LG Chromebase will be available May 26th

The LG Chromebase, the first all-in-one Chrome OS PC, has been announced to be made available to US customers on May 26. With 2 GB of memory, a 16GB SSD (solid state drive), and a dual-core Intel Haswell CPU, LG has followed the usual specifications found on most Chromebooks. For those unfamiliar with Chromebooks, these specifications would probably be seem insufficient. However, what makes Chromebooks and the Chromebase stand out, is that they run Google’s Chrome OS. Chrome OS is based upon Linux, so is very light and does not need many resources. In addition, since it only runs internet applications, it does not need many resources.

The Chromebase, though, stands out from the crowd of Chromebooks, because it is the first all-in-one PC running Chrome OS. With a 21.5 inch screen that has an IPS full HD display, it is a great all-in-one, and it only costs $349.

Side view of LG Chromebase with keyboard and mouse
Side view of LG Chromebase with keyboard and mouse

The device will be available for preorder on May 12, and will begin shipping on May 26. It will be available for preorder on Amazon, Newegg, and Tiger Direct, and includes a wired keyboard and mouse that have been customized for Chrome OS.

Back of the LG Chromebase
Back of the LG Chromebase

The device has 3 USB 2.0 ports on the back, and 1 USB 3.0 and headphone jack on the side. The bottom is lined with a MENU button for the display, the SD card reader, and power button. In addition, the back has an HDMI in port, so the PC can also be used as a second display. The PC also has built in speakers, and the usual 100 GB of Google Drive storage for two years is also included.

Source: OMG Chrome

LG’s G Watch will have always-on screen

LG’s G Watch has been in the news lately but not much was known about the wearable device. Now LG has shared more information about its upcoming G Watch on its new website. According to the official website, the smartwatch will be available in two colors, stealth black and champagne gold. While the release date has not been shared yet, the smartwatch will have an always-on screen. Additionally, it will be both water and dust resistant.

LG’s G Watch is among the list of upcoming smartwatches that will make use of Google’s Android Wear, a version that has been made especially for wearable devices.

Among several features that the Android Wear offers, it has in-built access to Google Maps and also has Google Now, which is Google’s personal assistant service.

The Verge states that its always-on feature might mean that the device is always ready for ‘Ok Google’ commands.

Are you excited to grab one for yourself? Let us know in the comments section…

Source: The Verge

LG’s golden G3 smartphone is arriving this summer

After the iPhone 5S, Galaxy S5, and HTC One – which are all available in some short of gold shade, you can expect to see LG embracing this flashy trend with its upcoming Android phone. According to a report by The Verge, which obtained the first image of the retail box for the LG G3, the Korean manufacturer plans to launch its upcoming phone in a “golden hue”.

“The gold-colored box is not incidental. Sources tell The Verge that the Korean phone maker intends to launch its next flagship in a golden hue, matching the broader trend that’s been embraced by the gold Galaxy S5, HTC One, iPhone 5S, and LG’s own golden G2 variant,” the report said.

LG G3 would feature a display resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, the company confirmed. Other details (as earlier rumoured for the Android device) include a 5.5-inch QHD display, 32GB of storage, microSD card slot (up to 64GB), Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system, and a 13-megapixel camera.

“There’s no indication yet that the G3 will serve as the platform on which Google will build its next Nexus device. That was the relationship between the G2 and the Nexus 5, but given that the latter device is still only a few months old, it’s probably a little too early to be discussing a potential Nexus 6, anyway,” the report added.

The LG G3 smartphone is said to be set for a summer release. Are you looking forward to LG’s next big Android phone? Let us know in the comments below.

Sony, Samsung won’t use Android Wear in their watches

Every mobile company is desperate to bring a ‘usable’ smartwatch to the market. While companies like Samsung did bring their smartwatches to the market, these devices are still half-baked products which ‘try’ to do a few things. These are no where close to the way smartphones have become a viable alternatives of PCs. These watches are nothing more than a side-kick or assistant to your smartphones. Then came Google, doing what it did with Honeycomb to address the immediate need of a tablet OS. Google announced Android Wear, an OS optimized for smart watches. One would expect that entire industry will embrace it, but that’s not what seem to be happening.

While Samsung has already distanced itself from Android when it comes to smartwatches and will be using their own OS – I really don’t know why instead of banking on the huge ecosystem Android already has – now Sony is also not much interested in Android Wear.

According to reports, Sony will use its own Android-based OS for smartwatches instead of adopting Android Wear. The company told CNET, “We’ve already invested time and resources on this platform, and we will continue in that direction.”

That doesn’t mean Sony is distancing itself from Google. The company clarified in a separate statement to the same publication, “We’re excited about the potential of Android Wear to extend the mobile OS experience into wearable devices. While we are currently focused on our in-market wearable offering, including SmartWatch 2, we continue to work closely with Google as a key partner and continue to evaluate opportunities across a number of areas as we extend our SmartWear Experience.”

These two Asian giants supposedly want to have more control on their own wearable computing instead of letting Google dictate the terms.

However, companies like LG and Motorola are betting big on Android Wear and have already announced their devices running Android Wear. Motorola’s watch has already gained praise from potential buyers. It will be interesting to see how much traction Android Wear gets in the smartwatch market.

What do you think, should companies adopt Android Wear instead of creating their own OS which will more or less create vendor-lock?

President Obama to ditch BlackBerry, switch to Android

US Presidents are not allowed to carry cellphones like Blackberry due to security issues. Obama somehow succeeded in keeping his beloved Blackberry. His Blackberry was heavily encrypted, with enhanced security and its usage was limited.

It looks like now Obama will be able to use Android before he leaves the White House. The WallStreet Journal reports, “The White House is testing smartphones from Samsung and LG for internal use, a person familiar with the matter said, threatening one of the last and most high-profile strongholds of BlackBerry.”

The White House Communications Agency and the internal technology team of the White House are conducting the tests on these devices. These tests will take quite some time and the implementation may still be months away. So don’t expect Obama to be taking selfies from his LG or Samsung phones yet.

“We value the long-term relationship we’ve had with the White House and have been securing their mobile communications for more than a decade. The U.S. government requires the highest levels of security. We were the first mobility platform to receive the ‘Authority to Operate’ certification from the Department of Defense.

Update: We just got a statement from Blackberry which emphasizes on the relationship between the White House and the Canadian company.

We value the long-term relationship we’ve had with the White House and have been securing their mobile communications for more than a decade. The U.S. government requires the highest levels of security. We were the first mobility platform to receive the ‘Authority to Operate’ certification from the Department of Defense.

Governments test new technologies frequently, but nevertheless the U.S. government continues to choose BlackBerry for its unmatched security and cost effectiveness. Other vendors such as Samsung and LG still have a long way to go to catch up to meet the government’s stringent requirements and certifications. BlackBerry’s operating system has already received the highest security approvals from the United States, Great Britain and NATO, and our latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, is already certified for high-security users in various NATO countries.

The story holds great potential to put a dent Blackberry’s image in the market. Countering WSJ’s reports that two government agencies are testing Samsung and LG devices, The Washington Post reports, “A White House spokesman said that the Executive Office of the President is not involved in any pilot program for testing non-BlackBerry phones and that there is nothing new to share about the president’s BlackBerry.”

LG announces G Watch powered by Android Wear

Google shook the world today by announcing Android Wear, a version of Android to power wearable computers such as smartwatches. Google has showed that it has mastered the art of partnership; it has not only engaged developers but also made available hardware powered by Android Wear.

LG has just announced its LG G Watch which is powered by Android Wear. LG says in a press statement, “The LG G Watch will be compatible with a wide range of Android smartphones and will present relevant information to users just when they need it or whenever they say “OK Google” to ask questions or get stuff done. As one of Google’s lead partners in this effort, LG is planning to introduce its first watch powered by Android Wear in the second quarter of 2014.”

The two companies are working towards presenting a low barrier to entry for developers and offer the best Google experience for users.

“The opportunity to work with Google on LG G Watch was the perfect chance for LG to really pull out all stops in both design and engineering,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “With the LG G Watch, LG is continuing the milestones we’ve set in wearables following in the foot-steps of the world’s first 3G Touch Watch Phone in 2009 and the Prada Link in 2008. We’re confident that a well-designed device has the potential to take the smart wearable market by storm.”

The company has not given any info on the hardware specs and pricing, but you can keep an eye on Android Wear Community.

Top Android Releases at MWC

MWC is now behind us. OEMs showed up, showed off, and some left lasting impressions while others did not. Throughout the barrage of announcements and revelations, there are some products that we feel were more note worthy than others. Products that you, our readers might consider in the not too distant future. Products that we envision showing up in even our homes when they are released. I will now highlight a few products and announcements that stood out, but for the sake of simplicity, I will group the products by OEM rather than by category. If I failed to cover your favorite OEM, please don’t hold it against me as there was much to cover. Without further delay, why don’t we get right into it?

Samsung

We all know about the might of Samsung, and I will not dwell on it here. They were very present at MWC, and they presented quite a number of tech pieces to us. The main device presented was the all new Galaxy S5. By main I mean that it was not only Samsung’s number one device, but also the chief device of the entire MWC. As expected, it bested the S4 with a slightly bigger screen, faster processor and a better camera. Added features like a finger print scanner and the ability to check your pulse rate at the back of the phone are just the icing on the cake for me. The S5 is not expected to be released before April of this year, but based on recent reports, fans are already enlisting their names to get their paws on the next best thing, and to be honest, we can’t blame them for it.

Gear_Fit

The Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit, although members of the Tizen OS, are the descendants of the Android based Galaxy Gear, and we felt like they should be included here. The Gear 2 and Neo are a lot like the original Gear in terms of the design language. One would be forgiven for mistaking one for the other. The new offerings have lost weight, the camera on the Gear 2 has been moved from the wrist band to the watch to enable swappable bands while the Neo drops the camera altogether. While these are without doubt some fine pieces of tech, the Gear Fit was the one to steal the show, and was also awarded as the ‘Best Mobile Device‘ at MWC. Like many before it, it will track your movement, workouts and help you to get in shape once you’re willing of course.

Sony

The creators of the PS4 felt like they had a point to prove, and that they did. Sony introduced the Xperia Z2 at MWC, and it’s a stunning piece of machinery. The Z2 continues with its solid build quality and not only that, but it improves on its predecessor with small upgrades. The upgrades all blend together to offer a nice package. The screen has increased from 5 to 5.2″, the memory has been bumped up to 3GB, and it comes with a Snapdragon 801 processor. The screen resolution remains the same at 1920 x 1080, but the battery is now a whopping 3200 mAH, which should be enough to get the average user, and even some power users through the day.

Sony wasn’t done with the their offerings and they also released what many consider to be the thinnest tablet of all at a mere 6.4mm thickness. The Z2 Tablet, like the phone, has a Snapdragon 801 processor in tow as well and also the 3GB of memory. Digital noise cancellation when used with a headset, and a host of accessories will be available including the now mandatory keyboard cover. Sony has been known to produce dust and water proof electronics in recent times, and they have not deviated from this winning formula with their latest phone and tablet offerings.

Muktware_Xperia_z2

LG

With the success of the Nexus 4, 5 and the G2, LG has risen to prominence and is ever aiming for Samsung’s crown on the Android throne. Shortly before MWC, LG launched the G Pro 2 in Korea and we soon learned of its awesomeness. It packs a 5.9″ screen, a 1080p resolution, a 13 megapixel camera and comes with 16 or 32GB of onboard storage, even though you can add more via the Micro SD slot. Like the Note 3, you’ll be able to shoot 4K videos and of course, Android 4,4 KitKat is on board. The G Pro 2 suprisingly features the Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 Ghz, 3GB of Ram and, like the Z2, contains a 3200 mAH battery. There is no mistake that this phone is a direct competitor to the Note 3 and all other phablets for that matter.

Nokia

I know that some of us may have scratched our heads at the sight of Nokia being one of the Android OEMs, but, as of MWC 2014, Nokia may be considered as such. Please note that doing so may come with some consequences depending on who your friends are. Nokia launched their ‘Nokia X’ line of Android phones at MWC this year, and the Android community has not been fully receptive of it, but, that was to be expected. The X, X+ and XL are poorly specked when compared to today’s average smartphones, and they are clearly a sign of Nokia testing the waters out before investing in any real hardware for the Android market.

Muktware_Nokia_XL

Members of the Android community have long wished for a Nokia made handset that runs Android out of the box, but few wanted it to be a forked version. Sadly, that’s exactly what we got. A forked version of Android that looks more like Windows Phone than Android itself. That said, Nokia has claimed that it will run about 70% of the Play Store apps, which, if my math is correct, is in the region of at least 700,000 applications. Like some members of the Lumia line, these phones are also geared towards the low end market but it has to be priced competitively because we now understand that the Moto G is doing pretty well right now.

Asus

The most noteworthy of Asus’ contributions at MWC was the Asus PW100 Nexus 7 dock. The dock features wireless charging and can be used in both landscape as well as portrait mode, although it will only charge your Nexus 7 in landscape mode. If you can get past the $90 price tag (or there about), then I have reason to believe that you will love this device. Based on reviews, the build quality is amazing —  something that we’ve come to expect from Asus, and we’ve also learned that it works with the Nexus 4, 5 and other Qi compatible devices that you may own.

Motorola

I waited patiently for Motorola’s conference, and then even more for their revelation of a new product, but it did not come. There was none. Instead, they did reveal some bits of information. For example, they will be making a smartwatch that will actually look good; something that all good watches do. A 2nd generation Moto X is also expected in August of this year and, considering the splash that the G and the X made in 2013 and even now, we have high hopes for Motorola’s next set of devices. Although no new hardware was presented at MWC from Motorola, they did let us in on their future products, and this was worthy of an honorable mention.

As we await the release dates for some of the devices that were shown at MWC; the S5, Gear Fit, Z2 and G Pro 2 were the stand out performers of the week. There’s very little to separate those at the top these days. Screens, sizes and specs are generally similar at this point, but it just means that OEMs have to try a bit harder to differentiate themselves from the pack. Tell us readers, which device got you excited? Are you going to buy any as soon as they’re released or are you waiting for that Motorola watch to be unveiled? Feel free to let us know.

Image Sources: Mashable, BGR

LG’s G Pro 2 is revealed with 3GB of RAM

We’ve known that it was coming, and now LG has mad it official. The LG G Pro 2, the follow up to the G Pro features a 5.9″ screen with a resolution of 1920 x 1080p, a 13 megapixel camera and 16 or 32GB of storage come as standard. Like the Note 3, you’ll be able to shoot 4K videos and of course, Android 4,4 KitKat is on board. The G Pro 2 features the not so top notch Snapdragon 800 processor clocked at 2.26 Ghz, 3GB of Ram and contains a 3200 mAH battery. There is no mistake that this phone is a direct competitor to the Note 3 and all other phablets for that matter.

A bevy of other features include slow motion video taking, a MicroSD card slot for up to 64GB of additional storage and a newly implemented ‘Knock Code’ feature that can be used to unlock your device. The G Pro 2 is feature packed, and I’m sure that there’ll be something for everyone, but I’m not yet sold on the implementation of buttons on the back of the device nor am I sold on phones that are this large, but they do have their customers. Many have grown to love the size and the rear mounted buttons, and with sides that are just a few millimeters thin, it seems like LG had no choice in the matter.

We don’t know when the device will be available around the world, but if you’re in Korea, you can grab one now. I’m glad that LG is aiming for a minimal look and have decided to ditch the physical home button in favour of on screen ones. With Motorola already having made the switch and HTC looking like they will do the same, it just leaves Samsung to complete the transition for a more uniformed, and in my opinion, pleasant Android experience. Hit the link below for more details on LG’s latest competitor.

LG G2 Pro to feature upgraded image-stabilizing ‘plus’ camera

After recently confirming the name and release of its upcoming device, LG has now come up with some more information on the G2 Pro smartphone. According to the company, the Optimus G Pro’s successor will come packed with a 13-megapixel camera with improved optical image stabilization (OIS+).

Video function-wise, the phone will include slow-motion video capture as well as ultra HD video capture (at 3,840 x 2,160).

The company has also added a software upgrade to the optical image stabilisation camera (featured on its preceding Android devices). It has named the new feature as ‘Electro Image System’ and it should help keep those 13-megapixel shots even sharper.

The handset will pack a 6-inch 1080p HD display, a Snapdragon 800 processor and 3GB RAM, also include support for both LTE and LTE-Advanced connectivity.

Software-wise, the device is most likely to feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS.

Among other launches, MWC 2014 is also likely to see the launch of the LG G2 Pro phone. Korean website DC Inside earlier leaked a pair of images of the device featuring a rear-mounted button configuration mirroring the G2 phone.

Photo Credit: Mashable

The Red Nexus 5 is here in all its glory (Edited)

We’ve seen the leaked images for quite some time now and the release date was also rumoured. Google has released the “bright red” Nexus 5 in Google Play today. The red version of the Nexus 5 does not deviate from the previous pricing. The 16GB version still costs $349/£299 and the 32GB goes for $399/£339. The phones are all ready to ship within the next couple days.

LG has announced that the phone will be available in the U.S., Germany, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan and Korea from this month. The OEM also states that other EU countries will be privy to the device by the end of the month.

In a released a statement, LG stated; “The Nexus line has always been about doing things differently and consumers who share this philosophy have been among our most loyal fans,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “We’re carrying this thinking over to the red Nexus 5, which we think will catch the eye of consumers who want to make an even bolder statement.

I think LG just admitted that their Nexus devices are their hottest sellers, but you’ll be the judge. If you wish to grab one of these bright dudes, click this link and have your fill.

PS. We have just received word that if you live in the San Francisco area and you purchase this scorcher, Google will fulfill same day delivery via Google Shopping Express. This service has been in testing for some time now, and it seems like they’re ready to go public with it.

Sources: LG Blog, Google Play