Galaxy S5 ReviewOne of the most anticipated smartphone of 2014 has landed. Announced at MWC 2014, the Samsung Galaxy S5 is now available in retail and scores of people have already upgraded. If you are reading this, it means that you are still sitting on the fence and doing some homework to see if this is the ideal smartphone for you.

As any high-profile device, the Galaxy S5 generates excitement, passion and sometime controversy. The expectations can run high and any disappointment can become noisy and virulent. However important, expectations don’t make a product good or bad, but a solid set of functions (or the lack of) can.

In this review, I will put focus on real-world use case, and share with you my experience of using the GS5 as my primary phone. Ready?
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Zynga Goes Back To Basics With FarmVille 2: Country Escape

Zynga’s FarmVille was once very popular. You would receive dozens of requests from people on Facebook who played the game. It was designed in way that players often needed to request their friends on Facebook to join in just to progress beyond a certain stage. Zynga then released a mobile version in 2010 which was essentially meant as an alternative method to play the desktop version on mobile. The company abandoned it after two years. Now it has gone back to basics by launching a new title called FarmVille 2: Country Escape.

It offers the true FarmVille experience with animals, crops and more that players have long been accustomed to. However its no longer like previous incarnations. Zynga says that it developed this game from the ground up for mobile devices. Its no longer a way to play the desktop version of mobile. FarmVille 2: Country Escape is a bonafide mobile game, though players will be able to interact and share items with the desktop version.

The title is available as a free download from the App Store and Google Play Store, though it offers a variety of in-app purchases through which players can move through the game at bit quicker. Since its a proper mobile game FarmVille 2: Country Escape doesn’t require an internet connection to play and neither does it compel players to connect to the internet like the original version.

Former Microsoft executive Don Mattrick, who became Zynga’s CEO last July, has repeatedly said that the FarmVille franchise will play a major role in turning the country around. Lets see if this new title aids that objective in any significant way.

Xbox Music Update For Windows Phone 8.1 Coming Next Week

Earlier this week Microsoft released Windows Phone 8.1 developers preview. The software itself was unveiled at BUILD 2014 and even though its not going to officially roll out until summer, Microsoft is letting developers and anyone with a compatible device toy around with the preview. Those who had installed it felt that the Xbox Music app needed some work. Microsoft has heard them. Redmond has confirmed that an Xbox Music update for Windows Phone 8.1 is going to be released next week.

Read full post →Xbox Music Update For Windows Phone 8.1 Coming Next Week

Trade In Site Sees One Third Of Galaxy S5 Buyers Switching From iPhone

Samsung’s 2014 flagship was one of the most hotly anticipated devices of this year. At MWC in February the company finally unveiled the Galaxy S5. It went on sale on April 11th in more than 150 countries around the world. A lot of customers will be upgrading from their existing phones to get their hands on this new flagship. Mobile trade-in website CompareMyMobile saw over one third, 38 percent to be precise, of all Galaxy S5 customers shifting from an iPhone.

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Amazon Germany Workers Go On Strike AgainHmmm, it seems that Amazon Germany is suffering from another hiccup yet again. German labor union Verdi did ask workers who earn a living over at online retailer Amazon in Germany (where else) to go on strike today, with the raison d’être being a dispute in pay, which has gone on for quite some time apparently. This is not the first time that Amazon Germany’s workers went on strike, as it happened last year before Christmas.

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Madison For Android Declares War On In App Advertisements

Developers often offer ad-free and ad-supported versions of their applications. This way they can continue to earn money without leaving a subset of users out. Those who want to pay for the app can do so and not see any ads. Those who don’t want to pay have to bear ads, through which developers make money. Though we can all agree that in-app ads are often infuriating and deteriorate the user experience. The folks behind Madison think so as well. Its a new Android application which aims to help users get rid of in-app ads, but the catch is that they have to view “relevant” ad content on their home screens.

For sharing the home screen space with Madison, it rewards users with Google Play credits. These credits can be used to purchase ad-free premium versions of any application. The idea seems simple enough. You agree to seeing relevant ads on your homescreen, get credits in return, buy your favorite apps and games to enjoy an ad-free experience. The Madison app includes a feedback toolbar through which users can like, dislike, skip or share ads based on their preferences, so they do have some say in the content displayed on their home screen.

The startup behind this application says that it is working with national brands to ensure that ads, deals and videos displayed on the home screen are worth putting there. The timing of Madison’s launch depends upon gathering enough brands with ample relevant content, it won’t launch without enough content. It is now accepting signups from people who wish to participate in a private beta, which launches this summer.

Transfer Power Wirelessly Within 5m RadiusWireless charging might be the future, as that would mean there is no longer any more need to grapple with unsightly cables and wires. After all, it would also translate to having one less thing to carry in your suitcase on your travels, but how about expounding on wireless charging by taking things to the next level – that is, wireless power? Apparently, Chun T. Rim, a professor of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering at KAIST, alongside his team, have already demonstrated an improvement in allowing electric power to travel sans wires, calling it the Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS) that offers an extended range of inductive power transfer within a 5 meter radius.

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Twitter Introduces App Install Ads

We recently reported that Twitter is toying with multiple new ad products, most of which it is expected to launch soon. The microblogging network today launched an ad product that has been a hit for Facebook. “App Install” ads contain a short description of an application as well as a button through which the app can be directly installed. App developers have spent a ton of money on Facebook for these ads and Twitter hopes to get a piece of the pie as well.

Read full post →Twitter Introduces ‘App Install’ Ads

Nissan Offers Free And Easy Charging For LEAF CarsDriving an electric car has its fair share of advantages – electricity is a whole lot more affordable than a full tank of gas, not to mention electric cars have no emissions that will clog up the earth’s atmosphere with poisonous gases. The thing is, a gas station is whole lot more common than an electric vehicle charging point, and Nissan intends to encourage the uptake in their Nissan LEAF electric car by expanding on its successful “No Charge to Charge” promotion that will see the automobile manufacturer offer two years of free public charging with the purchase or lease of a new Nissan LEAF.

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Home Try On Program For Google Glass Launched

It has been nearly two years since Google Glass was first unveiled. Its definitely an intriguing device. So far Google has kept a tight hold on who can and can not buy a Glass unit. The Explorer program only gives access to selected individuals in the U.S. Previously anyone who signed up had to purchase the unit right away. Google now wants to give you the opportunity to see how Glass looks like through its home try-on program. This will help potential Explorers make up their minds about the wearable device.

Read full post →Home Try-On Program For Google Glass Launched