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Month: August 2016 (page 1 of 64)

Moto Z Play and Hasselblad Moto camera Mod!

Whatever else you can say about the Moto Z – and there’s no shortage of opinion on the subject — you have to admit it’s an interesting smartphone. The problem for many is that it’s also an expensive smartphone, and while its camera has some useful features, it also has a fair number of drawbacks.

Lenovo’s answer to these concerns: a less-expensive Moto Z, and a brand new Moto Mod from a legendary camera maker. I spent about a week with the Verizon-exclusive Droid Edition of the Moto Z Play and the True Zoom Moto Mod from Hasselblad. I came away with a new appreciation for the Snapdragon 625, oversized batteries … and steady hands. Join me for MrMobile’s Moto Z Play review, and Hasselblad True Zoom review!

Don’t forget to be social!


Le web





MrMobile #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

Shadowgun Legends is ready to blow minds on NVIDIA Shield in 2017

Madfinger Games is bringing back Shadowgun for another turn, with help from the NVIDIA Shield TV.

NVIDIA had a fairly quiet Gamescom this year on the Shield front, but there was still something pretty tasty to show off. Coming to the Shield TV in Q1 2017 is Shadowgun Legends and it’s a substantial step forward for Madfinger from its mobile games of past years.

Shadowgun Legends has been tailored to the Shield TV and the Tegra X1 chipset to exploit its power and create a full fledged first-person shooter. It’s a way off from being finished, but what I’ve seen at the show already has me salivating for more.

Players will have the opportunity to dive deep into a 24th-century war-torn world where you will become the up and coming Shadowguns, an elite unit of badasses from all around the galaxy. It will be up to you to decide whether you are going to face the alien threat alone or with your Shadowgun friends.

Freeing from the limitations of touch interfaces and going into a more console-like state, Shadowgun Legends adopts a control system much like you’d find on many console FPS titles. Twin sticks for moving, sprinting and looking around, left trigger to aim, right trigger to fire. It’s basic, yet familiar, and so pretty easy to pick up and play.

What’s startling at first, considering this is basically an Android game, is how incredible it looks. Madfinger is usually pretty handy with graphics, but Shadowgun Legends takes things to another level. The developers are passionate gamers and this newest project with the Shield TV in mind takes them beyond mobile and into the console class.

Textures look detailed and lighting is more realistic than any Madfinger title to date, right down to the shimmer on wet areas of the floor. It’s a way off being finished but from what I’ve seen so far it’s not going to disappoint your eyes.

More will become available as we approach early 2017, but the legions of Shadowgun fans are going to be very impressed with Legends. Especially this version on the NVIDIA Shield. It looks and plays great and takes the franchise into console-baiting territory. We eagerly await a chance to play some more.

Richard Devine #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

After Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO, he was still working on an Apple TV set

A new story about a five-year-old conversation, via Walt Mossberg.

Steve Jobs stepped down as CEO of Apple five years ago, but he didn’t plan on leaving the company.

Instead, Jobs was going to focus his energy on one very specific, secret project: Apple’s reinvention of TV — including the TV set itself.

Walt Mossberg, Recode’s editor at large and an executive editor at the Verge, says Jobs called him on the night he announced he was formally handing over control of his company to Tim Cook, and told him about his TV ambitions.

“I think we figured out a way to do it, and it’s going to be fantastic,” Jobs told Mossberg, and invited him to see what he was working on.

But Jobs died less than two months later. And to this date Apple has only taken tentative steps into the TV industry.

Instead of a set, it has focused on a peripheral set-top box. And while Apple has made repeated efforts to create its own TV service, it has been unable to get the deals it wants from TV programmers, and is instead letting other people figure out how to deliver TV programming, via apps. Apple also wants to create a new version of a TV guide.

Now, Jobs’s interest in TV is only a historical footnote. But his intent, as conveyed to Mossberg, helps clear up conflicting reports about Apple’s TV ambitions.

Jobs himself publicly downplayed Apple’s public TV efforts as a “hobby”; in 2010, Jobs told Mossberg and Kara Swisher that Apple couldn’t really get into TV because there was no “viable go-to-market strategy.” The same year, he reportedly said the same thing internally, adding that “TV is a terrible business. They don’t turn over and the margins suck.”

But in 2011, Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson famously wrote that Jobs was working on TVs late in his life, and that he thought he had “cracked it.”

I’ve worked with Walt Mossberg for many years, but I’d never heard him talk about his TV conversation with Jobs before. Then last week, Mossberg wrote a Facebook post referring to a “secret project [Jobs] planned to continue to run” after he left his CEO job.

I called him this week to get the full story. Here it is:

Mossberg said Jobs called him on August 24, 2011, after Apple announced his resignation, and while Mossberg was writing a story about Jobs’s legacy.

“I’m writing this thing. And the phone rings. And it’s him,” Mossberg said. “I think he wanted to talk to me because he was feeling a little sentimental. And also because he wanted me to know that he wasn’t going away.”

“He was going to still be involved. Their press release made some vague nod toward that. But he wanted me to know that he was going to be involved in big strategic things, and also that he was going to reserve one particular thing for himself.”

“I said, ‘well, what’s that?’”

“He said, ‘Well, it’s television … I think we figured out a way to do it, and it’s going to be fantastic. I want you to come out, in a few months, and I want to show it to you.’”

Jobs didn’t go into details about the hardware and the programming Jobs wanted it to carry. But Mossberg believes he was talking about an integrated set, not a version of the set-top box Apple sells today.

“He was really weak. Hearing nuances in speech was difficult. But he was really excited,” Mossberg said. “If you would have asked me five minutes after we hung up, I would have said he was going to reinvent the whole TV set. It would be Apple-esque, meaning it was high quality, and very easy to use. But he was thinking about more than hardware — that was clear, too.”

Peter Kafka #ReCode #TechNews #BizNews #News

Why Your New Hard Drive Isn’t Showing Up in Windows (and How to Fix It)

You installed a new hard drive in your computer and, to your dismay, it’s nowhere to be found. Don’t panic, you just need to give Windows a little nudge to bring it online.

Click Here to Continue Reading

by Jason Fitzpatrick #HowToGeek

This is the Hasselblad True Zoom, the essential camera add-on for the Moto Z

Motorola and legendary camera manufacturer Hasselblad have created the essential smartphone camera add-on.

The moment I learned about Moto Mods, the magnetic add-ons for the Moto Z line, I yearned for a camera. Batteries, sure; a speaker, fine. But a camera: to me, that made the platform truly compelling.

Now, months later, we are getting just that, in the form of the Hasselblad True Zoom. The Mod is the first mainstream smartphone accessory the legendary Swedish camera company has ever attached its name to, and while it doesn’t quite live up to my admittedly high expectations, it’s a truly remarkable piece of engineering, and at $249, a compelling proposition.

The hardware

The Hasselblad True Zoom celebrates the medium-format camera company’s 75th anniversary with the insignia ‘4116’ imprinted on the inside of the frame. 1941 to 2016: a long time to perfect a craft.

When installed, the True Zoom replaces the Moto Z’s built-in camera. Indeed, the Mod has a small foam slot for the phone’s camera module to rest to avoid getting it scratched. Being independent, the True Zoom has its own sensor, lens and optical image stabilization module, and uses the phone’s screen as a viewfinder and its battery as a power source. As I quickly found, lacking its own battery and generating an enormous amount of heat means that the True Zoom is better suited to the thicker, more capacious Moto Z Force or Play, but it will work with the flagship as well.

It’s clear care was taken in designing the True Zoom, since it attaches to any of the Moto Z phones with a satisfying click and immediately initializes. A modest grip on the right side makes it easy to hold in one hand, and the dual-stage shutter button mimics the responsiveness of much more expensive cameras. A separate power button extends and retracts the optical lens, and the zoom slider attached to the shutter button engages the zoom — all familiar ideas to anyone who has used a digital camera since, oh, 2003. A real Xenon flash attaches to the left side, making me nostalgic for the Nokia Lumia 1020.

It’s inside that the True Zoom loses some of its luster: I had a chance to speak to Motorola’s head of product marketing, Jim Thiede, and President of Hasselblad’s American arm, Michael Hejtmanek, and it quickly became clear that this is a partnership in name only. None of Hasselblad’s actual technology is inside the True Zoom, which, given its modest $250 price tag, is not surprising. Akin to Huawei’s partnership with Leica, it appears Motorola sought expertise and brand alignment more than intellectual property.

Still, the 1/2.3″ sensor and f/3.5-6.5 lens, with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 25-250mm, is superior to anything you’ll find on a smartphone today, and the photos that come out of this thing are stupendous.

Using the camera is not always stupendous, though. Because its weight is biased to the right side, near the grip, your thumb is forced onto the glass just to the right of the screen in landscape mode, jutting up against the navigation keys. I cannot tell you how much times I accidentally pressed the home or multitasking button as I depressed the shutter, and that Motorola doesn’t include an option to temporarily disable those touch areas when the True Zoom is connected confers a dearth of consumer field testing.

None of Hasselblad’s actual technology is inside the True Zoom, which, given its modest $250 price tag, is not surprising.

You also won’t be able to jump into the camera by holding down the shutter button from outside of the camera app, another foreseeable use case. Instead, Motorola wants people to use the traditional twist-twice-to-launch gesture, which is not nearly as comfortable with an additional 9mm and 145 grams appended to the phone. It’s also unclear whether people will want to keep the True Zoom attached while they’re out and about, since even attached to the lithe 5.2mm frame of the Moto Z it doesn’t comfortably fit in a pants pocket. In my week using the Mod I was constantly caught in between attaching and removing the attachment depending on what I was doing.

The Software

A quick note: my Hasselblad True Zoom has been paired with the Moto Z Play, a phone that has yet to be released, and is running pre-release software. When I first got the Mod, it frequently crashed the camera app and overheated the phone, but Motorola released an update to its Moto Mods platform a few days into my testing that considerably improved the True Zoom’s stability.

Using the True Zoom is easy, since it merely subsumes the existing camera experience. It takes advantage of the same simple camera UI, and automatically turns on when entering the app — or any app that uses the camera — so the learning curve is relatively low. Still, due to the larger sensor and more versatile zoom lens, Motorola has surfaced a number of unique camera modes, including monochrome capture, and the ability to save RAW files in addition to vaguely useful presets like “Sports” and “Night landscape”. While Motorola is hedging right now, claiming these modes are still works in progress and will be more useful by the time the Moto Z and Z Force are updated in mid-September to support the Mod, I rarely noticed any improvements to my photos with these turned on.

Hasselblad also plans to release a version of its Phocus PC software to make it easy for users to offload and edit the RAW files captured by the camera. That and Motorola’s offer of two years free full-quality backups to Google Photos, and users won’t need to worry about on-device storage.

The Photos

So what about the photos themselves? A 1/2.3″ sensor in a phone is not unheard of — Sony’s Xperia Z and X line have housed one that size for years — the combination of relatively large pixels and an optically stabilized zoom lens should make for some good results. And they are good. Don’t believe me? Have a look for yourself.

Let’s be clear: These are not of the same quality as you’ll find on a mirrorless camera, or even most point-and-shoots these days. If you’re expecting otherwise you’ll be disappointed. The photos captured by the True Zoom are merely very good for a smartphone, with the added benefit of being able to optically zoom with no loss in quality — just a slightly narrower aperture.

The good news is that at its widest the lens is sharp and focuses quickly, with vibrant, warm colors that will please most users. That the photos are captured directly to the phone and can easily be shared to social media is a bonus. Like many zoom lenses, though, the True Zoom becomes more difficult to stabilize the longer it extends, and with a fairly unforgiving minimum focus distance I’ve had trouble getting the thing to lock onto a subject, even stable ones.

But it’s also that zoom function that most users are going to love. Here are some samples of the True Zoom at its widest and longest.

Left: Hasselblad True Zoom — widest (25mm equivalent) / Right: Hasselblad True Zoom — longest (250mm equivalent) — click image to view larger

And here’s a typical sample comparing the True Zoom to the Moto Z. Both have 12MP sensors, though the one on the True Zoom is slightly larger. As with all of its photos, the Hasselblad is warmer and more true to life, but due to its slightly narrower f/3.5 aperture at its widest focal length it doesn’t let in quite as much light as the Moto Z’s fixed f/1.8 lens.

Left: Hasselblad True Zoom — (f/3.5, 25mm equivalent) / Right: Moto Z (f/1.8)— click image to view larger

Should you buy it?

When everything comes together, the True Zoom is a wonderful piece of technology, and almost justifies the $250 cost — but I can’t help but feel that most people would be better off spending a bit more to get a proper zoom camera to get better results.

If the Moto Z line takes off, and Moto Mods with it, I can see a family investing in a True Zoom and sharing it between members when necessary.

The Hasselblad True Zoom will be available starting in September from Verizon for $249, and Motorola for $299, and will be coming to other markets in the coming months. An update will be issued to the Moto Z and Moto Z Force on September 15 to add compatibility with the True Zoom.

More: Moto Z Play preview: The most accessible modular phone yet

See at Motorola

Daniel Bader #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

How to Properly Maintain Your Home’s Attic

Getting a smart thermostat to control the heating and cooling in your house can potentially save you money depending on how you use it, but a thermostat isn’t going to save you money all by itself. Your home also needs good airflow and insulation, and the attic is the biggest piece of the puzzle.

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by Craig Lloyd #HowToGeek

Geek Trivia: During The 20th Century, Blindness In Premature Babies Was Triggered By Excessive Administration Of?

During The 20th Century, Blindness In Premature Babies Was Triggered By Excessive Administration Of?

Vitamin B12


Ultra Violet Lamplight

Vitamin K

Think you know the answer?

by Jason Fitzpatrick #HowToGeek

Lenovo’s Yoga Book is part tablet, part sketch pad

Engadget Review: Lenovo Yoga Book
The 2-in-1 ditches a physical keyboard for a novel setup.

Motorola’s modular phone concept just got even more fun, but remains a tough sell

The Lenovo subsidiary is adding a new accessory that turns the Moto Z into a point-and-shoot camera.

Motorola is doubling down on its bet that high-end phone buyers will go for the idea of a phone that comes with room to grow.

On Wednesday the Lenovo subsidiary added another member to its Moto Z family. The Moto Z Play is larger than the prior two models that debuted earlier this year, but it uses that thickness to add extra battery life and the headphone jack missing on the first two Moto Z models.

It also debuted a new Moto Mod add-on. This one, co-developed with Hasselblad, turns any Moto Z into a point-and-shoot camera complete with a real flash and 10x optical zoom. The camera attachment joins an earlier wave of Mods, which included a tiny projector, speaker-kickstand combo and a battery charging case.

The notion of Moto Mods is a creative one, but the cost of the accessories, as well as the limited ecosystem, threatens to keep it from being a mainstream hit. The camera and projector modules both cost roughly what a standalone device would.

For example, the new Hasselblad attachment carries a $299 sticker price, though Verizon plans to sell it for $249.

Motorola has promised to keep the Moto Z compatible for at least another year, meaning this year’s phones should work with next year’s mods and vice versa. But phone buyers don’t always like to stick to the same model year after year, especially in the Android world.

Google has been playing with another twist on a modular phone. Project Ara, which has yet to ship a device, imagines the phone itself being modular, with owners being able to snap on a new camera or battery. Google has promised developers will get their hands on actual hardware this year, but consumers will have to wait until at least 2017.

Ina Fried #ReCode #TechNews #BizNews #News

Moto Z, Moto Z Play and Moto Mods are coming to Canada in September

Motorola’s ambitious Moto Z line is coming to Canada in late September. The company has announced that the Moto Z, Moto Z Play, and a number of the associated Moto Mods accessories will be coming to various carriers by the end of September.

Specifically, the Moto Z will be coming to Bell, Rogers, Telus, Wind Mobile, SaskTel, and Koodo in late September for around $900 outright, which will translate to roughly $400 on a 2-year plan or equivalent upfront tab.

More: Moto Z specs

The Moto Z Play will be coming to Rogers, Telus, and Koodo in the same timeframe for around $650 outright, and $100 to $150 on a 2-year contract or equivalent upfront tab.

More: Moto Z Play specs

Canadians will also be graced by a bunch of Moto Mods: the JBL SoundBoost speaker, Moto Insta-Share pico projector, Incipio offGRID Power Pack battery, and a number of Style Backs covers will be available starting in late September. The Hasselblad True Zoom camera add-on will be available starting in October. The pricing is as follows:

JBL SoundBoost: $99.99

Incipio offGRID Power Pack: $89.99

Style Backs: $29.99

Motorola Insta-Share Projector: $399.99

More: Which Moto Mods should you buy?

We’ll have more on Canadian carrier pricing for the Moto Z and Moto Z Play, along with the Moto Mods, as we draw closer to their releases.

Moto Z and Moto Z Force

Our Moto Z review!

Moto Z specs

Moto Mods custom backs

Moto Z and Moto Z Force will be Verizon exclusives until the fall of 2016

The latest Moto Z news

Discuss in our Moto Z forums

Motorola Verizon

Daniel Bader #AndroidCentral #Android #News #Google #Alphabet

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