Mihaita Bamburic

Windows Phone keeps on losing major apps

Hosted web apps could solve Microsoft's Windows Phone problems

There is no end in sight for the Windows Phone app-gap. While lots of major titles have made their way to Store over the years, the platform has seen a number of high-profile offerings disappear altogether. Some developers are backing out, while others are getting in the way of third-party clients being made available to users. It's a sad state of affairs.

While NBC has released updates for both the Android and iOS versions of the app, Today is listed as no longer available in Windows Phone Store. Meanwhile, 6snap will no longer be available to users because Snapchat has a problem with third-party clients.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge bends as easily as Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Apple iPhone 6 Plus HTC One M9 bend test

Every new high-profile smartphone is subjected to a bend test nowadays. It's become a tradition following the launch of iPhone 6 Plus, which has been found to easily bend under pressure. So, naturally, when it came time to test Samsung's new Galaxy S6 edge and HTC's new One M9, SquareTrade chose Apple's phablet to serve as the basis for comparison.

Galaxy S6 edge appears to be more fragile compared to Galaxy S6, due to the rounded screen which minimizes the level of protection offered by the surrounding metal frame. Meanwhile, HTC's One M9 has a more traditional form factor, similar to last year's One (M8), which should help it fare better. So how easily do they bend?

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HTC announces One M8s -- what's different from One M8?

HTC One M8

Shortly after introducing the new One M9, Taiwanese maker HTC has announced an updated version of its former flagship, One M8. Called One M8s, it packs a 64-bit processor, larger battery and more common camera module on the back.

What that means is instead of featuring the same 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2,600 mAh battery and 4 MP UltraPixel main camera as its older brother, the new One M8s comes with an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, 2,840 mAh battery and 13 MP camera on the back.

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OnePlus unveils $20 DR-1 miniature drone

OnePlus DR-1

OnePlus, best known for its One "flagship killer", is now looking to gain the attention of drone enthusiasts, as today it unveiled a highly-affordable remote-controlled quadcopter touted to be the smallest in the world. And, no, it's not an April Fools prank, unlike what other companies have been trying to pull in the last 24 hours.

Called DR-1, OnePlus's first miniature drone has a wingspan of only 70 mm, and four blades with a diameter of 30 mm. Given the specs, it's only going to serve as a fun little toy, and not something that you can attach a GoPro to.

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Microsoft Surface 3 vs Surface Pro 3: Which is best for you?

Surface 3 + Surface Pro 3

Before Microsoft announced Surface 3, choosing a Surface tablet was ultimately a matter of deciding which Surface Pro 3 model fits you best, depending on your budget and needs. But now that there's a new kid on the block, which is offered in four, very distinct trims, finding the right Surface just got trickier.

Just like its older brother, the new Surface 3 features a high-resolution display, promises great battery life, offers a decent amount of storage, packs an x86 processor and runs Windows 8.1. The optional Type Cover keyboard makes an appearance as well, and so does Surface Pen. But there are some differences, of course. So which one should you buy?

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Windows 10 will support ASS, SRT and SSA subtitle formats

Windows 10 SDK laptop

One of the main reasons why third-party media players like Media Player Classic and VLC are extremely popular among Windows users is the proper subtitle support. A lot of folks watch videos in a foreign language, and having the option to easily attach a subtitle in their mother tongue, no matter the format it's made available in, is a must-have feature for many.

It would help if Windows Media Player or the built-in Video app, the latter of which is part of Windows 8 and newer versions of the OS, would meet their needs, but, so far, that hasn't been the case. However, Microsoft wants to change that with Windows 10.

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Gmail for Android gets unified inbox, Google Drive now lets you manage photos

Gmail Unified Inbox Android 1

Late last year, Google introduced support for multiple email providers in Gmail for Android, welcoming users of Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail and other such services to manage all their accounts using its app. There are plenty of folks who are not just Gmail or Google Apps users, after all. However, the app wasn't properly designed to handle all the extra accounts that users would set up.

The problem? Users had to switch between accounts every time they received new emails or wanted to reply to a message. Now, Google is finally correcting this by giving Gmail for Android a much-needed unified inbox.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 edge comes out unscathed after brutal drop test

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

We love watching smartphone drop tests. It does not even have to be a smartphone that we want to buy, watching it fall and meet the pavement is just too entertaining to pass. Some might even call it addictive. And predicting the extent of the damage, based on the build material or how exposed the display is, is part of the fun. Getting it right can be rewarding.

Samsung's new Galaxy S6 edge comes with all the right ingredients for a drop test that could end in massive damage. It's got a glass back, the main camera does not sit flush with the body, the surrounding frame is made of metal and, to top it all off, the display is curved on both sides. Before watching the so-called drop test, I expected to see a broom being used at the end.

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Pebble Time raises more than $20 million on Kickstarter

Pebble Time Steel

Pebble is one the few startups that knows how to get the most out of a Kickstarter campaign. Three years ago, it was the first on the crowdsourcing platform to raise more than $10 million in funding, and now it is the first to have broken the $20 million mark. Pebble's latest record is likely to last for a while, seeing as it took over two years for its first one to be broken.

At the time of writing this article, Pebble's Time campaign has attracted nearly 78,000 backers, who have pledged $20.16 million in total. The average contribution is $258.9, which exceeds the latest asking prices of $179 for Time and $250 for Time Steel.

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Samsung Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge pre-orders kick off March 27

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

Samsung today announced that its Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge flagships will go up for pre-order in US on March 27. The two smartphones will be offered through all major carriers in the country, and will be officially available on April 10.

Both smartphones will be available in US with 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of internal storage, in Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum and White Pearl. So far, AT&T and T-Mobile are the only major carriers to have have revealed pricing information for Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

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HTC One M9 goes on sale March 27

HTC One M9_Silver_PerL

HTC today announced that its latest flagship, One M9, will be available in the US starting March 27. The smartphone will first go on sale online (as early as midnight), only hitting brick and mortar stores next month, on April 10.

One M9 faces stiff competition from Samsung's Galaxy S6. Coincidentally or not, that goes up for pre-order in the US starting tomorrow, and will be available in the country also on April 10. At the time of writing this article, AT&T and T-Mobile are the only major carriers to have revealed pricing information for One M9.

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Half of all Android users vulnerable to year-old security flaw

Android danger sign

Half of all Android users are still vulnerable to a security flaw uncovered in the most-popular mobile operating system early last year, according to a new report from security firm Palo Alto Networks. The vulnerability in question allows an attacker to modify or replace Android apps with malware without the user's knowledge.

Google was informed of the vulnerability in February 2014, a month after its discovery, and has since come up with a patch, which it has included in later revisions of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and newer distributions. According to the latest data from Google, that still leaves 49.9 percent of all Android users unprotected.

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Emtec announces backwards-compatible DUO USB-C flash drive

EMTEC Duo USB C - package - 16gb

It's easy to get excited about the new USB Type-C connector. It's small, making even slimmer designs possible, it can be used to charge power-hungry devices, removing the need for dedicated charging ports, and, best of all, it can be plugged in both ways, making it easier to charge mobile devices at night. The last feature is certainly the highlight for most of us.

It all sounds great until we think about backwards compatibility. USB-C, as it's also known, is not compatible with older connectors, used on most PCs, laptops and consumer electronics, which severely diminishes its appeal. However, storage company Emtec has come up with an interesting workaround, announcing a USB-C flash drive which also features a full-size USB connector.

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Freedom! Apple cut my Windows Phone chains

Victory Winner Free

When I first pondered leaving Windows Phone behind, I imagined it would be for an Android flagship. It made sense. Android is, after all, much more permissive, has way more apps, and is available in a larger variety of smartphone flavors. And Google is committed to improving the operating system, launching at least one major update a year. Also, I use a Google Nexus 7 as my every day tablet; an Android smartphone would be a perfect fit. But things change.

Apple finally came up with bigger iPhones last year, and the prospect of ditching Windows Phone for a new iPhone suddenly became irresistible. It didn't hurt that iOS 8 dropped some of the annoying restrictions of its predecessors. Ultimately, I ended up with an iPhone 6 Plus. And, after two years of Windows Phones, using Apple's phablet as my daily driver can only be described as liberating.

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OnePlus One pricing goes up in Europe -- blame the weak Euro

OnePlus One

Now is not a great time to be a technology enthusiast in Europe. As you may know, local prices of anything from smartphones to motherboards are set in accordance to the USD. And it has appreciated considerably in relation to the Euro, which is now in the proverbial toilet. Put two and two together and have inevitable price hikes -- vendors don't want to sell at a loss, after all.

The extent of the damage to the vendors' bottom line depends on how much they're willing or can afford to lose. For a smartphone maker like OnePlus, which doesn't have high margins, the answer is not a lot, as it just announced it will soon command higher prices for its One "flagship killer" on the old continent.

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