Author Archives: Chris Burns

Chris Burns is currently head editor for SlashGear and executive editor for Android Community. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chris Burns responsible for editorial decisions made for the USA-based day-team of SlashGear and sister-site Android Community. Follow him on Twitter @ t_chrisburns and inside Google+ at http://chrisburns.co/+ for tech, gadget, and design news galore.

Android Wear “Lollipop” update brings brightness boost, ease in use

Android Wear “Lollipop” update brings brightness boost, ease in use

A new update is coming to Android Wear devices this week straight from Google. This update will bring Easier Navigation to smartwatch face UI, a set of new Modes (including Sunlight Mode for amped-up brightness), and App Improvements - including control from the smartwatch for notifications and additional per-app information in the Android Wear smartphone app. This system update will be released alongside a Google Play update with a new category: watch faces - over a dozen of them right off the bat.

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Android Wear watch faces hit Google Play

Android Wear watch faces hit Google Play

For the first time in the history of wearables, Google Play has its own wearables category for Android Wear - only it's not just dedicated to apps, it's made for watch faces. The "watch faces" category on Google Play will be launched today with dozens of "official" designer, artist, and brand-made watch faces for Android Wear devices. Google is also releasing new developer tools for Android Wear, including an official Watch Face API, so that additional watch faces can be made by all developers with great speed.

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Verizon Galaxy Note 4 gets the Gear VR update

Verizon Galaxy Note 4 gets the Gear VR update

This morning - just one day after the Gear VR started arriving on user doorsteps - the Verizon version of the Galaxy Note 4 got its requisite Gear VR software update. It's amazing. It's stupendous. It's almost unheard of. Mostly because Verizon is notoriously slow in bringing updates to devices once they've been submitted to them by manufacturers. Between this and the Verizon Moto X Lollipop update, we're thinking we might be taking crazy pills. Or that Verizon's update process is changing - either way!

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Official Minecraft released to Windows Phone market

Official Minecraft released to Windows Phone market

At long last, Windows Phone devices have their Minecraft. The official Minecraft, the one named Minecraft Pocket Edition, not one of the (many) knock-offs available on the market already. Here we see the fruits of Mojang being purchased by Microsoft at last. Here we see Minecraft Pocket Edition come to life on all three of the world's biggest mobile platforms, finally. Of course having been on iOS and Android for several years now and Windows Phone less than a day is a significant difference, but we're all here together now in the present, nonetheless!

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Jambanz Wristband Speaker: the most annoying gift a kid can get

Jambanz Wristband Speaker: the most annoying gift a kid can get

So you've got a brother or sister with a child, and you want to make certain you've given them the Christmas gift that'll destroy their sanity once and for all? I believe we've found that gift. It's called the Jambanz Bluetooth Wristband Speaker. And it comes with a video spot that'll make absolutely clear the kind of person that would purchase this for a kid. Not your kid, mind you. Someone else's kid. Let's keep that very, very clear here from the very beginning.

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Lenovo “mobile device shipments” to beat Samsung in 2015

Lenovo “mobile device shipments” to beat Samsung in 2015

There's a report out today that suggests Lenovo is about to overtake Samsung in mobile device shipments, and that they'll do so inside of the year 2015. This report comes from Digitimes, citing their own "Digitimes Research", and suggests that "Lenovo is estimated to beat Samsung Electronics in mobile computing device shipments... by about one million units in 2014 and become the second-largest mobile computing device brand vendor worldwide, only behind Apple." The only problem with calling this race is in the term "mobile device" - mostly because to them, this only means notebooks and tablets, not smartphones.

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iRobot Create 2 brings DIY to Roomba robots

iRobot Create 2 brings DIY to Roomba robots

The Create 2 is iRobot's attempt to bring the form and abilities of the Roomba cleaning robot to students, developers, and DIY-enthusiasts. All Create 2 robots are made from remanufactured Roomba platforms (based on the Roomba 600 series), bringing the full collection of LEDs and sensors from said platform to your fingertips. This system was made for creators - students - to program sounds, behaviors, and movements in a simple learning environment. This system was made for robotics students ranging from beginner all the way to advanced - it's functional no matter the skill level of the user.

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Dropbox Carousel deletes phone photos once they hit the cloud

Dropbox Carousel deletes phone photos once they hit the cloud

The next generation of cloud storage from Dropbox has been revealed - deleting your phone-stored photos after they've been uploaded to their webspace. There are two ways to look at this. One is that you're freeing up space on your smartphone by allowing Dropbox to hold them for you using Dropbox Carousel. The other is that you're trusting Dropbox to have a perfect copy of your files before deleting them from your phone, also trusting that they're only deleting said photos after the upload is complete.

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Pirate Bay down, National IPC police involved

Pirate Bay down, National IPC police involved

It's happened - The Pirate Bay is down today. Stockholm County Police Intellectual Property Crime National Coordinator Paul Pintér released a statement today about a "crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm." Pintér went on to say that "this is in connection with violations of copyright law." The crackdown coincided with the first loss of signal in several months for piracy and filesharing website The Pirate Bay. This site is down with its forum site, Suprbay.org as well as Bayimg and Pastebay. Several other torrent-friendly sites like Torrage, Istole tracker, EXTV, and Zoink are also down.

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Facebook Search Update: use it before it uses you

Facebook Search Update: use it before it uses you

This week the folks responsible for the search algorithms under the surface of Facebook have made a big update. They're rolling this Search Update out to desktop users throughout the week, and iPhone and iPad users will see it before the end of the week in an app update - Android has not yet been mentioned. What you need to know about this update depends on what kind of a Facebook user you are. Do I get embarrassed easily by old photos? This is the first question you must ask yourself.

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