HTC announces the One S9 for European markets

HTC One S9

HTC just recently launched its 2016 flagship, the HTC 10, but it’s already following it up with a second device for the European market. The HTC One S9 is essentially a lower-specced One M9, following its design cues, but swapping out some of the flagships specs for more reasonable features. That being said, it’s still a respectable device, so let’s run through the specs that it’s packing.

  • 5-inch 1080p display with Gorilla Glass
  • 2GHz octa-core MeidaTek Helio X10 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage plus microSD card slot
  • 13-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization
  • HTC Ultrapixel front-facing camera
  • 2840mAh battery
  • Android 6.0 Marshmallow with HTC Sense UI
  • Metal unibody design

Looking at the specs list, the HTC One S9 is intended as a lower-cost, mid-range alternative to the One M9. Rather than opting for a different design, however, HTC has essentially just adapted the One M9 design to fit this device and made it quite attractive, which is sure to appeal to those who want a nice-looking phone without shelling out flagship prices.

HTC is launching the One S9 in Europe at an undisclosed time, but pre-orders are open now. Pricing is set at €499, which is a tad high, but may be worth it for the premium design.

Check out HTC’s official page at the source link below for more info.

Exchange support rolling out now to Gmail for Android


Exchange users, get ready to jump for joy. After spotty availability and partial compatibility across different apps on Android, complete, honest-to-goodness Microsoft Exchange support is rolling out now to the Gmail app for Android.

For those who live and die by the universal inbox, this is fantastic news. While Exchange support has been available on Android in different ways in the past, the Gmail app will most likely rocket to being the best and most universally-used way to access Exchange accounts.

The update is already rolling out now and is expected to hit all handsets within 3 days.

Google announces MODE snap-and-swap bands for Android Wear

Android Wear MODE

For Android Wear fans out there, Google is aiming to make it even easier to customize your wearable experience with easily swappable bands.

Google has just announced MODE, which are snap-and-swap bands that should make it easier than ever before to change your band when you want. MODE is a partnership between Google and b&nd by Hadley Roma, and it means that you’ll be able to slide a small button on the bottom of the band and then easily attach or detach the band with a simple click.

Google says the MODE bands fit “most Android Wear watches,” and the bands come in fourth widths. They work on mechanical watches, too. The first batch of MODE bands will come “in a rainbow of colors,” and they will be available in both leather and silicone.

The company is also making sure this is just the beginning, and will offer the ability for brands to create their own MODE bands. Those interested can check out a vendor playbook, which includes instructions, guidelines, and band requirements.

The new MODE Android Wear bands are available from the (U.S.) Google Store, Best Buy, and Amazon. Prices start at $49.99.

What do you think of the new MODE bands?

Android 6.0 Marshmallow now rolling out to the BlackBerry Priv


It’s been a long wait, but BlackBerry Priv users are finally receiving their update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow. BlackBerry announced the update a while back, but today finally marks the day of its release. Initially, Marshmallow is only available through Priv devices purchased directly from BlackBerry. Beginning May 3, Marshmallow will be available to carrier-specific Privs, so the wait for the carrier versions isn’t long at all in this case.

The update includes all of the usual Marshmallow goodies, such as Now on Tap and Doze, the latter of which can help to save battery life when you’re not using your device. In addition to the regular pieces, BlackBerry has also taken advantage of the new security features in Marshmallow, such as more specific data permissions and the ability to digitally sign and encrypt emails. And for those who love the keyboard on the Priv, you’ll now have improved gestures, better cursor control, more accurate word prediction and a whole range of new emoji to craft messages with.

Check out more from BlackBerry at the source link below.

Facebook camera app could launch with a focus on sharing and live streaming


Remember back in 2012 when Facebook launched a dedicated camera app for iPhone? The social networking giant said the app would make it easier to share photos to Facebook, but it only took two years before Facebook ultimately pulled the app.

Here we are a few years later and Facebook is apparently back to its old shenanigans. According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook’s “friend-sharing” team in London is currently working on putting together a new Facebook camera app. This one would let users automatically open up their camera app on their phone and then quickly share photos they take from the app to the social network.

The app is also said to put a big focus on live streaming video, something that Facebook believes is a huge feature moving forward for the site.

As it stands right now, the app is currently still in its early stages of development, and there’s no word on whether or not it may actually get released. And, unlike last time, it’s not likely that Facebook would make this new camera app an iOS exclusive.

LG G5 SE offers a lite version of the company’s latest flagship


It hasn’t been too long since LG officially announced its latest flagship, the G5, and even more recently that the device went up for sale in the United States. But apparently the company has a lite version of the handset on the way as well.

The newest Android-based smartphone, known as the LG G5 SE, has apparently found its way to Russia and gotten itself reviewed by the Russian tech blog The review includes plenty of text as well as video and photos showing off a handset that looks very similar to the original G5, but with a few noteworthy differences.


Those similarities include the same 5.3-inch 2560×1440 display, as well as the same 2800mAh battery inside. However, the LG G5 SE only features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor instead of the Snapdragon 820 that’s inside the standard G5. Moreover, the G5 SE only packs in 3GB of RAM, while the G5 offers 4GB.


The review points out that the G5 SE does offer the same modular design achieved by popping off the bottom of the handset. It also notes that there were some performance issues while recording 4K video, but after dropping it down to full HD video capture, the issues went away. Additionally, the G5 SE display isn’t bright enough.

As for when the G5 SE will be released, and just where it will show up, all of that remains a mystery. However, it’s likely that LG will probably get around to announcing that sort of thing here soon, considering the device is already getting reviewed.

What do you think of the G5 SE?

New leak shows off Samsung’s wireless Gear IconX earbuds and the Gear Fit 2

Samsung IconX and Gear Fit 2

Samsung has one of the largest device ecosystems of any company out there, but it’s showing no signs of slowing down. In a new report from VentureBeat, we can see two of Samsung’s upcoming products, both of which function primarily as accessories to Samsung’s mobile devices. The first device up is the Samsung Gear Fit 2, the successor to the original Gear Fit fitness band. The Gear Fit 2 appears roughly the same and reportedly features a slightly more curved and comfortable design, as well as the addition of a GPS chip, which enhances its fitness tracking capabilities.

The other item on the agenda is a whole new one. Samsung’s Gear IconX earbuds are the company’s first wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and they’re going to be some of the first on the market. The IconX earbuds are touch-controlled and can either be connected to a device or used as a standalone music player, with 4GB of storage built into one of the earbuds. Additionally, Samsung has added some standard fitness tracking features into the earbuds. To top it all off, the IconX earbuds are dust and water resistant, and they come with a case that doubles as a wireless charger.

Other specs and details about the devices weren’t released as part of this leak, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted if any new information becomes available.

YouTube app gets redesigned Home tab and deep neural network tech to improve recommendations

New YouTube Home Tab

Getting recommendations for content is all the rage these days, from music to videos, and for the folks out there that use YouTube on a regular basis, the team behind the Android app are aiming to make it easier to find your next video to watch.

Over on the official YouTube blog, it has been announced that the Android and iOS apps are getting a major overhaul when it comes to the Home tab, which should offer a new, cleaner and sleeker look. YouTube wants to make it easier to find the content they’ll think you want to watch, and that begins with a redesigned Home tab.

However, the biggest change arrives behind the scenes. The official blog states that YouTube is using “deep neural network technology” to learn over time and pick up on patterns so that it can recommend the best possible content for you to watch. And it’s constantly learning, so the more often you use YouTube, the better the recommendations will get.

Moreover, with the new system working behind the curtain, YouTube users will see more content from the creators they follow and watch regularly, and the app will now suggest more recent videos as well.

The new YouTube app’s features should begin rolling out today.

HTC Vive X aims to provide a financial nudge for the VR ecosystem


Virtual reality is a segment that’s growing each and every day. Multiple manufacturers have entered the arena with their own VR headsets, but one area that’s still lacking is a strong ecosystem to support the new technology. HTC, which has already partnered with Valve to create the HTC Vive headset, is now aiming to improve that ecosystem with Vive X, a new program to help fund VR startups.

Vive X is equipped with a $100 million dollar investment fund and will be used to aid VR startups, particularly those creating content for an ecosystem, rather than those building new headsets. In addition to the financial investment, HTC will offer education, mentorship, networking opportunities and even office space to these startups.

This nudge by HTC could prove to be incredibly beneficial in fleshing out the VR ecosystem. While beneficial to the startups, this is even more beneficial to HTC. The company’s partnership with Valve has already spawned one of the most advanced VR headsets, but the content available is still lacking. If HTC can rustle up an ecosystem, it has a chance to advance to the top of the VR market.

As of now, Vive X will only be launching in San Francisco, Beijing and Taipei. If you’d like to learn more about the program and the qualifications for applying, check out the source link below.

Moto 360 Sport gets $100 discount from some retailers

Moto 360 Sport

Earlier this year, Motorola officially launched the Moto 360 Sport, a fitness-focused smartwatch. Now, a few months later, there’s a pretty hefty discount being applied for folks who might have been sitting on the fence.

Motorola, along with Best Buy, Amazon, and B&H Photo Video, are all offering a limited promotion for the Moto 360 Sport, which sees the wearable receive a $100 discount. That means if you’re interested in picking up the wearable, you can do so for $199 — as long as it’s the White or Flame color variants. The black model is still priced at $299.

The Moto 360 Sport offers some variations when compared to its traditional brethren, including silicone straps with ventilation built in to help with sweat resistance. The Moto 360 Sport also offers an “AnyLight” display, which functions as a traditional LCD while indoors, but can reflect sunlight while outdoors to help the wearer see what’s displayed a little easier.

Motorola says the promotion runs until May 2 at 11:59 AM ET, so there’s a bit of time to take advantage of the deal. Do you plan to?