Canonical's smartphone-sized Ubuntu distribution hasn't had an official device to call home since release, but it won't have to live that nomadic existence for much longer. CEO Mark Shuttleworth tells CNET that his company has just signed its first Ubuntu handset deal; the Linux variant should ship with higher-end smartphones sometime in 2014, he says. While Shuttleworth isn't naming this initial customer, he adds that Canonical is negotiating phone deals with four "household brands." It's too soon to say whether or not Ubuntu will get enough support to compete against other mobile platforms, but the agreement suggests that the publicity from the ill-fated Ubuntu Edge campaign is paying off.(more...)
Twitter made updates to both its Android and iOS mobile apps available today. The most significant new feature added to Twitter is the ability to send pictures via direct message to other users. Both apps have a refreshed look and feel, and users can access the Home, Activity, and Discover tabs by swiping through their timelines. Users can also choose to view replies, retweets, and favorites from only people they follow, and can choose to receive push notifications from select people. Twitter for Android and iOS is free to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store, respectively.
It seems that Apple is in the gift-giving spirit this month. iTunes is offering freebies Oprah style with a new app for iPhone and iPad called 12 Days of Gifts (free). After Christmas Day, Dec. 25, users with the app will be able to redeem free songs, apps, books, TV episodes, and more every day until Jan. 6.(more...)
When you first attach a hard drive to your Mac, it should automatically mount and be ready to use; however before relying on it, you should consider taking a couple of precautionary steps to ensure that the drive continues to work as expected.
Note: This guide is for those whose drive isn’t really working with their Mac, or those who want to set up their drive to work specifically work on OS X. By default, most drives should work with both Windows and OS X unless specified otherwise.)(more...)
Well, it's not quite the dramatic redesign Twitter experimented with then largely scrapped, but today's update to its mobile apps still packs a pretty decent punch. For one, you can finally share images via direct message, which has until now been a text-only affair. The DM feature is also much more prominently displayed in the navigation bar, rather than buried in an inconvenient place. It's hard not to see the move as a response to Snapchat's growing popularity, which is built around securely and privately sharing images and short videos. It may also (for better or worse) put an end to scandals centered around publicly tweeted body parts. The iOS version is also taking a cue from its Android brother and moving to a more swipe-friendly UI. Now you can simply flick your finger across the screen to switch between your home, discover and activity timelines. The notification options have also been given a significant overhaul that adds plenty of flexibility. The Android version even lets you turn on notifications for individual users by starring their profiles. Hit up the iTunes or Google Play app stores now to download the update.(more...)
Sprint today said that it will begin offering a new version of the Samsung Galaxy S4 that is compatible with Sprint Spark. Spark is Sprint's tri-band LTE service that offers better performance. Right now, Spark is limited to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Tampa right now, but will expand to 100 markets over the next year. The new version of the GS4 should become available over the course of the next few weeks. It will cost $199 with a new contract after a $50 mail-in rebate, or $25 per month with Sprint One Up. The existing GS4 that Sprint has been selling since April is not compatible with Spark.
Google Play Edition Sony Xperia Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 quietly went official in the United States - the duo of Android 4.4 KitKat devices is currently available to order in the US Google Play Store. The Xperia Z Ultra is priced at $649, while the G Pad 8.3 costs $349.99. (more...)
Skype's newest Chinese partnership may not allay fears of government snooping, but it's paying dividends for mobile users -- Skype for Windows Phone has just reached the country for the first time as part of a larger app update. Microsoft's messaging client appears to be the same regardless of region, suggesting that the Chinese aren't losing any features. That's good news, as there's a few noteworthy updates in store. Users can now copy and paste instant messages, and there's a new high contrast mode for those with vision trouble; the app should load faster, too. No matter where you live, you can grab the Skype update today from the Windows Phone Store.(more...)