anytime soon.

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LEAK: HTC One Max shows its rendered Face on "non-final" Artwork
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:52 CET under 04 - Android News

Always well informed @evleaks has posted a rendering over the weekend, which is said to show the "non-final" artwork of the HTC T6, better known as the HTC One Max. The HTC One Max is expected to be HTC's phablet, which should go into the race to compete with such successful phablets like the Samsung Note 2 and the soon to be announced Note 3. While nothing is confirmed, it's rumored that the One Max, which shares the unique unibody design with the One and One mini, will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU at 1.9 GHz (latest unconfirmed info) and features a 5.9" Full HD touchscreen, 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB internal flash memory; which is said to be expandable with microSD memory cards.

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CAMPAIGN: HTC is still "Here To Change" - Inspires Consumers with new Media Campaign featuring Robert Downey Jr. [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:01 CET under 01 - General News

We have recently heard some bad news about possible problems HTC might face at the moment, from missed sales targets to missed revenue outlooks but one thing is for sure - with the HTC One, HTC has 2013's most awarded and recognized smartphone in the portfolio. And if you think HTC has given up, just because it might have failed the one or the other target, you don't know HTC and you are wrong. As announced today, HTC is ready to launch this Wednesday its most ambitious campaign to date which I had the pleasure to have a sneak peek of last Friday. This massive ad-campaign, which alone will be as expensive as last year's whole sales and marketing budget was, is an integrated 2 year long-term strategy that celebrates HTC's 17 years of disruption and innovation in the mobile industry.

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Thursday, 08.08.13
ENHANCED: Instagram allows to share Videos from the Gallery - gives HTC Zoe and Highlight Videos a new Home
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:59 CET under 04 - Android News

When Instagram introduced its video service back in June, Instagram on Android required to always record the video with the Instagram app which could cause some trouble, for instance if you want to share a video on Instagram which you have recorded before with the nativ camera app. Now, with tonight's released Instagram 4.1 version, it's also possible to share videos from your photo library which means you can now share pre-recorded video files. Doesn't sound too important but it is because it means you can finally upload HTC Zoe photos (the three second videos of a photo), as well as HTC Video Highlights to Instagram, even if Highlight Videos are normally 30 seconds long and Instagram cuts them after 15 seconds.

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Wednesday, 07.08.13
SECURITY: Google turns on Android Device Manager - Finds lost or stolen Android Devices
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:03 CET under 04 - Android News

Announced early August, Google today unlocked its Android Device Manager. While this kind of feature is already known from iOS, Windows Phone and even from the old Windows Mobile days, it was so far not possible to remotely search and wipe a lost, stolen or forgotten Android phone or tablet. The new Android Device Manager is finally closing this gap and is coming with a few simple features which can be used to keep an Android device - and the data stored inside - safe and secure by helping to locate and ring misplaced devices by quickly ring the phone at maximum volume, even if it's been silenced as well as wiping (aka deleting) all the personal data on the device if it was really lost or stolen.

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INFORMATION: Microsoft releases Bing News - Sports - Weather - Finance Apps for Windows Phone 8
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:23 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Back in October, with the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft launched a collection of Bing Apps for Windows 8 which included News, Finance, Weather, Sports, and Maps. The apps provide - as Microsoft says - "gorgeous, comprehensive and customizable experiences powered by Bing that showcase world class content from leading outlets". And indeed, the Bing apps for Windows 8 are a useful enhancement for Microsoft's PC platform. While it took Microsoft a little bit longer, it hasn't stopped development and therefore, today many of those experiences are announced for Windows Phone 8 users around the world too! This includes Bing News, Bing Weather, Bing Sports and Bing Finance.

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OFFICIAL: LG introduces the LG G2 Android Smartphone - shifts the paradigm in Smartphone design
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:38 CET under 04 - Android News

At today's press event in New York, LG unveiled its latest flagship smartphone - the G2. Being the first LG smartphone under the company's new "G" series brand for premium devices, the LG G2 is running on Android 4.2.2 and is powered by a quad-core 2.26 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800. The G2 comes with a 5.2" Full HD IPS touchscreen with 423 ppi, a 13 megapixel camera with OIS (optical image stabilization) and a 2.1 megapixel front facing camera. The G2 features either 32 GB or 16 GB flash memory and 2 GB RAM. At a size of 138.5 x 70.9 x 8.9 mm, the device sports a massive 3,000 mAh battery. Most important, the LG G2 brings everything together in a device with comfortable, functional, convenient and beautiful design.

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ENHANCED: WhatsApp introduces Voice Messages - Platform-cross Push to Talk [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:07 CET under 01 - General News

As WhatsApp announced on its blog, it just introduced "Voice Messages", a Push to Talk service for its messaging service. According to the WhatsApp blog, Voice Messages is released on all WhatsApp supported platforms simultaneously which means that it's now available for iPhone and Android, which is said to have perfectly working Voice Messages functionality, but the development team also put extra efforts into making sure that BlackBerry, Windows Phone and even S40 users can enjoy the same rich and powerful Voice Messaging experience. Using WhatsApp Voice Messages couldn't be easier: right next to the text entry field you find a microphone icon. Press and hold it, dictate the message and after releasing the icon, the message is sent.

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OFFICIAL: HTC unveils the new Desire 500 mid-range Android Smartphone for European Markets
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:25 CET under 04 - Android News

First time seen in O2 Germany's internal documents and later officially announced for Taiwan, today HTC announced the HTC Desire 500 for Europe. Running on Android 4.1.2 with HTC Sense 5, the Desire 500 is a powerful mid-range model featuring a 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8225Q ARM Cortex A5 CPU with Adreno GPU and supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE at 850/900/1800/1900 MHz and dualband UMTS/HSPA at 900/2100 MHz. The 8 megapixel camera, comes with HTC's dedicated ImageChip processor, helping to create spectacular stills and HD videos. The 1.6 megapixel front-facing camera also makes high-quality self-portraits easy.

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Monday, 05.08.13
QUICKVIEW: Google Chromecast Media Streamer - a European Perspective
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:36 CET under 08 - Reviews

Two weeks ago, during its Press Breakfast, Google announced its - until then totally unknown - Google Chromecast. A so called "media streamer" which plugs into the HDMI port of a HDTV (or monitor) and allows to stream content from the Internet to the big screen. While a PC, Mac, Android smartphone/tablet or iPhone/iPad is used to control the Chromecast, in general the content itself is then directly received from the respective Internet services like YouTube, Netflix or Google Play. The only exception is the screen mirroring option of Google's Chrome browser on Windows PCs or Mac OS computers. When the Chromecast was announced, I ordered it the same night from the U.S. but delivery took a little bit longer - unfortunately.

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Sunday, 04.08.13
CONFIRMED: HTC Mini to hit Europe as HTC Mini+
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:37 CET under 04 - Android News

Early last week, I wrote about the appearance of the HTC Mini+ software update on the HTC One mini and now it seems that a European launch is indeed confirmed. As Clove wrote on its blog today, the British online shop is already accepting pre-orders, even if a launch date is yet not confirmed. Clove describe the HTC Mini+ as a "a Bluetooth Media Handset that can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth and be used as a smaller and more comfortable handset on which to take telephone calls". Furthermore, the product page highlights, that it built-in CIR (consumer infrared) allows you to control the TV and your HTC Media Link HD with the HTC Mini+". That's exactly the case I've also seen described with the HTC One Mini HTC TV update.

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Thursday, 01.08.13
REVIEW: HTC One mini Android 4.2.2 Smartphone with HTC Sense 5
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:33 CET under 08 - Reviews

For one week, I have the pleasure to test and use the upcoming and just recently announced HTC One mini as my main device, which replaced the HTC One as my main smartphone. Therefore, the switch wasn't too difficult for me since both devices are (now) running Android 4.2.2, something the One mini will be immediately launched with, as well as HTC Sense 5. The HTC One mini follows in the tradition of the One-series of HTC's high-end line-up, but like the HTC One S was to the HTC One X(L), the HTC One mini is to the HTC One. It's sharing the same DNA and spirit; but this time HTC went even further by making the One mini similar looking to the One. But it's nevertheless not the same device just smaller but a different device.

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EXTENDED: Google continues support for Exchange ActiveSync on Windows Phone until end of 2013 [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 09:45 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Back in December last year, Google announced plans to drop Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support for Google Calendar and Contacts which was so far used by Windows Phone users to keep their devices in sync with Google services and the original deadline Google gave Microsoft for implementing CalDAV and CardDAV was January 30, 2013. Later, Google expanded this deadline to August 1, 2014 which means it's today. From that point, it was said that consumers won't be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections were said to continue to function. Now, The Verge got the info that this August deadline was stretched again - to December 31, 2013.

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