ZTE reveals Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone as winner of crowdsourced Project CSX contest

After launching its Project CSX effort earlier this year to find a great new smartphone idea, ZTE today revealed the program’s grand prize winner.

ZTE says that the Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone is the winning Project CSX design. It won 31 percent of the overall vote, beating out other ideas like Intelligent Smartphone Covers (21 percent), Stock Android Flagship Phone (19 percent), VR-Interactive Diving Mask (16 percent), and Powerglove (8 percent).

Now that the Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone has won Project CSX, ZTE has committed to bringing the device to market in 2017. The person that came up with the winning idea will travel to CES with ZTE next January.

As its name suggests, the Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone includes eye-tracking cameras and sensors that can be used to perform actions without the user touching the screen. The phone also includes a self-adhesive back cover that’ll let you stick the device to other surfaces, like to a wall for reading a recipe or watching a movie.

Other features included with the Eye-Tracking, Self-Adhesive Phone concept include a 5.5-inch LCD screen, bottom-firing stereo speakers, a USB Type-C port, and a 16-emgapixel rear camera with f/1.8 aperture and dual LED flash.

We haven’t seen much in the way of eye-tracking features in smartphones, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of functionality ZTE can build into this device. As for the rest of the phone, its design doesn’t look too shabby, but we’ll have to wait until it actually comes to market next year before we know exactly what the final product will look like.

Sources: ZTE (1), (2)

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Kodak Ektra boasts a 21-megapixel camera, dedicated shutter button, and other camera features

Almost two years after Kodak last launched an Android phone, the camera-centric company is back with another smartphone.

The Kodak Ektra was officially announced today as an Android 6.0 smartphone with a heavy focus on camera performance. Kodak has equipped the Ektra with a 21-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization, and a dual LED flash. There’s also a dual press shutter button to give the Ektra a feel that’s more like a real camera.

The front of the Ektra is home to a 13-megapixel camera with a f/2.2 aperture and phase detection autofocus.


The Ektra’s software has a lot of camera goodies, too, like an SLR-style Scene Selection Dial that’ll let you pick different modes like HDR, Landscape, Portrait, Macro, Sport, Night-time, Panorama, and Bokeh. Kodak has also included a manual mode that’ll let you tweak settings like exposure, ISO, focus, white balance and shutter speed. If you’d prefer to let the phone do the work to figure out the best settings for your scene, you can use the Smart Auto mode.

Other features for the Kodak Ektra include a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a microSD slot for adding more storage, and a 3,000mAh battery that supports fast charging over USB Type-C. The Ektra’s also got a 5-inch 1920×1080 display.

The Kodak Ektra — which is built by the Bullitt Group, just like Kodak’s last phone — will launch in Europe later this year for £449 ($550 USD). Kodak has said that if there’s a strong enough demand for the Ektra, the device could launch in the US sometime in 2017.

Kodak is known for photography, so it’s no surprise that its newest Android phone has a heavy camera focus. There are a lot of smartphones already on the market with solid cameras, though, including the Galaxy S7 and the new Google Pixel, so the Kodak Ektra is going to face some fierce photography foes when it launches later this year.

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Plex For Android Gets Updated to Version 5.0, Brings Tons Of Goodies


Plex has announced a major update for its Android app which bestows a ton of improvements, fixes and new features.

But what is Plex? For some reason most people aren’t really familiar with the application despite it having great potential to make life easier. Basically Plex is here to make organizing your media library a breeze. The app gathers everything you have on your computer and makes it available anywhere, anytime. This means you’ll be able to stream content on mobile devices, via web and even on some smart TVs.

Plex for Android has been bumped up to version 5.0 and is now taking advantage of the company’s own sync technology. This adds a ton of improvements to Mobile Sync like the ability to sync playlists or search sync content seamlessly.

Users will also note improvements to the Search function and a new, more intuitive user interface.

Here’s the complete change-log:

* Redesigned sync management screen.
* Playlists can now be synced!
* New incremental syncing makes operations much faster and more efficient.
* Search your synced content just like a regular server.
* We took the core of the Plex Media Server, shrank it down, and embedded it within the Android app. Your synced content will now benefit from all the rich browsing, discovery, and playback features it provides.
– Many improvements to “Search”, including a new UI, support for faster searches, and also for searching new types of content such as actors, directors or tracks.
– Move user email from Navigation Menu header to Settings.
– Several usability improvements to the Camera Upload settings screen.
– Highlight filter icon when sort or filters are not the default setting.
– [Android TV] Seek and skip improvements during playback. (Using D-pad, gamepad triggers, or OSD actions: single-click to short skip and long-press for fast seeking.)
– [Android TV] Add stop button to music controls.
– [Android TV] Show app version number on settings screen.
– [Android TV] Playlist library no longer visible on home screen if there are no playlists.
– [Fire TV] Add support for subscribing to Plex Pass within the app.

[Plex / Google Play Store]

The post Plex For Android Gets Updated to Version 5.0, Brings Tons Of Goodies appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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smrtFOB is a battery pack, speaker and more

A Canadian startup is aiming to change the way consumers charge devices. The team behind smrtFOB is creating a battery pack that moonlights as a key tracker, flash drive, Bluetooth speaker and more. The technology that empowers smrtFob’s versatility is a modular design, which allows users to build upon the existing base to satisfy their desires. While smrtFOB is still in crowdfunding, the company already has fully-working bases and three modules, including a battery booster, a flash storage bank and a Bluetooth speaker.

smrtFOB is designed to ensure that you never go without power. The company has created a companion app that utilizes intelligent reminders and calendar-based suggestions. Upon returning home with a low battery on smrtFOB, the app will send a reminder to charge the smrtFOB. When a busy day of travel or meetings is ahead, the app can also send reminders to pack extra modules, such as the battery booster or flash storage module.

Due to smrtFOB’s nature, it became an important goal for the creators to offer an easy method of charging the device. smrtFOB is solving the issue with a charging pad that uses resonance wireless charging technology. This allows smrtFOB to charge without directly touching the pad, meaning that it can stay on the same chain as your keys, while still charging, even if smrtFOB isn’t making direct contact with the charging pad. Additionally, a male USB adapter is built-in, which allows charging in USB ports when away from the wireless charging pad.

smrtFOB is now crowdfunding on Kickstarter, with of over 75% of its goal met. The early price for the device is $69, which is lower than the likely $100 price that the smrtFOB will carry when it launches in late spring 2017. Interested customers can also purchase packs that include different modules and the wireless charging pad. For all of the options, follow the source link below to smrtFOB’s Kickstarter.

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Google Pixel, Pixel XL Launches in Canada, Pricing Starts at $199 on Contract



Good news for Canadian users who have been smitten by Google’s recently announced Pixel and Pixel XL phones.

Carrier Telus just announced the Pixel duo is now available at Telus stores across the country and also online. The company is selling the phones in the following configurations:

  • Pixel with 32GB of RAM – CAD$200 on 2-year Premium Plus plan
  • Pixel with 32GB of RAM – CAD$400 on 2-year Premium smartphone plan

Telus is offering the Pixel in two colors, so customers can have their pick at the Silver or Black model.

Moving on to the larger phone, here are the available configurations:

  • Pixel XL with 32GB of RAM – CAD$350 on 2-year Premium Plus plan
  • Pixel XL with 32GB of RAM – CAD$550 with 2-year Premium smartphone plan

The Pixel XL is available in Black.

As you can see Telus does not offer the 128GB option, which is a bit hard to come-by. Other Canadian carriers like Bell or Rogers are also lacking this particular variant.

Rogers offer for the Pixel and Pixel XL goes along these lines:

  • Pixel with 32GB – CAD$199.99 with Premium+ Tab plan
  • Pixel with 32GB – CAD$399.99 with Premium Tab plan
  • Pixel XL with 32GB – CAD$349.99 with Premium+ Tab plan
  • Pixel XL with 32GB – CAD$549.99 with Premium Tab plan

As for Bell, here’s how the carrier plans to lure Pixel fans:

  • Pixel with 32GB – CAD$399.99 on 2-year plan with $80 minimum spend
  • Pixel with 32GB – CAD$899.99 no-term
  • Pixel XL with 32GB – CAD$549.99 on 2-year plan with $80 minimum spend
  • Pixel XL with 32GB – CAD$1049.99 no-term

But if you truly want more space, the good news is that you can order the chunkier version from online retailer Fido.

The main differences between the Pixel and the Pixel XL are the display size (5-inch vs 5.5-inch), battery capacity (3,450 vs 2,770 mAh) and resolution (FHD vs QHD).

The Google Play Store sells the two phones for:

  • Pixel 32GB: CAD$899
  • Pixel 128GB: CAD$1029
  • Pixel XL 32GB: CAD$1049
  • Pixel XL 128GB: CAD$1179

Telus also announced that is the co-title sponsor of WE Day across Canada, so whenever customers buy a Pixel or Pixel XL $25 will end up being donated towards the event.

Are you picking up a Pixel or Pixel XL?


The post Google Pixel, Pixel XL Launches in Canada, Pricing Starts at $199 on Contract appeared first on Android in Canada Blog.

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Jide's newest Remix IO gadget doubles as a desktop and an Android TV box, now on Kickstarter

IO_With ControllersConnecting a PC to a television isn't exactly a revolutionary idea. Ditto for a mobile device - it's harder to do now that dedicated HDMI ports are gone, but streaming screens and content via Chromecast has sort of filled the gap. Jide, the company behind the intriguing Android-as-desktop Remix OS products, is trying to take that rather niche idea mainstream with its latest hardware. The Remix IO is a gadget that's equally comfortable on your desktop or sitting inside your entertainment center.

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Jide's newest Remix IO gadget doubles as a desktop and an Android TV box, now on Kickstarter was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android Developer Stories: drupe and Noom expand globally by localising their apps on Google Play

Posted by Kacey Fahey, Marketing Programs Manager, Google Play

Interested in growing your app on a global scale? See how two app developers localized their apps in unique ways to drive revenue and user engagement.


drupe is a communications app that utilizes the openness of android to build a truly native experience delivering highly contextual recommendations to their users across the world.

Key to achieving international growth, drupe has translated their app in 17 languages, and their store listing page in 28 languages. This led to an increase in conversion and retention rates. Additionally, when entering India, the team noticed several user reviews requesting integration with a specific messaging app widely used in the Indian market. Through a combination of this integration, adding Hindi language translation, and other new features, drupe saw improved performance. In six months, daily active users increased 300%, and actions per average daily user increased 25% in the Indian market.


Noom is a health & fitness app that has achieved an 80% increase in international revenue growth on Android over the past three years by localizing their app with unique cultural behaviors, cuisines, and local-market coaches.

In addition to translating their app and store listing page, Noom conducted extensive analysis to determine the right financial model tailored to each international market. This included evaluation of their competitive landscape and local health and wellness spending behavior, in addition to running pricing experiments to determine the optimal offering between subscriptions, IAPs, or a premium app.

Use the Localization Checklist to learn more about tailoring your app for different markets to drive installs and revenue, and to create a better overall user experience. Also, get the Playbook for Developers app to stay up-to-date on new features and learn best practices that will help you grow a successful business on Google Play.

Read the full articles for drupe and Noom.

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Chrome 54 adds background media playback, colored tabs in tab switcher, and more [APK Download]


It's time for a new Chrome release, and as always, there is both new features for users and new abilities developers can use. Let's take a look at what's new.

Background media playback

Starting with Chrome 54 Beta, Chrome finally began allowing background media playback. On HTML5 audio and video by default, you can play/pause the content from a notification. If the website provides an 'apple-touch-icon', usually used as the icon for sites pinned to the iOS home screen, it is displayed in the notification.

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Chrome 54 adds background media playback, colored tabs in tab switcher, and more [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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