hearthstoneEarlier last year, Blizzard announced a new free-to-play virtual trading card game called Hearthstone, a game which would be based on its Warcraft franchise. The game has been undergoing closed beta for quite a while now but the good news for those wondering what all the fuss is about and want to get in on the action, Blizzard has officially announced the Hearthstone is now in open beta, meaning that if you’re interested in giving the game a go, you can hit up the Hearthstone official website for the download of the game. According to Blizzard, despite this being an open beta, they have no plans on performing any more wipes, so whatever you collect now will stay with you all the way to the end.

As it stands the open beta is limited to the North American region although Blizzard did state that they will be opening up the beta to other regions within the next few days or so, so if you’d rather not play in the North American region, be sure to keep an eye out for more region availability later on. The open beta is not expected to be unlimited as Blizzard did state that they will be monitoring their servers and if things start to get busier than they’d like, beta activations will have to be temporarily disabled. At the moment the game will be available on both PC and Mac, although mobile versions are expected to be released later.

nintendo_logoAs you might have heard by now, Nintendo isn’t doing too well as they have recently slashed its Wii U sales estimates by 70%. The company announced they would be exploring a new business strategy and reassured gamers they were not done with consoles just yet, and now thanks to a new rumor, it seems that Nintendo could be working on new consoles, with one of them being the handheld variety. If the rumors are to be believed, the consoles are expected to be called the Fusion Terminal and the Fusion DS, with the latter being the handheld version. Now it should be stressed that these are just rumors for now, although admittedly rather extreme rumors, so be sure to take it with a grain of salt for now, although they do make for an interesting discussion. Read full post →Nintendo Rumored To Be Working On New Consoles: Fusion DS And Fusion Terminal

antutu-315x5601If there is one way that new smartphones or tablets are leaked, it is through the use of benchmarks. Benchmarking software/apps are commonly used to determine how powerful a device is and also how it compares to the rest of the competition and to see where it is performing and where it isn’t. Unfortunately some of these benchmarks used are public websites, meaning that those who are constantly combing for information will stumble across new and unannounced devices. We’re sure these “leaks” weren’t done on purpose, but it looks like Sony might have had enough. Read full post →Sony Reportedly Blocking Benchmark Apps On Prototype Phones To Prevent Leaks

MEIZU_MX_Quad-coreMeizu is a Chinese company that has recently shown interest in expanding beyond China’s borders into the US and Europe, and recently the company has taken off the wraps on two of its latest handsets, the MX4G and the MX4G Mini, with the latter presumably being a slightly smaller/less powerful version of its big brother. Unfortunately the details of either handset is scarce at the moment as the announcement was actually made by J. Wong, the CEO of Meizu, on his Weibo account in response to a user asking about the device. The only thing he was able to confirm was that the MX4G would sport a 5” display but apart from that not much else was revealed.

Based on past rumors, it had been suggested that the Meizu MX4G would come in at least two variants, so we’re guessing the MX4G and the MX4G Mini would be it. Last we heard, the rumored specs of the MX4G included a 5.5” 2560×1536 display, possible 4G LTE connectivity, the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and will come packed with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. We’re not sure when Meizu plans to unveil their new devices in full, but we’re guessing with MWC 2014 around the corner, perhaps Meizu might take advantage of that stage to make their announcement, hopefully with details surrounding US availability of their new flagship device.

xxiaomi-5200mah-battery-hero.jpg.pagespeed.ic.QAlYxHe5xYRunning out of battery on your smartphone can be a real stinker, although not such an inconvenience especially if you have a portable battery pack or a battery case for your phone. Unfortunately sometimes these battery cases can get pretty pricey meaning that you have to ask yourself if the extra battery is really worth an additional expense of $20-$90. Well the good news is that Xiaomi is hoping to take the indecision out of the equation by creating a battery pack that will apparently only cost $5 to purchase, meaning you can get one without thinking too much about it. Heck, you could probably even get a few for friends and family and all at the price of a nice meal.

The battery in question is a 5,200mAh battery that will retail for $5. Unfortunately this is only a rumor at this point in time, but considering that Xiaomi released a 10,400mAh battery back in December for only $11, a $5 battery would not be completely out of the question. For the most part most phones will not have a battery larger than 5,200mAh, meaning that you should be able to get a couple of charges with this battery pack. No word on when Xiaomi plans to release this 5,200mAh battery pack, but at $5, we’re pretty sure there are many out there who will definitely be interested in getting their hands on it.

samsung-galaxy-note-2-review--19It is not surprising that Samsung’s newer devices, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 are on the receiving end of the latest build of Android, but what about Samsung’s older devices? If there was a drawback to not owning a Nexus device is that you never know if and when your OEM decides to update to the latest build of Android, but the good news is that if you own either the Galaxy S3 or the Galaxy Note 2 from back in 2012, you’d be in luck because according the rumors, Samsung is expected to update both handsets to Android 4.4.2 KitKat by the end of March.

Last we heard the rumors claimed that the update could only arrive in April, but thanks to insider info received by the folks at Android Geeks, they claim that the update will arrive by the end of March instead, a good month earlier than expected which we guess is a good thing. The good news about the KitKat update is that it wasn’t designed with high-end and powerful devices in mind, but rather the low-end, meaning that devices that aren’t too old should be able to be updated to it, so it’s really a matter of whether the companies that make the phones want to upgrade them or not. In any case take it with a grain of salt for now and try not to get your hopes up just yet, but check back with us at a later date to see there are any additional details to be had.

amazon-kindle-fire-hdx-8.9-review-2A couple of years ago, Amazon broke into the video market by offering Amazon Instant Video, a pretty awesome feature for Amazon Prime subscribers who basically got a ton of content for free. Well it looks like that isn’t where Amazon’s plans end, but begin, because according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, they claim that Amazon is currently working on offering a live TV service that would basically stream over the internet. As it stands, the project is reportedly in its early stages and that Amazon has apparently approached three major media companies to begin working on a licensing deal that would allow them to broadcast content from these companies.

Assuming that this is true and Amazon’s service does launch, it would put them in competition with the likes of cable and satellite television providers. Amazon is not the first company to show interest in such a service as Sony has announced something similar this year at CES, and Apple too has been rumored to be interested in a similar service as well, especially with its rumored iTV hardware. In fact it was recently that Intel announced that they would be selling their internet TV service to Verizon partly due to the fact that they were unable to negotiate content from content providers, which ultimately made it difficult to launch such a service. In any case we’re not sure if Amazon will be much more successful, but until then take it with a grain of salt.

Update – Amazon has since debunked the rumors.

ipad_airWe’ve heard some pretty awesome stories before about how “Find my iPhone/iPad” had been used and actually managed to recover said stolen device, and here’s another one we can add to the list, although this might be a tad more exciting than your typical story as it does involve one of the criminals escaping in a vehicle, although there was no car chase, unfortunately. This took place in New Zealand where a father and son went out to their car after a meal only to find that it had been ransacked and with their iPad stolen (amongst other things). Thankfully they installed Find my iPad and fired up the app on their phone and discovered that the tablet was in a suburb nearby.

They called the cops who accompanied them to the suburb, which according to the dad, was “full of suspicious, sunglass-wearing scoundrels.” One of the criminals managed to escape and actually turned off the tracking feature, but thinking quickly, the dad set the iPad to “lost” mode and sent a message saying, “It’s a small town. We’ve seen you, your car, and your friends. Drop the bag and iPad at Countdown by the Warehouse by 5pm tomorrow and we’ll leave the cops out of it”. Surprisingly they managed to get their iPad back, and the cops managed to nab the thief as well. According to Sgt. Jo Managh, “The fact that technology allows us and affords us to track our own stolen property is fantastic. It helped us locate and recover it back to the victim.”

1390326696-md-OG_AA704_Forres_G_20140117180004When it comes to a company that makes you happy, which is it? Apple? Microsoft? Sony? Samsung? Well in the latest customer satisfaction survey, it has been found that Apple actually placed fourth in Forrester Research’s customer satisfaction survey. Based on the numbers, Sony actually took the lead with a score of 83, followed Samsung and Microsoft who tied at 82, followed by Apple with a score of 81, all of which are admittedly pretty close to one another. However it seems that none of these companies managed to beat out the likes of Amazon who score around the 85 mark, which according to Forrester Research meant that the company had entered into “Excellent” territory.

Sony’s customer satisfaction has actually been on the rise since 2012, jumping by around 10 points from two years ago. Both Samsung and Microsoft were rebounding from short dips and while Apple has been on the rise over the past year, it seems that they weren’t growing enough in the customer satisfaction department to beat out their rivals, Samsung, Microsoft, and Sony, and the way the graph is depicted, it looks like Apple will keep getting beat out by the rest unless something drastic happens, either on their end or on the end of the competition. In the meantime what do you guys think? Do you agree with the findings?

iosinthecar5We know that Apple plans on making a name for themselves in the automobile industry by integrating iOS into vehicles’ infotainment units. This integration is known as iOS in the Car and we’re sure some of you guys are wondering how it will look like. Will it look like the iOS we have all come to know and love (or hate)? Or will Apple take on a completely different design language for its in-vehicle operating system? Well thanks to app developer, Steven Troughton-Smith, he has posted a couple of images onto his Twitter account where it basically shows off what appears to be Apple’s upcoming iOS in the Car interface. It is unclear how Troughton-Smith got the images, and when asked about it he declined to comment.

As you can see, the design of iOS in the Car is different from what Apple had initially shown off in its marketing materials (bottom half of the photo is Apple’s original design), but then again this is to be expected as changes are made over time. For the most part it looks like iOS except that the choice of blue fonts on a translucent black background does remind us of Android. Overall it is a pretty interesting design. There’s no telling when iOS in the Car will make an appearance, although Honda has made some efforts with HondaLink, but according to Apple’s website, it is listed as “Coming soon”, so hopefully it won’t be too long until we get to see the final product.