Twitter purchases Android lockscreen app Cover

Twitter purchases Android lockscreen app CoverTwitter has confirmed its acquisition of Cover, a lockscreen app for Android devices that lets users customize what applications and shortcuts they want to see when the phone is locked.

Cover founders Todd Jackson, Gordon Luk and Edward Ho says the app will remain live in the Google Play Store, but that could change. “If that changes down the road, we’ll provide another update here,” reads the blog post.

While it is unclear what Twitter will do with Cover, or what the companies are working on, the deal will certainly help Twitter to integrate better with Android. “Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android,” reads the post. “They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen. We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.”

Twitter, which is primarily a mobile-based service, makes most of its ad revenue from its mobile users and having Twitter prominently in the lockscreen is a good way to make sure users don’t forget about the service. Cover was moderately popular, with over 300,000 users.

There was no word on how much Twitter paid for the company.

Amazon denies report that it will offer free TV, music video streaming service

Amazon denies report that it will offer free TV, music video streaming serviceAmazon has denied the WSJ’s report that the e-commerce giant was planning to offer a free TV and music video service that would have been supported by ads.

“We’re often experimenting with new things, but we have no plans to offer a free streaming-media service,” Amazon spokeswoman Sally Fouts noted. This is the second time in recent memory that the company has had to deny a WSJ report. In January, the outlet reported that the company was looking to start an Internet-based TV service. That story was quickly denied, as well.

The service would have featured original content, said the report, similar to what is available for Prime subscribers. Prime users pay $99 a year for free two-day shipping on millions of items and access to the free streaming library of movies and TV shows.

Additionally, the service would have possibly included licensed TV programming, added the report. Regardless of the validity of the report, investors were spooked out of Netflix, with the company’s stock falling nearly 3 percent on the news.

Ryan Seacrest invests seven figures in keyboard for iPhone

Ryan Seacrest invests seven figures in keyboard for iPhoneMillionaire entertainment mogul Ryan Seacrest has invested over $1 million in a new startup that will bring a full QWERTY keyboard to the iPhone 5/5S.

The “Typo Keyboard” will be unveiled officially at the CES event in Las Vegas next month, and Seacrest (who is also a co-founder) is expected to invest over $5 million into the concept.

In the company’s press release, they give a bit more back story into Seacrest’s involvement: “The back story of Seacrest’s interest in this — for many of his friends and colleagues, carrying two phones was a habit: One for typing and correspondence and an iPhone for virtually everything else. One night, Ryan and his friend Laurence Hallier, CEO of Show Media, were out to dinner and both had phones on the table. Two people, four phones!”

Rival offerings did not live up to their expectations and Seacrest and the company have taken the last two years to develop the Typo, which doubles as a case, as well.

See it here:

HBO Go now available through Google Chromecast

HBO Go now available through Google ChromecastGame of Thrones fans received some great news this week as HBO announced that their popular HBO Go platform is now available through Google’s Chromecast HDMI dongle.

Says the search giant: “Grab your favorite snack and get cozy on your Iron Throne, because HBO GO has added Chromecast support to their Android, iOS and web app. Now you can easily enjoy “Game of Thrones,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Girls” and your favorite movies on your TV by casting from the HBO GO app or website.

To start casting from HBO GO, just check that you have the latest version of the app for Android or iOS. You can also cast from using Chrome browser on your laptop or any Chromebook. The mobile and web apps will be rolling out over the next few days.”

As with other services, once you download the app or visit the web page, you just have to hit the “cast” button to send the stream to your TV via your home network.


First iOS game controller, MOGA Ace Power, now available

First iOS game controller, MOGA Ace Power, now availableMOGA has announced the launch of the first iOS 7 game controller today, the Ace Power.

The controller plugs into the lightning port of the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S and fifth-generation iPod Touch, and has standard dual analog sticks, a D-pad, multiple action buttons and trigger L1/R1/L2/R2 buttons.

Additionally, the controller will charge your device while in use, allowing for extended gameplay time.

Many who have reviewed the controller have panned it, however, citing a lack of testing by developers who may have already implemented support into their apps. For example, the virtual buttons still show up on the screen regardless of whether the controller is plugged in or not.

Furthermore, there is huge noticeable lag when trying to play via AirPlay, making it unusable.

At $99, most reviewers claim the controller feels cheap, but it will be available in Apple retail stores as well as online if you want to test it.

Apple unveils iPhone 5s & iPhone 5c

Apple unveils iPhone 5s & iPhone 5cApple has unveiled its new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones, catering to the high-end and low cost smartphone markets.

The iPhone 5s is available in gold, silver and grey, designed with high-grade aluminium with cut chamfered edges. As widely speculated before today, the new iPhone 5s supports fingerprint authentication through Touch ID. It uses a laser cut sapphire crystal, together with the capacitive touch sensor, to take a high-resolution image of your fingerprint and intelligently analyze it to provide accurate readings from any angle. It is built right into the Home button.

All fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s; it’s never stored on Apple servers or backed up to iCloud

The iPhone 5s is powered by the new 64-bit A7 chip, which provides processing and graphics performance twice as fast as the A6, according to Apple. The upcoming iOS 7 comes with native 64-bit kernel, libraries, and drivers, with Xcode support and backwards compatibility.

The iPhone 5s also includes the new M7 motion coprocessor that gathers data from the accelerometer, gyroscope and compass to offload work from the A7 for improved power efficiency. The new CoreMotion APIs will let developers exploit the advantages of the M7.

The iPhone 5s has a new 8 megapixel iSight camera with a 15 percent larger active sensor area (f/2.2 aperture). These improvements, along with the Apple-designed image signal processor in the A7 chip and the new Camera app in iOS 7, provide up to two-times faster auto-focus, faster photo capture, automatic image and video stabilization, and better dynamic range.

The new True Tone flash variably adjusts color and intensity for over 1,000 combinations, so photos taken with a flash appear more natural. iPhone 5s also includes a new Burst Mode, Slo-Mo video with 120 fps, a new FaceTime HD camera for better low-light performance and audio-only FaceTime calls with iOS 7.


You can also shoot video at 720p at 120fps, allowing you to select areas of the video to play in slow motion.

As for the battery life, Apple estimates 250 hours standby on a charge, or 10 hours 3G talk time, 10 hours LTE browsing time or 40 hours of music playback.

Now for the most important information of all, how much an iPhone 5S costs and when it will be available. With a two year contact, the iPhone 5S is available with 16GB storage for $199, 32GB of storage for $299 and 64GB of storage for $399. It will be available from September 20 from stores.

iPhone 5c

Apple also unveiled the iPhone 5c, a low-cost iPhone set to compete with budget Android smartphones.

The iPhone 5c – available in White, Blue, Pink, Yellow and Green – features a 4-inch retina display with full sRGB, powered by an A6. The front of the smartphone is one multitouch surface, while the sides and back are comprised of a single part. It is made with hard-coated polycarbonate, though reinforced with a steel structure.

It features an 8MP iSight camera with a 5-element lens, and a new Facetime HD camera. It supports dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11abgn) and Bluetooth 4.0.

The iPhone 5C be available from September 20, priced at $99 for 16GB and $199 for 32GB.

Apple also announced today that iOS 7 will be available from September 18, free for iPhone 4 or newer, iPad 2 or newer, iPad mini and the fifth generation iPod Touch.

Report: BlackBerry patent portfolio worth up to $3 billion, or more

Report: BlackBerry patent portfolio worth up to $3 billion, or moreEarlier this week we reported that BlackBerry had confirmed it would be open to selling itself and going private in order to help its turnaround efforts.

Many scoffed at the idea as the company has very little, on the surface, to offer a potential buyer. Its hardware business has collapsed, its latest operating system cannot compete with Android and iOS and its popular BlackBerry Messenger application has been supplanted by Line and WhatsApp, which already have 300 percent more users.

That being said, the company’s patent portfolio is potent.

The company has “5,236 active U.S. patents and about 3,730 active applications in the wireless communications space,” says ATD.

Chris Marlett, CEO of MDB Capital Group, says that portfolio is strong: “$2 billion to $3 billion … is easily justified … as there are approximately 9,000 patent assets with probably 100,000 claims that someone could take a shot at you with in a lawsuit.”

That is a basic figure, says Marlett as there could be a premium placed by competing companies. “If (there’s) a bidding war, I think the number can go as high as $4 billion to $5 billion,” Marlett added. “This is probably the last big and current [wireless] portfolio available. I don’t expect any other wireless-focused portfolio this big will come up for sale again anytime soon, so there will be intense interest in this portfolio.”

Of course there are only a few companies that could afford to compete for the full portfolio; Samsung, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

Google launches Chromecast, Chrome OS-based media, Internet stick

Google launches Chromecast, Chrome OS-based media, Internet stick After unveiling their updated Nexus 7, Google used today’s press event to unveil the Chromecast, a small media and Internet stick that can be plugged into your TV’s HDMI port to sling content via Wi-Fi.

At a cost of just $35, the stick should unlock the Internet for those that do not have Smart TVs, set-top boxes or video game consoles. All new orders also receive three free months of Netflix, even if you are a an existing subscriber, effectively dropping the price to almost nothing (unless you don’t care for Netflix).

More importantly, the Chromecast lets you sling content from Android and iOS phones and tablets, Chromebooks and on Mac and Windows PCs via the Chrome browser.

You can control your TV via the stick, as well, from your device, including playback and volume. If your TV cannot power directly from the HDMI, there is an adapter included, as well.

With the exception of Silverlight and Quicktime video, any other web video or audio source will play on the TV if it plays in your Chrome desktop browser. You’ll be able to run Netflix, Pandora, HBO GO, Hulu and Rdio among others that are not normally easily played without specialized apps.

The device will of course need testing, but it certainly sounds good on paper.