VAIO used to be a brand within Sony's electronics empire, but it was sold off last year. Now the new VAIO is going up against its former parent company in the smartphone space. The VAIO Phone is now official and is coming to Japanese carrier b-mobile on March 20th. North America? Probably not.
If you don't use any language with a non-Latin alphabet, you've probably seen at least one of Google's alternative language keyboards and promptly dismissed it. But for a huge portion of Android's userbase, those things are essential tools for daily interaction. Today almost every one of Google's customized input/keyboard apps has been given a major update: Google Hindi Input, Google Japanese Input, Google Korean Input, Google Pinyin Input, and Google Zhuyin Input.
It seems that Google's apparent decision to make a 6-inch Nexus phone has upset many of you. Don't worry, though. There is a solution, and as with most things in life, it comes courtesy of Japan. It's a giant thumb that attaches to your regular thumb. Seriously, the Japanese must be years ahead of us.
Text-to-speech is one of those little pieces of an operating system that not many people use, but which is indispensable for those who do. Now if your first language is Japanese, you've got the option to play out text on your phone with Google's first-party Text-To-Speech (TTS) engine. The relevant app is on the Play Store and was updated today, so you might not have immediate access to it thanks to Google's rollout system.
It's easy to scoff at Amazon Coins, but with offers of free ones popping up every now and then, it's just as easy to take that virtual money laughing as you walk away with awesome apps and games. Doing what it does rather well, Amazon is now expanding its reach to additional countries. The company's coins are now available in Australia and Japan.
As was the case when Amazon Coins first launched in the US in 2013, Kindle Fire owners in Japan and Australia will find that the company has already deposited 500 Yen or $5 AUD worth of coins into their accounts.
Phones produced for the Japanese market are usually so radically different than the ones we're used to that you don't really feel like you're missing anything. However, the new Sharp Aquos Crystal may pique your interest. The difference is that you might have a chance to buy this one soon. This device comes in two sizes—5-inches and 5.5-inches. Both of them have teeny tiny, miniscule bezels. Almost none of the body peeks out from the edge of the screen.
We've heard about the newest HTC Butterfly before from Japanese carrier KDDI, but now HTC is officially welcoming it into the Butterfly family. That's not a name you hear much in the US, but it's one of HTC's premier brands overseas. This device will be known as the J Butterfly HTL23 in Japan and the Butterfly 2 in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and throughout Southeast Asia. It's a reasonably high end device, but it's not all metal like the M8.
HTC's Butterfly series is an interesting one. While this particular range of models rarely makes its way outside of Asia, HTC often uses it as a testbed for new technology and features, and some of the highlights of these phones make it into the primary international lines on the next go-round. The latest version of the J Butterfly, which will launch exclusively on Japanese carrier KDDI next month, has some additions to the basic One design that might be worth watching.
You guys like streaming Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and lots of others to your TV, right? Of course you do, because bigger is better when it comes to watching movies, videos, or TV. It's a scientific fact.
Today, users in both Australia and Japan are finally able to get that satisfied feeling of hitting the "Connect to Chromecast" button, as Google's nifty little streaming gadget is now available in both countries.
It'll set Australian users back $50, and is available from Google Play, Dick Smith, and JB HiFi, according to Ausdroid.
Sony has announced the Xperia A2 in Japan, where it will be available for NTT DoCoMo. This is the phone that could potentially be branded as the Z2 Compact if it ships internationally, though it's far more similar to the Z1 Compact in power and size than the Z2. This device appears to be more about offering a more affordable offering than the same device in a smaller package.
The water and dust resistant Xperia A2 has a 4.3-inch display, a 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon MSM8974 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage supplemented by a microSD card slot.