Selfie fans: Lenovo is launching a ‘dual selfie camera’ smartphone

VibeS1_DualCamera

Today Lenovo revealed its Vibe S1 smartphone featuring two front facing cameras.

That’s right, the Vibe S1 is all about taking selfies. Equipped with an 8-megapixel main camera for capturing detail and a 2-megapixel camera for depth, this phone also features editing tools for creating the ultimate selfie. In contrast the iPhone 6 Plus features a 1.2 mega-pixel front facing camera; even the Samsung S6 Edge taps out at 5 mega-pixels for its front facing camera.

Meanwhile, the Vibe S1 has a 13 mega-pixel rear facing camera that also comes with autofocus and dual-color flash.

The phone also features 160GB worth of storage — meaning you can load up on selfies and other photos. If that’s not enough, the Vibe S1 also has an external microSD drive for additional storage.

The phone with its 5-inch display will cost around $299, depending on the carrier, and will be available next month. However, don’t expect to find it in it in the U.S. The phone will only be sold in Lenovo countries.

For more of the camera’s specs see below:lenovo vibe s1 Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 2.54.39 PM


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Snapchat Hires A New Growth Lead

Snap by "RonenV" Snapchat has hired a new growth lead from Facebook as it continues its trek to being one of the most valuable social networking companies in the world. Anthony Pompliano, a product manager that led growth and engagement for Facebook pages, has joined the company to lead Snapchat’s growth team, he said in a Tweet earlier today. Snapchat confirmed the hire, saying he will be on the… Read More

Motorola unveils its next-generation Moto 360 and the new Moto 360 Sport

Moto_360_(2nd gen)_Combo_Lifestyle

With little surprise, Motorola today unveiled the next generation of its round Moto 360 smartwatch line, featuring two sizes for Men — 46mm and 42mm, a sport model with GPS, a women’s collection available just in the 42mm size, and customization support via Motorola’s “Moto Maker” service.

The updated 360 will set you back between $300 and $430, depending on which model you choose. Eager Android Wear fans can preorder the new 360 now online (link coming shortly) — but you’ll have to wait for the new sport model — “We’ll share more details on Moto 360 Sport availability soon,” says Motorola. The standard 360 will hit stores “starting in late September at Nordstrom, BestBuy, and Verizon,” Motorola tells us.

Announced in Berlin at the IFA electronics conference, today’s unveiling follows a series of detailed leaks which revealed the 360’s specs and launch plan. Still, the device ranks among the most interesting Apple Watch competitors for Android fans, making it worth keeping an eye on even if you can’t stand the display’s “flat tire” gap.

The new Moto 360

Moto_360_(2nd gen)_Black_Tan_Hero

Motorola touts that the new 360 features a “refined case design with extended lugs for improved fit.” The gadget, which we went hands-on with yesterday, looks just a bit different from the original with redesigned lugs, tweaked physical button placement, and more generous customization options via Moto Maker (just like the Moto X smartphone line). Motorola now also offers a new 42mm size — 4mm smaller than the original.

Moto 360 Sport

moto 360 sport

The 360 Sport is perhaps the most exciting news today — even if we knew about it beforehand. We still don’t know its price, but the rubber-bodied gadget will likely cost less than the Apple Watch Sport, and features built-in GPS, the ability to play music without a smartphone, and a hybrid display designed for viewing notifications in sunlight.

“Designed for her”

Moto_360_(2nd gen)_Combo_Icecream

Motorola’s women’s line is basically an admission that the original 360 was made for men — a common trend for smartwatch makers. Only available in the smaller 42mm size — much to our own Sindy Nanclares‘ frustration — the women’s line features different case and band designs, pictured above. This move may help differentiate the Moto 360 from Apple, which offers arguably gender-neutral designs.


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Google Classroom gets a Chrome extension so teachers and students can open sites together

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is issuing some new features and improvements ahead of the new school year, including a new Chrome extension that let’s students and teachers share websites with their whole class.

Google Classroom launched a year ago to give teachers a way to connect with students online and eschew paper assignment sheets in favor of digital homework. It’s since rolled out its Classroom apps on mobile iOS and Android devices.

The new Chrome extension, called Mission Control, is compatible with any kind of laptop and enables a class to view a webpage together without fussing with links.

In addition to the new Chrome Extension, Google is giving students the option of typing up documents with their voice, a research tool for searching Google without leaving Docs, and an improved way to track changes in documents.

Google Classroom is also rolling out new themes in Forms, it’s survey creation tool. Students will also notice they’ll be able to add GIFs, video, and new question formats to their polls.

Finally, Google Classroom is adding a new Explore feature to its spreadsheet program called Sheets to help students spot trends and analyze data.


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Google Docs gets Google search integration, speech recognition, and automatic chart generation

The new Explore feature in Google Sheets.

Google is introducing today several nifty features for its widely used Google Docs suite of web services. Most importantly, you’ll now be able to search for information and photos with Google search and easily add it into documents right from within the apps. Also, you’ll now be able to use Google’s speech recognition system to dictate words and put them into your documents.

Additionally, Google is building on its charting capabilities in Google Sheets with a new Explore feature that automatically generates charts and summarizes information about them in short snippets of text.

Also new: a convenient “See new changes” button, a bunch of templates (similar to Microsoft Office) for users to choose from when they get started, and a redesigned experience for Google Forms.


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The ability to search for and plop web content right into documents on Android and desktop (no word on iOS yet) is what stands out today, though.

“It’s really focused on how to make Android a great and powerful platform for creating content,” Google product manager Ritcha Ranjan told reporters at a press event today where Google showed off the new features.

But the bigger theme is taking two of Google’s most powerful assets — voice recognition in more than 40 languages a la Google Now and, of course, Google search — and making Docs stronger.

These feel like some of the biggest additions to Docs in several years. That might seem like an unnerving thing — like when Facebook made some of its first big changes to News Feed — but the changes really do make sense.

Automatically displaying a variety of charts (scatter plot, line graphs, bar charts, pie charts) based on data dropped into a spreadsheet in Sheets — that could well be a shock to users who have long carefully crafted their own charts. That functionality is not going away, by the way.

But it could be very convenient to be able to instantly see multiple visualizations of data and actual insights, like patterns hidden in data, and calculations on averages and ranges.

That’s especially the case when people are working with large data sets. Even so, the results can still be impressive when you hit the new Explore button on a spreadsheet with just a couple dozen rows and a few columns.

My favorite addition, though, has to be the voice recognition. Now it’s just way easier to compose a document. It’s perfect when you just don’t feel like typing. All Google has to do now is add this feature to Gmail.

Google Classroom mugs.

Above: Google Classroom mugs.

Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeat
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Android developers can now build Chrome custom tabs into their apps

Google Chrome mobile Darren Harvey Flickr

Google released Chrome 45 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android yesterday, and today we’re learning that the Android update includes support for a new feature called Chrome custom tabs. You can download the new Chrome version now from Google Play, but you won’t see Chrome custom tabs right away — today’s news is primarily aimed at developers. That said, Google has partnered with a few apps already — Feedly, The Guardian, Medium, Player.fm, Skyscanner, Stack Overflow, Tumblr, and Twitter will support custom tabs “in the coming weeks.”

Google first shared details about Chrome custom tabs when it unveiled Android Marshmallow at its I/O conference in May, but to be clear, the feature is available to all Android versions that can run Chrome 45 (Jelly Bean and up). Instead of dumping the user into the browser or using a WebView, developers can use Chrome custom tabs to leverage all of the browser’s features while still maintaining the app’s design. Features like automatic sign in, saved passwords, Tap to Search, and autofill are all available.

Here is how Chrome custom tabs work when developers build the functionality into their app. When the user opens a link in an app, it loads in a Chrome custom tab. This new view appears native to the app as developers are essentially customizing Chrome’s look and feel to match the app, including changing the toolbar color, adjusting the transition animations, and even adding custom actions to the toolbar that let the user interact with the app. On top of all this, content loads more quickly.

CCT_Large 2

In fact, Google says custom tabs are optimized to load faster than WebViews and traditional methods of launching Chrome. Because apps can pre-fetch pages in the background, they appear to load nearly instantly when the user navigates to them.

Chrome’s security features, including multi-process architecture and permissions model, are also available. Custom tabs use the same cookies as Chrome, meaning users stayed signed into sites.


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Google explains the issue that Chrome custom tabs is trying to solve:

Android app developers face a difficult tradeoff when it comes to showing web content in their Android app. Opening links in the browser is familiar for users and easy to implement, but results in a heavy-weight transition between the app and the web. You can get more granular control by building a custom browsing experience on top of Android’s WebView, but at the cost of more technical complexity and an unfamiliar browsing experience for users.

If you’re a developer that finds the above intriguing, check out the Chrome custom tabs developer guide.

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APNewsBreak: Egg group scrambled over eggless mayo maker

The American Egg Board, which is responsible for the "Incredible, Edible Egg" slogan, waged a campaign to counter the emergence of Hampton Creek's Just Mayo spread, and even tried to prevent its sale at Whole Foods grocery stores, according to documents provided to The Associated Press. The documents offer a sometimes comic glimpse into the alarm the egg group felt about the startup and its CEO, Josh Tetrick, who has said he wants to make the food system more environmentally friendly by replacing the eggs in an array of foods with plant-based alternatives.