Must Read Bits & Bytes

Apple iPhone and iPad sales: 43.7m and 16.4m in Q2 2014

Apple iPhone and iPad sales: 43.7m and 16.4m in Q2 2014

Apple sold 43.7m iPhones in Q2 2014, while iPad sales reached 16.4m, with phone sales rising compared to the previous year, though the same could not be said of the tablet category. Sales of the iPhone decreased 14-percent quarter-on-quarter - though were up 17-percent year-on-year - while revenue from smartphone sales dropped by a fifth to $26bn QoQ but up 14-percent YoY.

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Watch Dogs skill trees: hacking, crafting, driving, combat

Watch Dogs skill trees: hacking, crafting, driving, combat

Earlier this month, SlashGear attended a several-hours-long early gameplay session with Ubisoft for the game Watch Dogs. In this session we were given the opportunity to take a relatively in-depth look at how Watch Dogs is going to play out. Our demo session gave us ample time to investigate how we’re going to be customizing our character Aiden Pearce throughout the game, giving him hacking skills and abilities as we go.

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Google Stars spilled: collections for your internet things

Google Stars spilled: collections for your internet things

This week the system known as Google Stars - also known as Google Collections - has been revealed in enough detail that we’re able to move forward with some thoughts. Though not entirely public, Google has let loose a few details in code on what Google Stars might be, and how it might be integrated with several services in play already. Google addict Florian Kiersch has done the lion’s share of investigation into this system - we’ve had a chat with him this afternoon about his findings.

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Amazon inks HBO deal for Prime Instant Video and Fire TV app

Amazon inks HBO deal for Prime Instant Video and Fire TV app

Amazon has inked a deal with HBO which will see Fire TV gain an HBO GO app, and Prime Instant Video the home for select back-catalog access to shows like The Wire, True Blood, and The Sopranos, as well as new content in the future. The agreement, which Amazon - sparing no hyperbole - is describing as "unprecedented", is the first time HBO has licensed out its content to an online streaming service, and comes only days after Netflix announced it would be putting up its rates to offset the increased cost of bolstering the shows it offers.

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Gripes of a Cable Cutter (and why Internet TV will solve them)

Gripes of a Cable Cutter (and why Internet TV will solve them)

Cable-cutting -- the act of cancelling your cable or satellite subscription to join the ranks of occasionally holier-than-thou set-top-boxers -- is a slowly growing change to how many get their daily entertainment fix. Benefits abound for cutting the cable, and you've likely heard the tropes by now: lower cost, better access to content in the moment, and the reality that cable-cutting better fits with many viewers' schedules (if you're time-shifting all your shows around your work schedule, there's little point in keeping a traditional cable subscription, after all).

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Samsung clarifies move away from Android

Samsung clarifies move away from Android

If it wasn’t obvious already, Samsung won’t be relying on Google’s mobile operating system Android forever. This week Samsung Electronics Media Solution Center President Hong Won-pyo told reporters that "like Google’s Android platform, Tizen could be a common platform that can connect Samsung products in a single category."

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Lytro Illum: Is this the photographic revolution?

Lytro Illum: Is this the photographic revolution?

Lytro's second-generation light-field camera, the Illum, is already prompting controversy among photography fans, with the prospect of a new type of post-processing from what was originally dismissed as a toy. Promising four times the resolution of the first Lytro, the Illum also looks the part: a menacing stealth-black camera that looks like a Sony NEX turned evil. Still, is the world ready for light-field photography, and is it any good?

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