Mod gives Nexus 5 camera a performance boost

The Nexus 5's camera is already being reworked by the Android faithful.

(Credit: Josh Miller/CNET)

Fans of Google’s Nexus series of smartphones often have lots of positive things to say about the devices, but glowing praise for the included camera usually isn’t included.

While the recently released Nexus 5 makes some improvements on the lackluster shooter of its predecessor, the Nexus 4, a hacker over at the XDA developers forum has taken it a step further with a mod that’s like digital steroids for its 8-megapixel camera.

LG fanatic and India-based developer Jishnu Sur has been continuously refining his modification, which basically boost’s the camera’s video, audio, and image quality to maximum levels and also speeds up focusing, turns on edge enhancement, and makes a few other tweaks.

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Since the Nexus 5 currently staying in my house doesn’t actually belong to me, I’ve decided not to ro… [Read more]

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Why the Nexus 5 should advance touchless control

Will the new Nexus always have its ears open?

(Credit: Tutto Android)

The Android-gossip consensus is that we’ll see a Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 KitKat revealed on Tuesday, yet we’ve heard of no confirmation or official invites to any unveiling.

Whether the big debut of the next pure Google phone has been pushed back or not, there’s one killer feature I expect to see in the next Nexus that hasn’t been directly addressed by the multitude of leaks — the touchless control capability we’ve already come to know through Motorola’s Moto X and latest Droids.

Voice control assistants like Google Now and Apple’s Siri didn’t revolutionize our relationships with our devices and the wider digital world overnight, but Google continues to play the long game on the concep… [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Nexus 5/KitKat leaks get the video treatment in 7-minute clip

Screenshot by CNET

We’ve had just about all the leaked photos we can handle of Google’s yet-to-be-released Nexus flagship phone and Android 4.4 KitKat, thank you very much. (Or at least photos of gadgets that purportedly show the Nexus 5 and the new OS.)

Now, we think, a little video might be nice.

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Well, it seems we’re in luck. Hot on the heels of photo leaks featured on Italian tech site Tutto and on tech blog GadgetHelpLine, another exotic site, Club SFR Smartphones, is serving up a full seven minutes of smartphone porn for our (and your) viewing pleasure.

Blog Android Police … [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Nexus 5 rumor mill churns out word of an LG G2 cousin

A possible preview of the Nexus 5?

(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

With the Moto X hitting the general public in less than a week now, naturally it’s time to re-calibrate the rumor mill to grind up speculation about Google’s next big smartphone move — the anticipated Nexus 5.

The latest tidbit comes from Vietnam, which is a hot bed of smartphone manufacturing — Samsung’s plant there is one of the largest in the world — and the bloggers at tinhte.vn who have been accurate with leaks in the past. They claim to have the scoop on a new Nexus design from LG that will be very similar to the recently unveiled G2.

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The specifics include a… [Read more]

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Will Motorola follow the Moto X with a new Nexus phone?

Coming to a Motorola boot screen by the end of the year?

(Credit: Google)

At an event in New York earlier this month to an unveil its upcoming Moto X, Motorola head product guy Rick Osterloh made it clear that the company’s first phone fully designed and delivered as a Google subsidiary was not a Nexus phone. In fact, it doesn’t even ship with the latest version of Android. But apparently, that doesn’t mean they don’t have a Nexus in the works.

Android blogger Taylor Wimberly, whose sources delivered a lot of accurate information before the Moto X event, recently reported that Motorola will release a Nexus smartphone in the final quarter of this year.

When Google purchased Motorola, it was reported that the device-maker’s operations would remain largely independent, and that contracts to make Nexus devices would still be open to competition from all comers. No nepotism for Moto, we were told.

And yet we all (or at least I) suspected that this day would inevitably come. Why wouldn’t Google want an Android reference model phone to be made in-house (or at least in a relative’s house, if you believe the talk of Moto’s inde… [Read more]

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Was this FedEx worker filmed tossing your iPad or Nexus 7?

Well, it gets the boxes loaded more quickly.

(Credit: Banstaman/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

The trouble with working for FedEx is that it’s just boxes, boxes, boxes.

Sometimes you get so fed(ex) up with boxes that you just want to throw the darned things. So sometimes you do.

Sometimes, though, a sneaky little voyeur decides to film you relieving yourself.

And then you are ex-FedEx.

This tale was just repeated this week, after a FedEx worker was filmed merrily throwing piles of boxes, using various techniques, into a truck.

She seemed to be enjoying herself, and the truck was loaded on one of my favorite New York streets: East 44th.

She even seemed to offer that overhand tossing was far more enjoyable than underhand tossing.

Naturally, the footage was posted to the People’s Court: YouTube.

More Technically Incorrect

New Nexus 7 now available in Google Play store

Grab your (Google) Wallet…

(Credit: Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)

Just as it stopped taking orders temporarily for its new Chromecast HDMI dongle, Google has opened the Play store floodgates to take orders for the new Nexus 7 Android tablet.

It still says orders of the second-generation slate running updated Android 4.3 Jelly Bean may not ship until as late as July 30, but free ground shipping is also being thrown in for a limited time. Both the 16GB version ($ 229) and the 32GB ($ 269) models appear to be available for ordering at the moment.

The Play store link is here, and I also recommend checking out the comprehensive Nexus 7 review from the CNET team, as well as why I might be holding off on placing my own Nexus 7 order.

Finally, please let us know if you’re planning to buy one by … [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Google Nexus 7 rumor mill churns out leaked photos

(Credit: Android Central/Screenshot by Joan E. Solsman/CNET)

If there wasn’t enough fanning the Google rumor flames, Android Central posted pictures and video of what it purports to be the likely successor to Google’s Nexus 7.

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Members of the press received an invitation to a Google event next week, with the only hint about the subject being a host in Sundar Pichai, the head of Android. He took over Android chief Andy Rubin’s role when Rubin took on new projects.

[Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Google Nexus fired into space to see if screams are audible

Explorers in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" weren't afraid to take off their helmets and howl.

(Credit: Kerry Brown )

One of the all-time best sci-fi film taglines is to be put to the test. Is it true that “in space no one can hear you scream”?

You could survive exposure to the hard vacuum of space for several seconds, long enough to attempt a yell or yodel. After that, however, bad things will happen.

But thanks to some British boffins at the University of Surrey’s Surrey Space Centre and Surrey Satellite Technology, humanity doesn’t need to test the “Alien” tagline firsthand. They’ve launched a satellite into orbit equipped with a screaming smartphone.

Billed as the first of its kind, the Strand-1 nanosatellite was launched from India and will test how well a Google Nexus fares in space.

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Nexus 7 explodes, lands user free Google Glass

This Android had a meltdown.

(Credit: Baidu)

The Nexus 7 has been one of the smokin’ hot tablets of 2012, and unfortunately for one user in China, that was literally the case.

A Nexus 7 well done. (click for full size)

(Credit: Baidu) The user posted the photo above to a forum on Baidu (China’s home-grown answer to Google), claiming that the device began smoking while plugged in and charging on its original factory charger. In the process, the guts of the tablet seem to have been totally torched.

To me — and likely anyone else who has had the experience of ruining an electrically powered product thanks to the wildly unpredictable and sometimes surging electrical grids of other countries — this sounds like an infrastructure fail. However, we have seen enough reports of malfunctioning, overheating, and even … [Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET