Author Archives: Nate Swanner


Six things you should know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

Six things you should know about Samsung’s Galaxy S6, S6 Edge

In Barcelona, Samsung did the expected. We’ve got two flagship phones, one of which is curvy in all the right ways. Not only are the two phones really intriguing, they’re downright nice. Finally, Samsung has distanced themselves from plastic and gone with more premium materials. While the two devices are out, there’s still a lot you might not be aware of. Rather than get exhaustive about what’s new, we thought we’d summarize the headline-grabbers for you. Here are — wait for it — six things you should know about the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.

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PayPal buys Paydiant, aims to challenge Apple, Google & Samsung

PayPal buys Paydiant, aims to challenge Apple, Google & Samsung

Today, PayPal is announcing their acquisition of Paydiant, a startup that produces mobile payment technology found in use with a variety of companies. Capital One and Subway are two notable clients, but one that might be more familiar to tech enthusiasts is CurrentC. Paydiant provides technology to Current C, the product of MCX, which is widely pointed to as the reason Apple Pay hasn’t seen a wider rollout. Terms of PayPal’s deal were not disclosed, but it looks like more than an intellectual property grab.

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Alcatel announces the budget-friendly Hero 2+ running Cyanogen OS

Alcatel announces the budget-friendly Hero 2+ running Cyanogen OS

Need a big, unlocked phone that won’t break the bank? Good news! Alcatel is introducing the Hero 2+, a device with a 6-inch screen that comes unlocked. An android device, this one is a touch different than you might imagine it would be on the software side. Rather than running a home-brewed, modified version of Android, Alcatel is wisely turning to Cyanogen for their software needs. Another disruptive tidbit — the Alcatel Hero 2+ can be yours for $299 beginning in Q2 2015.

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Synaptics Natural ID biometrics scanner will come to mobile devices

Synaptics Natural ID biometrics scanner will come to mobile devices

Your fingerprint is more important than you think. J Edgar Hoover may have been right about it being a useful law enforcement tool, but fingerprints are also a good option for securing your mobile devices. Synaptics, a leader in the field of biometric recognition, is announcing their Natural ID will be made available for high-end mobile devices. The benefit of Natural ID is that it needs a touch, not a swipe. That will have more mobile device emulating Apple’s class-leading Touch ID.

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Apple Watch may be available outside US shortly after launch

Apple Watch may be available outside US shortly after launch

Lately, Apple cEO has been making the rounds in Europe, stopping at various stores and chatting with employees. Now and then, we get tidbits of info about his chats. The last time we heard anything about his commentary on Apple Watch, it was that he wore it in the shower, suggesting it’s a bit more water resistant than originally thought. Cook also said the Apple Watch was good for a full day of use. Now, he’s saying it will be available outside the US just after launch.

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T-Mobile planning LTE via WiFi for launch in 2016

T-Mobile planning LTE via WiFi for launch in 2016

As we learned from the last FCC auction, mobile spectrum is expensive. Really expensive. Verizon and AT&T walked away with $20 billion worth of spectrum, while Dish quietly snapped up another $13 billion. T-Mobile was surprisingly quiet, but noted a bit later on they were planning to wait for low-band spectrum to come available via the next FCC auction. Rather than buy spectrum, they’re planning to use unregulated spectrum typically used for WiFi.

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Microsoft bends their OS-agnostic mobile keyboard in half: Hands-on

Microsoft bends their OS-agnostic mobile keyboard in half: Hands-on

Two mid-range Lumia smartphones from Microsoft just got an accessory. Really, everyone did. Today, Microsoft is unveiling a foldable version of their cross-platform keyboard, launched late last year. Originally, the keyboard shielded itself from outside damage with a fold-down lid that doubled as a backstop for your tablet or smartphone. The new, fold-y version of the keyboard won’t do that, but it does offer a smaller footprint for users, handy when toting around. We don’t have word on pricing or availability just yet.

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Livestream unveils Broadcaster Mini, brings streaming to all

Livestream unveils Broadcaster Mini, brings streaming to all

A live feed of events is something we often take for granted. For major TV or film studios, it’s not so hard to do. They’ve got the equipment and know-how. You and I, on the other hand, probably aren’t so savvy, but still might want to go live. Livestream, who have been pioneering the consumer streaming effort for years,have introduced a smaller version of their hardware called the Livestream Broadcaster Mini. It attaches to just about any camera, and streams live with the push of a button.

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Galaxy S6 Edge vs. Note Edge; Samsung gets edgy

Galaxy S6 Edge vs. Note Edge; Samsung gets edgy

Now that we can call Samsung the edgiest smartphone maker on the planet, with their two curved-screen devices that tumble off the side of the device, it’s time to compare the two. Should you opt for the larger Note Edge, or is the Galaxy S6 Edge right for you? Two sloped sides, or one? It’s a tough question to answer, but if you’re slipping your credit card out to buy a Note Edge, you might want to wait. Then again, it might be your best bet.

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Lenovo Tab 2 A10, A8 hands-on; mid-range and loving it

Lenovo Tab 2 A10, A8 hands-on; mid-range and loving it

At MWC, Lenovo has unveiled some new tablets for Android fans, and we think you’re going to like these. The Lenovo Tab 2 A10 and A8 offer quite a bit, but don’t ask a lot. With sub-$200 pricing, these aren’t flagship tablets. They definitely don’t disappoint, though. Lenovo is also good to provide large batteries in their tablets, so these two are both affordable and long lasting. Both will sport Android 5.0, and will be available starting in June of this year.

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