Microsoft increases OneDrive increases free storage to 30GB

The cloud storage wars have been heating up, as more mobile users want easier access to their files and photos by saving it not on their devices’ limited space, but on the bigger cloud drives. In the early days, we were already happy with 5 or 10 GB of free space, but nowadays, that’s just a minuscule of the space we consume. Microsoft announced this weekend that they are doubling their OneDrive free storage from 15GB to 30GB.

Starting now until the end of the month, when you download the OneDrive app for your device, you will be able to get the 30GB of free storage. Existing users will also notice that their storage has also increased. You need to activate your device’s auto upload feature for the camera roll to be able to use this extra 15GB, while the other 15GB can be used for your documents and other files. But that would of course depend on whether you have more photos or documents to back-up. The important thing is that you have 30GB of free storage space.

The increase in free storage space coincided with the release of the iOS 8 for Apple devices and the new iPhone 6. The latter needs at least 5GB of space to be installed in their mobile devices, which has created problems for some users as they couldn’t spare that much space. But OneDrive’s offer is not just for iOS users, but also for those who use other platforms, including Android and Windows.

If you haven’t downloaded OneDrive yet on your device, you better do so before the end of September, if you want to get the free extra 15GB of storage space. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store.

SOURCE: OneDrive

Sunrise update: Google Cal sync, Todoist, Trello integration

With so many calendars for Android devices out there, it’s now become a race to have as many popular or essential 3rd party apps integrated into your app. One of the more popular ones out there is Sunrise, and the newest update will make its users even happier and might convince others to switch to this particular calendar app as it now seamlessly syncs with Google Calendar and is integrated with two other productivity apps.

If you are dependent on Google Calendar for work or school purposes, but still prefer to use a different calendar app for your phone or tablet, seamless and real-time syncing is crucial to keep all aspects of your life organized. Sunrise’s newest update does just that now, as wherever you choose to update or add an event to your Google Calendar, whether on your desktop browser or through any of your apps, it will sync across all devices.

Both Todoist and Trello have become popular apps for productivity fiends, as they are both minimalist yet feature-packed. And now they are integrated with Sunrise. That means whenever you add a due date to any of your tasks in the former apps, it will automatically add to the latter, app as long as you add Todoist and Trello to the list of apps to be synced with your calendar. You can also edit the tasks on Sunrise, and it will sync back. At least it’s supposed to. But it seems that either it’s still buggy or there is a lag time in syncing as we don’t see it happening yet when we tested it.

But other than that bug, everything seems to be working okay, and we are eager to begin writing down to-do lists and due dates and watching them appear on Sunrise. You can download the app for free from the Google Play Store. Or if you have it already, make sure you’re updated to the latest version 1.3.0

New multitasking solution C-Floating Windows released for Android

Efficient multitasking will soon come to mobile devices as a new solution was introduced by XDA-recognized developer astoncheah. The developer made an app as a solution for Android without the need of a custom ROM.

Multitasking on desktop is becoming quicker and more efficient these days but it’s only now the mobile version has been introduced as a potential hit on Android. There may be many attempts in the past to bring better multitasking on an Android mobile device but astoncheah’s program, called the C-Floating, now allows the mobile user to open apps in floating windows. The apps have been designed to hover  an opened app to also allow interaction on multi apps at a given time.

The C-Floating solution enables widgets to be added to the floating panes. Monitoring and statistical tools like battery stats and RAM can also be added to the said panes. The app allows a different style of Android Windows and Multitasking Experience–on a whole new level. Add a 3rd party widget, monitor system information effectively, perform quick actions, and float on top of any apps. Regular features include Floating Shortcuts, Floating Recent Apps, Floating Block Screen, and Floating Tables which indicate the battery info, CPU status, RAM info, and Network Data Traffic.

C Floating app is available for download from the Google Play Store. App is free but be prepared for possible in-app purchases for Floating Charts, Floating Widgets, and Floating Shortcuts.

Download C Floating from the Google Play Store.

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VIA: XDA

Samsung looking at payment process through smartwatches

South Korean gadget giant Samsung is reportedly looking at how they can incorporate simple payment functions to the next wearable devices – smartwatches, more specifically. The target is the Mobile World Congress slated for early in 2015, where by that time, Samsung is expected to launch a payments-enabled smartwatch.

Samsung is reportedly teaming up with a natural partner in mobile and online payment systems, Paypal. The idea is to have a biometric sensor on your smartwatch so that your identity can be verified. This is purportedly set to be implemented on Samsung’s third-generation smartwatch, with the Samsung Gear S launching at IFA 2014 recently.

Another player in this movement will probably be Synaptics, which will obviously handle the biometrics solution for the smartwatch. Richard Bergman, CEO of Synaptics, has been quoted as saying that they are indeed working with Samsung and Paypal in creating an “area type” payment system which is more viable for smartwatches. The idea is that the payment system can work within a limited range of the smartwatch in question.

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This idea needs to be fleshed out a bit more, of course, and we will be happy to bring you any developments in the next few months with regards to this project. We have to remember that we could also be seeing this new feature in a round-face watch from Samsung, obviously riding on the popularity of the Moto 360.

VIA: Business Korea

Mantis Vision’s Aquila is a 3D view-and-capture tablet

We should not be surprised that 3D tablets – where you can view your 3D videos sans the glasses – never really caught on with consumers. A mobile device is not really a viable medium for 3D content, and there are bigger and better screens where you can watch all of that. But Israel-based outfit Mantis Vision is giving it another try with its new “Aquila” tablet, making the device a bit more specialized than just a 3D viewing device.

Mantis Vision already has a track record with 3D technology as they contributed their MV4D core 3D engine to Google’s “Project Tango”, a tablet device used for 3D-mapping. The same engine is now in the Aquila tablet, powered by a very capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, and backstopped by 2GB of RAM. The 3D-capable screen is an 8-inch 1920 x 1200 full HD display.

The MV4D sensor for 3D capture is mounted on the back of the tablet via a 13MP camera synced with an infrared camera, an IR projector, and a white LED flash. The way it works is that the image data is captured via the synced cameras while the projector is used to query the environment via a proprietary “Structured Light Pattern”. This data is used to bring the image or video together to create 3D depth.

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As of now, only a few reference tablets of the Aquila have been made, but Mantis Vision expects the tablet to be OEM ready by 2015. The development kit is available right now at a costly USD$915, but discounts will be given to academics and researchers who will use the tablet for studies. An application for the development kit program is available via the Mantis Vision website.

VIA: Linux Gizmos

Google reportedly looking at HTC to produce new tablet

They may not have had produced a tablet since the failure of the Flyer back in 2011, but if reports are to be believed, HTC is apparently being eyed by Google to produce the next Nexus 9-inch tablet. The Taiwanese OEM has been focusing on creating smartphones and their flagship HTC One devices have been receiving rave reviews, despite sales being less than what is expected.

Both Google and HTC have refused to comment or confirm the rumours, but there have been reports that HTC engineers have been paying a visit to the Googleplex for the past few months. Unless they are just very friendly with each other, this means they are working on a project, which might just be the next Nexus tablet. The choice of HTC for manufacturing a tablet might seem a strange one since they are not known for producing great ones, but maybe the great reviews for the HTC One M8 might have something to do it.

Google also has a habit of working with different OEMs for each new device, so as to prevent just one manufacturer from having a monopoly in the Android community. This has been one of the reasons for the strained relations between Google and Samsung as of late, despite a cross-licensing patent deal struck between the two earlier this year. While Google hasn’t officially commented on their using different partners for the Nexus devices, they did say that there is always room for more partners in the “vibrant ecosystem” of Android.

Not much is known yet about the 9-inch Nexus tablet, but HTC would hope that the same thing that happened to Asus would happen to them. The latter saw their sales increase to double digits when they released the Nexus 7 back in 2012.

VIA: Wall Street Journal

Are nuclear batteries the future (if they won’t kill us)?

Whenever your mobile phone would run out of juice during crucial moments, didn’t you ever wish that someday, someone would invent a battery that would last not just for a few hours, days, months but for the rest of your life? But what if it would mean not having children anymore and maybe potential death from radiation exposure? Well if you will choose battery life over your own life, then there might be good news for you (and maybe bad news for your loved ones)!

A nuclear battery developed by two researchers from the University of Missouri doesn’t use the usual lithium ion cells that have caused you much frustration at one time or another. The battery uses the beta voltaic process, which generates electricity from beta radiation. So the battery doesn’t really use nuclear fission but it does emit radioactive elements. Beta radiation, while not the safest, is supposedly much easier to stop just by using a thin piece of aluminium. So this means you need to use a casing for the battery that is about 2 millimetres thick and should never be dropped (which rules out about half of cellphone users). There is still the risk of cancer, but hey, no need for charging anymore right?

Betavoltaic batteries have been used before, particularly in the earlier versions of the pacemaker. The two researchers, Baek Kim and Jae Kwon, added water to the equation, which absorbs some of the beta radiation and also splits the water molecules to increase efficiency. They said that this might eventually be of use for applications like car batteries and maybe even spacecraft.

Just don’t expect nuclear batteries in mobile phones anytime soon. It’s highly unlikely that it will ever be commercially produced, as even the common lithium-ion ones have already posed dangers to some users, with exploding and overheating batteries. But it was nice thinking of a phone that would never need charging right? Until you suddenly think of infertility and cancer and death.

VIA: Extreme Tech

Acer Extend streams Android content to Windows 8 PCs

There are several solutions on the market that allow you to get Android content from your smartphone or tablet to other devices, such as your TV. One of those solutions for getting content to your TV is Chromecast. If what you want is to get content from the smartphone to your PC, Acer has a new app coming called Acer Extend.

Extend lets you stream Android phone and tablet screens to Windows 8 PCs and tablets. With the app set up, you can play your favorite Android games on the PC screen using a WiFi connection or a USB cable.

While the app hasn’t launched yet, Android gamers who have spent hands on time with Acer Extend say that lag can be an issue. If lag is an issue when the app officially launches, that will probably be a deal breaker for many.

In addition to playing games on your PC, Acer Extend also allows for easy drag and drop file transfers. Windows PC users on any version of the OS other than Windows 8 will be out of luck, the app won’t work on any earlier versions of Windows. There is no word on the exact launch date at this time.

SOURCE: Droid Gamers

Galaxy Dash: Racer to Outer Run update brings better visuals

Galaxy Dash is a game app that has been around for a while now on Android devices. The game has been updated recently bringing it to version 1.5.2. The new update adds in a number of bug fixes and enhanced visuals.

Developers added new weapon effects for all damage tiers in the game. The weapon recharge stats have been sped up, which is something players of the game are sure to appreciate.

The ability to access Google Play Leaderboards and Achievements from Google Play Games was improved in the update. The devs also removed one of the older characters, Midori, from the game and added a new mercenary called Santiago as a replacement.

Improved backgrounds were added to make the game more interesting to look at. I already mentioned new weapon effects; devs also added damage effects to enemy ships so you can see when your hits are taking effect on the enemy. The game requires Android 4.0.3 or higher and is 45MB in size.

SOURCE: Google Play

Automate creates automated tasks using flow charts

One of the cool things about Android is that there are apps out there for just about anything you might want to do with your device. For instance, if you want to create some sort of automated task for your phone to do, you can get an app like Automate. Automate is currently in beta form and it allows you to set up automation for all sorts of things using flow charts.

Using Automate, you can tell your Android device to toggle settings on and off, such as WiFi, based on the time of day or location. You can also use the app to send email automatically based on time or location.

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Automate isn’t the only app out there that can create automation of tasks for users of Android devices. In fact, Automate supports plug-in apps for Tasker and Locale. Features of Automate include modular security, easy to edit and follow flow charts for setting up automations are central to the apps design, and pre-defined options for certain tasks are loaded by default.

Power users can get direct access to expressions, variables, and functions for creating their own automations. The app has over 170 blocks that can be used to build automations including actions, conditions, event triggers, loops, and more. The app is currently in open beta, so there may be issues needing to be worked through. Android 4.0 or higher is supported and the app is 3.2MB.

SOURCE: Google Play