"Our major aims were usability, friendliness and a more humanistic design. We wanted something with a pleasing feel ... and better grip. If we used metal, [we felt] the designs felt heavy and cold," explains Senior Product Designer Dong Hun Kim, pointing to why Samsung still plays in polycarb. "But with plastic, the texture is warmer. We believe users will find [the device] both warmer and friendlier. This material was also the best at visually expressing volume, better at symbolizing our design concepts." The design concept for Samsung's Galaxy S5? Modern and flash -- and boy, that blue GS5 is certainly flashy. In the middle of a design library deep inside Samsung's "Digital City" in Suwon, Jeeyeun Wang, Samsung's principal user experience designer continues, putting it to me this way: the smartphone is no longer a cold slab of technology; "it's a fashion product now."
Google's mobile-streaming tech has a lot going for it, but listening to music stored in Mountain View's cloud is still limited to a handful of home devices. AirPlay-compatible gadgets, however, are a probably a bit more common than the Nexus Q, Chromecast and Sonos systems are, and developer doubleTwist's latest project acts as a bridge between the two ecosystems. The outfit recently released "AirPlay for Android," which is exactly what it sounds like: the tweak open's the search giant's media-streaming to AirPlay devices. The rub is that your device running Google's mobile OS has to be rooted for the hack to work. First, grab and install the aforementioned APK from the dev's blog, launch Google Play Music (GPM) and hit the Cast button. From there, you need to grant root access to the app, force-stop it and then relaunch. Viola! AirPlay devices on your wireless network should populate the list of compatible targets.
If we draw an almost totally arbitrary line in the sand and call it "500 pixels per inch," then smartphones now stand proudly on one side of it, while tablets still languish on the other. Japan Display is gently nudging the market forward, however, with the 4K 12-inch tablet panel we saw last year (which offered 365 ppi) and now with a 4K 10-inch prototype that delivers a much higher pixel density of 438 ppi. That's good news for Chuck Yeagers who reckon they can spot the difference, but Japan Display is promising something even more important: It claims its 4K (3,840 x 2,160) screens have just the same appetite for energy as the regular 2,560 x 1,600 panels found in many tablets today. That means 4K slates could arrive at no cost to battery life, relative to current technology, leaving us with just the pesky financial and computational overheads to deal with instead.
Source: Japan Display
Internet calling and messaging service Viber does a solid job of constantly bringing new features to its apps, regardless of the platform. Now, some seven months after iOS 7 was released, Viber is finally changing the looks of its iPhone app to match that flat, minimalist appearance of Apple's OS. Aside from overhauling the UI, the Viber application now also lets you create a list of numbers you'd like to block and send longer video messages to people. The company's CEO, Talmon Marco, tells us this update isn't just about iOS 7, however. "This is the first time we are introducing a new look and feel for Viber. Our goal was to create a simple and friendly interface but at the same time establish a solid foundation for future updates," Marco stated. In other words, don't be surprised when you see some of these design cues make their way to other Viber apps, like those on Windows Phone 8 and Android.
Source: App Store
Rarely do we see a tech startup spending five months actively hyping up an unborn product; and when we do, most of them end up being vaporware. Luckily, that's not the case with OnePlus. Today, the Shenzhen-based company has finally unveiled its first smartphone, the One (not to be confused with the HTC One). While the device's impressive specs have already been listed in detail beforehand, OnePlus had remained tight-lipped about the actual prices (unsubsidized) until today: $299/€269 for the 16GB model, and $349/€299 for the 64GB flavor; both due mid to late May. This aggressive pricing is obviously going right after the Nexus 5 ($349 for 16GB, $399 for 32GB), but is this too good to be true? %Gallery-slideshow189680% %Gallery-slideshow189784%