After years of unsuccessfully pushing its almost-here software-defined Icera LTE modem, NVIDIA officially announced yesterday that the Icera unit, which it acquired in 2011, would be shutting down. The fate of the 500 employees working on Icera projects at NVIDIA was not announced, but may be in NVIDIA's quarterly earnings call tomorrow.
As recently as two years ago, NVIDIA was still pushing the Icera i500 LTE modem solution as part of its Phoenix Tegra 4i reference design phone platform, which saw adoption that could be counted on a single hand (OK, if the hand had six fingers). I believe ZTE, Xiaomi, and Coolpad were actually the only full-on Tegra 4 phone partners, each with a single, limited-run 3G phone that didn't even use Icera modems.
Towards the end of 2014, Oppo released an update for the Find 5 that bumped the Jelly Bean-running device up to KitKat. It wasn't a quality piece of work, but it was something. Now we know that for the Find 5, along with the N1 and the R819, things won't get any better. No additional ColorOS updates are on the way. None of these devices will see Android Lollipop.
This news comes after a reader pointed us toward the Oppo forums, where a moderator stated that these three devices won't receive any more ColorOS updates. We've since reached out to Oppo, and today we received this short but straightforward statement:
"OPPO will not be providing a Lollipop update for the R819, N1 and the Find 5."
Snapchat 9.7 is here, and it packs two new features. They don't fundamentally change the app. In fact, if you blink you might miss them.
The first item on the changelog deals with snaps highlighted in Discover. If you recall, this is the part of the app that shows content from the likes of CNN and National Geographic. You can now tap and hold on the center to share a clip with friends. Snapchat lets you add a caption, doodles, and filters before sending it off.
The second addition is the ability to zoom into video while you're recording.
Toddlers deserve teardowns too! Ok, maybe teardowns are still for grownups, but let's do something for those little ones that haven't learned to read xml yet. The YouTube Kids app has only been available since late February, so it's fair to expect a lot of changes and new features in each release. Last week's update brought immersive mode and better voice search, but a look inside revealed that there are some extra toys in the future. To begin with, it looks like Chromecast support is right around the corner. However, the really cool addition appears to be a built-in recording mode to capture your little one singing along to The Wheels On The Bus.
For fans of the Forgotten Realms universe, the Play Store has copies of both Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, and Icewind Dale. All three of these titles sell for $10, but the last one is currently reduced down to a mere $4.14. That's a pretty impressive savings of roughly 60% and a price that would have long-time fans jumping up and down back in the day. Some of them probably still are.
This is an enhanced port of the PC title with minor alterations to make it touchable. The game remains a complex affair, so while the Play Store says you can install it on a phone, please don't.
The Moto X line is a great destination for Nexus lovers who tire of feeling like beta testers for Google, but the transition does come at the expense of timely updates (not that all Nexus devices are speedy). Fortunately Motorola remains committed to getting its devices up to date, and it looks like Android 5.1 may soon come to both iterations of the Moto X.
Motorola has posted release notes detailing what users can expect from the 5.1 update.
I picked one up as a stocking stuffer for my wife, Lorette, last Christmas and it has been one of her favorite gifts. The device is simple to pair and even easier to use and has been a life-saver in a house with two adorable (but very naughty) little boys. The range is good enough to cover most of our two bedroom home and the chirping sound the little device makes is just loud enough to be heard when buried in the couch cushions.
Back in January Xiaomi announced the Mi Note, a rather fetching midrange smartphone, and let loose some details regarding its more powerful sibling: the Mi Note Pro. Today, we got more information and an official release date for the Pro.
The Mi Note Pro is pushing the envelop of high-end smartphones with all-singing all-dancing all-heating specs. It has a sunlight-optimized 5.7" QHD 2560x1440 display from Sharp that crams 515 pixels per inch, 4G of RAM, a 64GB eMMC 5.0 storage module, a 13MP camera with OIS, dual SIM slots with LTE Cat 9 support, and Qualcomm's feverishly maligned Snapdragon 810 processor. Everything is powered by a 3090mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0.
When I was in Istanbul last week, I saw street vendors waving selfie sticks (aka the wand of Narcissus) and offering for a few liras to hold your phone so you can take a selfie from a better angle. If something hits the hawker market, it's safe to say that it's pervasive and in-demand. That's the angle that the newly announced Sony Xperia C4 is coming from. Sony even has a name for all the cool selfles that this smartphone can take — PROselfies. Because regular selfies aren't enough.
The recipe for cooking up a PROselfie involves a 5MP 25mm wide-angle lens with Sony's Exmor R sensor, a soft LED flash, and HDR for balancing the exposure as much as possible and capturing both you and your background clearly.
The Nexus 9 is not the most beloved Nexus device ever made. Its build quality is a bit questionable (people don't call it the Flexus 9 without good reason), the price is a little on the high side, its performance leaves something to be desired, and it hasn't had the best track record with updates. With these issues it's possible that Google is sitting on a fat stack of these tablets that it hasn't been able to unload.
Until now that is. You see, Google has a trick up it's sleeve that's sure to help relieve their Nexus 9 overstock problem faster than a Snapdragon 810 overheats.