Amazon's Fire HD tablets are surprisingly good purchases if you just want something to consume media. They're inexpensive, snappy, and have great battery life. Now they're learning a new trick courtesy of an OTA update. The coming upgrade for Fire HD tablets will include Amazon's Firefly feature, allowing them to recognize music, movies, and more. Why? So you'll buy more stuff, duh.
We've already seen how the new Moto E looks, but now Motorola has made things official. The 2nd generation low-cost handset is available now in the US for $149.99 with LTE. A $119.99 3G-only option is coming soon. Note, the version you can get today is the GSM model, not the one coming from Verizon.
Here's what has changed since 2014. This year's handset comes powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 410 processor, up from last year's Snapdragon 200 (edit: the 3G model will remain with the 200).
Even though Helpouts didn't last, Google is apparently committed to exploring new uses for its Hangouts chat infrastructure. For example, go search for a restaurant. You might see a new item in the info box alongside review snippets and the location. Google is testing live chat with businesses from search results. If you launch this feature, you'll be taken to a new Hangouts conversation on the web or mobile so you can ask questions or get clarification.
A recent report based on information from Edward Snowden made a startling accusation regarding the security of the SIM cards lurking in most of our phones. According to the newly leaked documents, Netherlands-based Gemalto was the target of a CIA and GSHQ (UK intelligence) plot to steal SIM card encryption keys. Gemalto is the largest maker of SIM cards in the world, so that would be a substantial security breach. Gemalto has issued a statement after completing its investigation to say that, yes, there was probably an attack.
It has apparently been a while since Sprint's been able to focus on simply growing out its nationwide coverage. While the company has expanded its LTE coverage piecemeal, announcing new markets every couple of months, it has also had to manage the networks powered by different technologies it acquired when purchasing Nextel (iDen) and Clearwire (WiMax). But after a decade of acquisitions and adjustment, Sprint may be ready to start turning things around, according to S4GRU, a blog dedicated entirely to Sprint's 4G LTE and WiMax expansions (it doesn't get much more niche than that).
We often refer to it as Update Wednesday, but that's only because the majority of Google's app releases tend to roll out in the middle of the week. In fact, new versions can turn up just about any day. This week, it looks like Google started the festivities a little bit earlier with an update to Search 4.2.
You might know Steve Perlman as that guy who comes up with really interesting ideas that kind of, sort of don't work out very well. He was the man behind both WebTV and OnLive, but his newest venture has attracted the attention of Dish, which has a big pile of wireless spectrum licenses. Dish has just licensed some of its spectrum to Perlman's Artemis Networks for use in a completely new kind of wireless network, and it could soon be operating in San Francisco.
After its introduction at CES, the curvtastic LG G Flex 2 is almost ready for primetime. The phone has been available for pre-order on Sprint in the US for a few days with a free Quick Circle case, but its global rollout is about to commence. It will first be offered on "major carriers in the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Germany, and the U.K," according to an LG Press Release, followed by key markets in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.
Heads up, app developers: there is a really good reason that the government licences people to practice medicine. Unless your app is smart enough to go through four years of med school, you probably shouldn't claim that it can diagnose diseases. The developers of "Mole Detective" on the Google Play Store and similar apps have reason to reflect on this, as the Federal Trade Commission has slapped them with fines and restricted them from claiming that their apps could reliably diagnose melanoma.
Anyone eager to see what Sony has planned for the Xperia Z4 Tablet won't have much longer to wait. According to XperiaBlog, Sony has let slip its plans to show off the tablet on March 3rd. That date lines up with a certain Mobile World Congress taking place at the time where a bunch of other manufacturers will also be showing off their upcoming products.