HTC One M8 in gold

HTC hasn't always had success upgrading One users to the latest version of Android within its promised 90-day window, and history is unfortunately repeating itself with Android 5.0 Lollipop on the way. The phone maker is now warning that "some carrier versions" of the One M8 and M7 won't get Lollipop by the expected February 1st deadline. Reportedly, Google's rush to fix Lollipop (which emerged, shall we say, less than polished) gave HTC little time to both finish its own update and put it through the usual provider testing routine.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Apps have done wonders for music creation, and now there's mobile software from Casio that aims to make it even easier. The Chordana Composer app for iPhone creates a track basked on a melody that you create by singing or whistling two bars of a tune. Casio's handiwork records you, and then automatically builds the rest of the song based on your input. This means that anyone can construct a hit without in-depth music knowledge or the ability to play an instrument. After the base of the song is captured, there's five genres and three melodic settings for the tweaking before hitting the Auto Compose button and putting the app to work.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Chicago's Lake Street Red Line stop

Just because you have cellular service in the subway doesn't mean you have good service -- in many cases, your data goes in the dumps when your train ventures underground. That won't be a problem in Chicago for much longer, though. The city has reached a deal with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon that will have the carriers paying to bring LTE data to Chi-town's subway tunnels. When the upgrade is complete sometime later this year, you should have fast internet access all the way from O'Hare Airport to the Blue and Red Lines downtown. This upgrade was ultimately necessary given that wireless networks are preparing for a future where everything goes through LTE, but it's good to know that you'll soon have an easy time streaming music on the way home from a Cubs game.

[Image credit: Chris Smith, Flickr]

0 Comments

Australia A v CA NPS

Talks of ESPN's standalone options are nothing new, and for the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the network is offering a cable-free standalone subscription. Access to the event's six-week slate of 49 matches will cost viewers $100 for viewing on the web. Teams from 14 countries begin competition on February 13th, and if you're interested, sign-ups go live on the 3rd. As you might expect, the subscription includes access to all the action via iOS and Android apps too, options that ESPN says will arrive ahead of the first inning. The matches won't air on WatchESPN or any of the traditional channels, but pay-TV companies like Dish Network and Time Warner Cable will serve it up as a pay-per-view add-on -- if you're looking to bundle the bills. If you'll recall, rumors of ESPN's standalone NBA subscription began circulating last fall, and the broadcaster could do the same with Major League Soccer in the future.

[Photo credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images ]

0 Comments

AT&T store

There's no doubt that companies spent a ton of money in the FCC's latest wireless auction -- $44.9 billion of it, to be precise. But who was it that was so eager to part with their cash? You don't have to wonder for much longer. The FCC has revealed the winning bidders, and there's little doubt as to who the frontrunners are. AT&T was by far the biggest spender. It shelled out almost $18.2 billion for 251 licenses to use that coveted AWS-3 spectrum, or nearly three times what it spent on 700MHz frequencies back in 2008. Dish, meanwhile, made its broadband ambitions pretty clear by snapping up a sizable $13.3 billion in airwaves.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Living a wholly private life on the internet is getting to be impossible, but months of thinkpieces and public outcry finally seem to have done a little good where one company is concerned. According to the New York Times, Verizon Wireless is giving its customers the option to fully opt out of the quiet, advertiser-friendly web tracking it's been conducting for the better part of two years. Alas, there's no word yet on just when that change will take effect, though it can't come soon enough for the privacy advocates and concerned consumers that've been raising hell since the existence of so-called "supercookies" came to light.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

How do you prove your device isn't vaporware? Put a price and pre-order date on it. Well, that's what Saygus is doing with the V2 (pronounced V-Squared) that we spent some time with at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, at least. If you reserve a handset come February 2nd, not only will you get a $50 break off the $599 asking price, but Saygus is throwing in a few extras as well. Those include an additional battery and what the company's calling a "customized, replaceable glass screen protector." The pre-order registration window's been extended until noon MST February 2nd, and actual pre-orders start at 11:59 p.m. MST (the outfit's based in Salt Lake City, Utah) or February 3rd at 1:59 a.m. Eastern. What a world we live in: one where you can register to pre-buy something that still doesn't have a release date, from a company that hasn't succeeded in bringing a product to market in its five-year existence.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

As Cyanogen moves along a new path (apparently with help from Microsoft) phone maker OnePlus is working on its own flavor of Android, and now it has a name: OxygenOS. Unfortunately, it doesn't have much else beyond promises of going back to the drawing board with software that is "open, customizable, and free of bloat and unnecessary features." That's good to hear though, and matches up with the alpha build seen earlier this month. In classic OnePlus style, the tease just sets up another tease, and we're told more information is coming on February 12th, so mark your calendars.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Most of us like to blast a collection of inspirational tunes during a workout, and with its latest iOS update, RunKeeper is making that a bit easier. Runners who also have a Spotify premium subscription can now access saved playlists inside the fitness app. You'll need to connect the two services first, but once you do, swiping over to your fine-tuned collections and suggested workout playlists is pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, there's no mention of Android users getting the integration as part of future updates. However, RunKeeper says this is the beginning of its foray into music, so perhaps those upcoming tools will cross over.

0 Comments

Carphone Warehouse

Although there were a multitude of reasons behind Phones4U's demise, one of the key factors was the overwhelming lack of support from the UK's major carriers. Three and O2 severed ties with the company way in advance of its closure, but it was a shake of the head from both Vodafone and EE that dealt the final blow. For a short time, it looked as if the mobile reseller model could be under threat, spelling trouble for Phones4U rival Carphone Warehouse, a retailer that had just been picked up by Dixons Retail for £3.8 billion.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

Sky HQ

Talks between Three owner Hutchison Whampoa and O2 haven't yet reached a conclusion, but already some of the UK's biggest companies are keen to take advantage of a future merger. After briefly flirting with Vodafone in a recent trial, Sky has confirmed it will become a quad-play provider with the launch of its own O2-powered mobile network in 2016. According to Sky, O2's current owner Telefónica UK will provide access to the carrier's 2G, 3G and 4G services, allowing it to go up against BT, Virgin Media and also TalkTalk, which signed a deal with the operator in November, to offer phone, broadband, TV and mobile bundles.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

OneDrive's new photo interface

Microsoft has long wanted you to use OneDrive to store your photos, but actually viewing those photos isn't ideal -- you're ultimately using a file browser that just happens to have some photo-related features. That's going to change in the next couple of weeks, though. The folks in Redmond are rolling out a photography-focused update to OneDrive that gives your image library some TLC. You can organize photos into albums with edge-to-edge photo collages and larger single-picture views. It should be much easier to find and share your snapshots, as well. OneDrive now draws on Bing image recognition to give your pics basic tags (like "beach" or "dog"), and PCs running Windows 7 or 8 can automatically sync photos from devices as soon as you plug them in. Only web and iOS users will see the new photo tricks right away, but they'll reach Android and Windows Phone in the days ahead.

0 Comments

Microsoft has released new Outlook apps for iOS and Android, and they might just be light-years better than those web apps the company has unleashed in the past. See, these are the result of Redmond's Accompli acquisition in December, and seeing as we liked that startup's email app when we test drove it last year, we have high hopes for these new ones. The company says the new Outlook for the mobile platforms comes with a built-in calendar and makes attachments easier to add for higher productivity. They're apparently more tightly integrated with Office apps and Outlook for desktop, as well. We can't say whether they'll truly blow your current email apps out of the water as we haven't tested them yet, but you can find out for yourself by downloading either (or both) from iTunes or Google Play. Take note that the Android app's just a preview at the moment, so Microsoft could still tweak its features for the final version.

0 Comments

HTC One M9 leak

You'd be forgiven for not knowing what to expect from HTC's next flagship smartphone. The images that have emerged are frequently dodgy, and there are even claims that the company is seeding decoys to throw people off the scent. However, you might finally be looking at the real thing... or rather, things. Well-known leaker Evan Blass (aka @evleaks) has posted a supposed product shot displaying a pair of differently-sized, previously unseen devices that he believes to be HTC's successors to the One M8. Both have edge-mounted front speakers, a large front camera (UltraPixel?) and the super-thin bezels that many have been asking for. The designs are feasible, although that Galaxy S5-style home button on the larger version gives us reason for pause -- either this is sketchy, or HTC's lawyers have decided that Samsung won't get angry. You'll likely know more at HTC's media event on March 1st.

Read the Full Story | 0 Comments

LG is still trailing Samsung and Apple in total smartphone sales (and profits from them), but the company just revealed its financial data for the last year and has plenty to be happy about. It sold 59.1 million smartphones last year, up nearly a quarter from what it moved in 2013. The report didn't explain when we can expect the G Flex 2 in the US or leak what's in the next big G series phone, but said the company will "concentrate on improving its brand power, operating more efficiently, and focusing on selective key markets." Its TV business is doing well too, where profits grew 31 percent from last year to $482 million. Still, the company had a net loss in the last quarter of 2014 because of write-offs related to shutting down its plasma TV business as it ramps up Ultra HD and OLED.

0 Comments