News

Forget Flappy Bird. We're all hooked on 2048

CNET Update is much loving Doge2048:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn why 2048 is the new Flappy Bird, and say goodbye to productivity when you discover the parody game Doge2048. But if you want a game with more substance, check out "Papers, please," which won top honors at the Independent Games Festival.

- Know your Gmail is always encrypted, now that Google requires HTTPS.

- Gawk at the price of Samsung's 110-inch 4K television.

- Head to CNET on Tuesday to follow the live unveiling of the new HTC One smartphone.

CNET Update delivers the … Read more

Moto 360 will use sapphire glass, wireless charging -- report

Motorola has touted the premium materials for its upcoming Moto 360 smartwatch, which could include a step-up for its face.

The Moto 360 could employ a sapphire glass face, according to games and gadget blog G for Games, which cited unnamed sources.

In addition, the site reported that the Moto 360 could also use an OLED display, as well as magnetic induction wireless charging.

A Motorola representative declined to comment on the rumor, but teased more to come.

These rumored details seem to fit in with what Motorola has hinted at with the Moto 360. Sapphire is often used in … Read more

Sprint lays off 330 techs, shutters 55 stores as part of broader cuts

Sprint recently cut a significant chunk of its staff dedicated to repairing and refurbishing phones and shut down its slower-performing stores, part of a broader effort to reduce the company's costs in the face of continued financial struggles.

The Overland Park, Kan., wireless carrier laid off 330 technical consultants, closing 150 service and repair centers across the country, a Sprint representative confirmed to CNET. It also shut down 55 of its worst-performing retail stores. The moves were part of a larger plan for layoffs and cuts that was announced in January.

Sprint is attempting to streamline itself and return … Read more

Twitter makes it easy to find first tweets

CNET Update is figuring out this Twitter thing:

In this episode of Update:

- Get the prices of Samsung's new Gear smartwatches, arriving April 11 with the Galaxy S5. (But perhaps you'll want to see what Motorola has in store for the Moto 360 before buying a Gear.)

- Launch your Android camera with the Google Search app and the magic words, "OK Google, take a photo."

- Take a peek at the latest design for Valve's Steam Machine video game controller.

- Make friends with someone that owns a PlayStation if you want to … Read more

Sony steps closer to VR with Project Morpheus

CNET Update takes the blue pill:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn more about Sony's Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4.

- Smile for the camera: Facebook is able to identify your face among millions of photos with technology called DeepFace.

- Use Skype on Android without killing your battery life.

- Pay more for commercial-free Pandora One, starting in May.

- Upgrade an older home into a smart home with the Aros window-mounted air conditioner.

CNET Update delivers the tech news you need in under three minutes. Watch Bridget Carey every afternoon for … Read more

Sony kicks off Android 4.4 KitKat rollout across Xperia line

Sony has started rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat across its Xperia line.

The company on Wednesday announced that the Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z1 Compact are getting KitKat updates starting on Wednesday, though timing and availability vary by market and carrier. Sony said the KitKat upgrade includes the standard interface improvements baked into the mobile OS, along with the company's "tweaked" Status Bar and Quick Settings features. Sony's KitKat installation also includes PlayStation 4-like user interface elements.

Like most mobile vendors, Sony customizes the standard version of Google's Android to … Read more

Skype for Android promises 'aggressive battery savings'

Smartphone makers are chasing new features like bigger screens, fingerprint readers, and motion sensors, but a consistent item I hear on ordinary people's wishlists is longer battery life.

Apparently somebody at Skype is listening.

Microsoft on Tuesday released an update to its service for voice, video, and text chat that comes with "aggressive battery savings," according to the Google Play store.

That means people can "leave Skype running all day with no noticeable battery drain," the company said.

One way the savings was achieved, though, was turning off push notifications for group chat. That can … Read more

Watch what's in store for Android Wear

CNET Update talks to the wrist:

In this episode of Update:

- Check out Google's Android Wear, the operating system for smartwatches and other wearable technology. Motorola will use Android Wear for its upcoming smartwatch, the Moto 360.

- Say adieu to the iPad 2. Apple killed off the iPad 2 model and is now selling the fourth-gen iPad with Retina Display instead.

- A new, less expensive iPhone 5C with half the storage went on sale overseas. But it's not worth getting a phone with only 8 GB of storage.

- Trade-in your video games for Walmart store credit, … Read more

Firefox 28 aims for easier media playback

Firefox 28 debuts with an emphasis on under-the-hood improvements to keep the browser in line with the latest plug-in-free media playback tools.

VP9 decoding and Opus support in WebM keeps Firefox current with the royalty-free codecs that power media playback in HTML5.

They're not exactly another nail in the coffin for Flash, since Firefox already offers broad HTML5 media playback support, but they do signal that plug-in-free codecs are maturing into broad usability.

Firefox 28 for desktops also gets a new volume control for HTML5 audio and video, and Mac OS X users get Notification Center support for Web … Read more

LG's G Pro 2 sales spread to big Asian markets

LG Electronics has begun selling its G Pro 2 in some Asian countries, but people in other regions who want the big Android phone will have to wait to see if carriers express any interest.

The phone has a large 5.9-inch 1920x1080 screen, good performance, Android 4.4. KitKat, and the Knock Code mechanism for waking up and unlocking the phone. It's a companion to the LG's flagship G2 Android phone and several lower-end models with which the company is trying to make headway against its Korean rival, Samsung.

LG began selling it in February in Korea … Read more