Android

Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 in Pink

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Okay I just couldn’t resist posting this since anything that has to do with pink catches my eye. I know it has been awhile since I last posted in my blog, and coincidentally, my friend Wayne (Hi, Wayne!) asked me at work today about my blog mentioning that he hasn’t seen any posts from me in awhile.

xiaomi-mi-pad-2-pinkAnyway, I found this on Phone Arena today while comparing specs of phones that I was looking at that were on sale for boxing week. However, this device is not a phone, rather a tablet. It basically is visually similar to an iPad. Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 is available in pink starting tonight, December 21, 2015 at 9:00 PM EST! I wrote a blog post about a similar device also (Onda V919) awhile back in January 2015.

The Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 has been available since November 2015 in silver or gold, with aluminum construction. It runs Android OS, or Windows 10 if you prefer. Dimensions are 7.89 x 5.22 x 0.27 inches. Rear camera is 8 Megapixels and front camera is 5 Megapixels. Processor is Intel Atom, Quad-core, 2200 MHz, X5-Z850, 64-bit, with Intel HD graphics processor. System memory is 2048 MB RAM, with built-in storage available in 16 GB priced at C$238.50 (US$189) or 64 GB at C$339.50 (US$269). To compare, the Onda V919 cost C$196.85 back in January 2015.

If the price was C$189, I think I’d buy it. Too bad the CAD to USD currency rate isn’t doing so well at the moment. How about you, would you consider buying one? Let me know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Phone Arena via Xiaomi Today

Google Turns On Google Now Cards For 70 New Apps

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Google has created Google Now cards for more apps. The list of third-party apps that have been integrated now include Spotify, Zipcar, Adidas miCoach, YouTube, Airbnb, Pandora, Shazam, TripAdvisor, eBay, Waze, Mint, Hailo, and others. There are also Now cards from Gmail mark-ups such as Booking.com, Urbanspoon, Stubhub, Vivid Seats, Air Canada, Avis, Hertz, Cathay Pacific, Priceline, and others.

The complete listing can be found on this page: http://www.google.ca/landing/now/integrations.html

TechCrunch

Google Now has been expanding the range and variety of its Google Now cards, with 40 third-party partners unveiled in January. Seventy are being added to the Google app on Android today, bringing the total pool of Now partners up to 110.

Some marquee partners from the new group include Zipcar, which will now display upcoming end times for reservations so that you can remember to get it back to the designated spot in time to avoid a penalty; Spotify, which can now offer up playlists based on your recent listening trends and other contextual info, such as time of day; ABC News and Circa for breaking news; delivery reminders for food ordering service Eat24; and fitness progress reminders from apps like Runkeeper. OpenTable will even let you pay your restaurant bill directly from Now.

Cards from these new partners require that you have the latest version of the official Google…

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Amazon ‘Unlocked’ Will Give Away Paid Apps For Free

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Through Amazon “Unlocked”, paid apps and in-app purchasing will now be completely free for (Android) users. Read on for more details.

TechCrunch

Amazon has been working hard to build up the popularity of its Android-based Appstore with consumers and developers — borrowing from the well-thumbed Amazon playbook of deep discounts to drive usage. Now, a new feature it wants to launch looks like it could be its biggest disruptive storefront promotion yet. The company has been working on a new section called “Unlocked” that will offer users a whole range of paid apps, along with those that utilize in-app purchases, free of charge.

Think of it as Amazon Prime for apps.

“Introducing Amazon Unlocked for Apps & Games,” the company notes in one promotional spot. “Paid apps and in-app purchasing now completely FREE from Amazon.”

TechCrunch learned of the new feature by way of an internal presentation, leaked to us, explaining how the new feature will look.

amazon unlocked appsApp developers whose apps are highlighted in the deck include biggies like Sega America, whose Sonic Dash game features prominently in the…

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The Story Behind Samsung’s Galaxy S6 And S6 Edge Design Departure

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I like how my Samsung Galaxy S3 fits perfectly in my hands, but I am curious how the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6 would feel like in my hands. Read on to find out the story behind the new design on Samsung’s Galaxy phone.

TechCrunch

[tc_dropcap]Samsung has done something very different with this year’s flagship – or different for Samsung, at least. The company that has long held on to the belief that it can produce top-tier hardware using plastics as the core component of device industrial design has switched to an all metal and glass enclosure.[/tc_dropcap] And for those who wondered what a Samsung smartphone using premium materials might feel like, the Galaxy S6 edge in particular is a very promising result. But how did Samsung, of all companies, ever launch a device where design was the primary tentpole feature?

Zero

To get to the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, Samsung says it had to start from zero – meaning tossing out the design book that led to dimpled plastic mock-leather backs and shiny plastic hamburger outer ridges. It means taking a step back and opening up the design process to feedback, listening to the complaints…

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Translate Text in Real Time with the Google Translate App

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There’s a new app from Google Inc. that I recently downloaded called Google Translate. It’s a pretty cool app that translates text in real time.

Here’s the description from the Google Play Store:

• Translate between 90 languages
• Converse naturally and let Google translate
• Translate with your voice, camera, keyboard or handwriting
• Translate offline while traveling. No internet connection needed.
• Save your translations and access from any device

Translations between the following languages are supported:
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cebuano, Chichewa, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, Myanmar (Burmese), Nepali, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sesotho, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zulu

One of the cool features is that using your camera, you can point it at the text that you want to translate and it will instantly translate the text even without internet/data connection.

Here’s a picture of a magazine that I randomly grabbed near me, and the translation from English to French which you can see on my phone using the Google Translate app. That one is actually not in real time as I had to “pause” it, then take a picture. For the record, my phone would not let me take a screenshot while it was translating in real time for some reason.

Google Translate - English to French