smartphones

Blackberry redoes its Passport with incoming Oslo

Blackberry redoes its Passport with incoming Oslo

Photos of the incoming Blackberry Oslo have made their way onto the internet thanks to a possible demo model leak. The Oslo is Blackberry's successor to the Passport. This phone, or phablet, could have very well come out as the Passport 2, but Blackberry chose to give the phone a more Scandinavian moniker. The Oslo keeps the Passport's odd, wide shape (It's basically the same dimensions as an actual passport.) The device still has a physical QWERTY keyboard at the base, keeping typing an activity mostly for thumbs.

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Samsung patent details voice controlled auto-ejecting stylus

Samsung patent details voice controlled auto-ejecting stylus

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has just published a patent application from Samsung which specifies an "automatically ejectable input touch pen system" which can be controlled by voice commands or gestures. The new built-in stylus design is rumored to be for the Samsung Galaxy Note, but it could be incorporated into any mobile device with a stylus. This patent application was filed at the end of 2014, and the patent has not been officially granted yet, just published. Therefore, it's still undergoing the examination process.

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Final Fantasy Tactics now available from Google Play

Final Fantasy Tactics now available from Google Play

The game Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions is now available for download from the Google Play Store. The game was launched by Square Enix on Thursday, and it is rated “E” for Everyone. Says the maker, this was the series’ first tactical RPG, and it was released back in 1997. The game then made another appearance after being released — again — in 2007 for the PSP, garnering itself a larger fan base. Now mobile users can enjoy it, too.

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Imgur’s first native Android app goes live

Imgur’s first native Android app goes live

Imgur has finally released its first fully native Android app, which is up now in the Google Play Store. The app was built from the ground up and aims to bring Imgur's glut of amusing content to mobile Android users in a way that hasn't thus far been fully satisfied (while there have been some Imgur Android offerings, they've largely been limited). That ends today, with Android users (most of them, anyway) now having access to a mobile offering akin to what iOS users have been enjoying for a couple months.

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Uber update improves app for hearing-impaired drivers

Uber update improves app for hearing-impaired drivers

Audio alerts are great...unless you're hearing-impaired, in which case they are near-or-totally useless. Visual alerts are the solution, but not many apps are designed to accommodate such needs. Uber has pushed out an update for its app that adds features for drivers who are deaf or have trouble hearing, and included among this are visual alerts rather than audible ones, and some changes on the rider's end to let them know that calling the driver isn't an option, as well as alternative ways to message the driver.

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iKlip Grip smartphone stand includes Bluetooth shutter control

iKlip Grip smartphone stand includes Bluetooth shutter control

IK Multimedia is back with another device, this one targeting smartphone users. It’s called the iKlip Grip, and it is essentially a multi-purpose stand/tripod for one’s smartphone. Using it, the smartphone owner can take selfies or images of other things, as well as prop it up and record video, get a better grip on the phone than otherwise possible, and things of that nature. IK Multimedia is hawking the device at audiophiles, musicians, and anyone who needs a monopod/tripod for their smartphone.

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Verizon tweaks Edge to simplify monthly device payments

Verizon tweaks Edge to simplify monthly device payments

If you want a smartphone nowadays but you don’t want to pay the full amount for it, you’ve got an extra option on top of the traditional contracts (though in some places those contracts are becoming harder to get). They involves making monthly payments for the smartphone over a specific timeframe, such as 24 months, allowing the subscriber to pay off the phone in small chucks monthly. The big-name carriers offer such features, including Verizon which hawks the option as “Verizon Edge”.

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Schools that ban smartphones will (likely) improve test scores

Schools that ban smartphones will (likely) improve test scores

It’s always important to backup the seemingly obvious with an actual study, and such is what the London School of Economics did. The school conducted a study that looked at the test scores of students and the effect smartphones have on them. As it turns out (and no one is surprised), banning the smartphones caused the test scores to improve, lending credence to some schools’ push for anti-smartphone zones. Underachieving students see the most improvement.

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AT&T tipped to be easing away from 2-year contracts

AT&T tipped to be easing away from 2-year contracts

With some carriers nowadays, you can elect to pay for a device in small monthly increments rather than shackling yourself into a long contract. Though the ultimate cost tends to be higher in the long run, many have embraced the option, and now word has it that AT&T will be nudging its subscribers toward that option by default. Starting June 1, says sources, the wireless carrier will be offering its AT&T Next in the place of 2-year contracts, the latter of which will be fizzling away.

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Samsung launches two new colors for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Samsung launches two new colors for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

Samsung is making their flagship Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge even more appealing by adding fun, new colored handsets into the mix. Now, you can get the S6 in Blue Topaz and the S6 Edge in Green Emerald. These jewel-toned shades arrive, joining the original Black Sapphire, White Pearl, and Gold Platinum versions. It looks like Samsung is taking a cue from color experts, Pantone, who opened their Spring 2015 color trend forecast with four shades of blue and green, similar to Samsung's Blue Topaz and Green Emerald.

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