Apps have done wonders for music creation, and now there's mobile software from Casio that aims to make it even easier. The Chordana Composer app for iPhone creates a track basked on a melody that you create by singing or whistling two bars of a tune. Casio's handiwork records you, and then automatically builds the rest of the song based on your input. This means that anyone can construct a hit without in-depth music knowledge or the ability to play an instrument. After the base of the song is captured, there's five genres and three melodic settings for the tweaking before hitting the Auto Compose button and putting the app to work.
Verizon's push-to-talk services already existed, but it was a pretty creaky service. It's now upgraded its offering (for five bucks a month), with a free six-month trial to anyone that signs up now. Right now. Supported Android devices range from the Galaxy S5 to Casio's hardy G'zOne Commando 4G LTE -- the latter is probably the most appropriate handset for the service. Verizon's promising faster connections when trying to talk to your fellow paintballers (and handsome gardeners), as well as improved voice quality. If your device isn't supported, you could hold out hope that the service rolls out to other phones in Verizon's stable -- Kyocera's latest ruggedized smartphone is also set to get the feature later this year.
Via: Android Beat
Verizon and Casio launched what is likely the last update to the G’zOne Commando. The bad news is that even after the update, this rugged device will stay at Android 2.3 Gingerbread. There are some maintenance tweaks though, including the removal of V Cast Apps and Verizon Video. In addition, the update should remedy power-cycle issues, corporate contact search results will display much faster, calendar times affected by Daylight Savings will be corrected, and there are also some security improvements that come with the latest Google Security Patch.
So is it a worthy update? Yes! Should you replace your Casio G’zOne Commando – by all means, yes. At the time of its launch, it was an interesting device that was tougher than many other smartphones. Today its specs make for an entry-level Android devices…
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Casio won’t give up easily. In an interview with the New York Times, the Japanese company’s CEO Kazuo Kashio sent a clear message to all contenders to this space: “we’re prepared.” He noted that “suddenly, everyone’s discovered the wrist,” adding that they’ve “known for a long time it’s prime real estate.”
Casio is one of the pioneers in the smart-er watch market though it’s unclear how their modern devices will look like, and whether they’ll be able to stay relevant.
Meanwhile, we have an onslaught of companies, both small and big, launching interesting products. Pebble is arguably one of the best known smart watches but there are others as well, including those made by the likes of Sony. That said, we’re expecting to see Samsung’s next-gen smart watch unveiled within the next few days. Apple is also working on a similar device dubbed iWatch.
Whether Casio has what it takes to compete may not be that important at all (at least for us who don’t own their shares) one thing is certain, though – before you know it, there will be small computers on all of our wrists.
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Newcomers like Pebble might be the current darlings when it comes to connected watches, but it doesn't mean that established players are standing still. Back at CES, Casio showed a G-Shock watch with Bluetooth (GB-5600A) capable of receiving calls and text-message notifications (with sound and vibration), plus automatic time updates from an iPhone. Today the company announced a pair of G-Shock watches (GB-6900B / GB-X6900B) with Bluetooth 4.0 LE that extend the existing functionality to select Android handsets. In addition, both watches feature music remote control (via AVRCP, presumably) and the ability to set alarms and timers from Casio's companion smartphone app. Battery life is a pretty impressive two years (with 12 hours of Bluetooth use per day) on a single CR2032 battery. The GB-6900B and GB-X6900B will be released in Japan on September 21st for 18,000 yen (roughly $187) and 20,000 yen (roughly $208) respectively. All that's needed now is a retro-looking Databank or calculator watch with Bluetooth, right, Casio?
Via: Far East Gizmos
NEC has announced that it is pulling out of the smartphone business today, citing a downward slide in smartphone sales in an increasingly competitive smartphone market. NEC will still continue to produce tablets, and is focusing on its “Social Solutions Business,” which focuses on information and communications technologies. The company will still support recently released devices, as well as continue to produce feature phones.
The Japanese manufacturer was once one of the biggest in Japan, failed to gain popularity in the U.S., with a handful of smartphones being released there. Back in 2010, NEC merged with Casio and Hitachi, with most NEC devices taking on the Casio name. The most recent Android devices to be released were the rugged Casio G’zOne Commando, and the NEC Terrain, which were available on AT&T and Verizon.
Press release follows below.
NEC reviews mobile handset business
Tokyo, July 31, 2013 – NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) is reviewing the mobile phone handset business operated by NEC CASIO Mobile Communications, Ltd. in order to accelerate its growth strategy focused on the “Social Solutions Business,” which provides advanced social infrastructure capitalizing on information and communications technologies (ICT) .
Specifically, as of today, NEC is ending the development, manufacturing and sale of smartphones, other than models already on the market. NEC will continue providing maintenance and support services for its existing smartphones. NEC will also continue developing and producing conventional mobile phone handsets. Furthermore, NEC will utilize NEC Saitama, Ltd. for its Social Solutions Business, as well as the production of conventional mobile phone handsets for the Japanese market. Moreover, NEC will continue operating its tablet business.
As the market for mobile phone handsets, including the rapid spread of smartphones, has dramatically changed, economies of scale have become increasingly important for the maintenance and strengthening of competitiveness. However, NEC’s mobile phone handset shipments are following a downward trend and it is difficult to foresee improved performance in the future. In light of these circumstances, NEC reached this decision to review its mobile phone handset business following a comprehensive examination of the business’ direction.
NEC will now strengthen its portfolio management even further, in addition to focusing management resources on the company’s Social Solutions Business. Going forward, NEC will capitalize on the technologies and know-how acquired through the development of wireless communications, terminals and human interfaces for the mobile phone handset business in order to strengthen its Social Solutions Business. As a result, NEC will reposition NEC CASIO Mobile Communications employees, except those who continue to engage in business operations, within the NEC Group, centering on the Social Solutions Business.
NEC is in the process of assessing the impact of this resolution on its consolidated financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014. NEC will report any significant developments on this matter as soon as information becomes available.
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Verizon and Casio aren’t messing around. Casio’s super rugged extreme-sports ready G’zOne Commando 4G LTE is soon to be offered on Verizon’s network. The device sports mid-range specs, and sports an almost indestructible design.
The Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and touts a 4-inch TFT LCD screen complete with Gorilla Glass 2, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The Commando 4G LTE sports a 1,800mAh battery, an 8 MP rear-facing camera, a 1.3MP front-facing shooter, NFC, FM radio and wireless charging support.
Bundeled with the device is the G’zWorld app, which easily records outdoor activities and tracks routes, which are easily sharable on Facebook or Twitter. Users can also access barometric tracking technology, sun and moon displays, tide views and virtual trail functions. The device also includes Glove Mode, which assists users in accessing the device when gloves are being worn.
The Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE will be available starting on June 27th in Verizon stores and online for $99.99 with a new two-year agreement and a $50 mail-in rebate.
Looks like Verizon Wireless is preparing to add another rugged Casio smartphone to its portfolio. The upcoming Casio Commando 4G LTE has been leaked by EVLeaks, which unfortunately doesn’t say anything about the release date. Moreover, we’ve no idea what kind of hardware this phone hides under the hood and can only hope the Japanese company managed to cram a quad-core processor inside.
We would also like to see the Commando 4G LTE sporting 2GB of RAM to make multi-tasking faster, though I’m afraid that won’t be the case. The good thing is that fast LTE connectivity is on board and so is (we think) Military Certification against dust and water.
We’ll make sure you don’t miss a beat, and will get back to you with all missing details as soon as new information is available. Stay tuned…
Casio's G'zOne Commando was designed with all the subtlety of a cruise missile, but it must have resonated with at least a few Verizon customers. That would explain why @evleaks has posted an image of the reported follow-up, the Commando 4G LTE. The device spied here would be as conspicuously rugged as its predecessor, and the custom Android interface would receive another round of overdone machismo -- witness the metallic app tray and watch-like widget. The leak doesn't include hardware specs, but an earlier FCC filing for a similar device suggests that NFC could accompany the expected LTE. There's also unconfirmed talk of a Snapdragon S4 Plus processor. Launch details remain a mystery, although we wouldn't be shocked if the new Commando is available while it's still warm outside.
Via: Blog of Mobile
Source: @evleaks (Twitter)
Since the Dick Tracy cartoon days, every gadget nerd’s dream has been to have a smartwatch. And while smartphones have largely made the need for wearing wristwatches unnecessary, companies continue to search for ways to connect watches and smartphones. Casio’s GB6900AA G-Shock is the latest smartwatch that connects to Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. Using Bluetooth 4.0, the watch can provide a number of notifications such as alerting you when you have new calls, text messages and incoming email. The G-Shock also has a “Phone Finder” feature that’s similar to the Find My iPhone app that lets you locate your misplaced iPhone with the press of a button on your watch. To our disappointment, the G-Shock doesn’t have a built-in microphone for one-button Siri operation, but it does have an automatic time adjuster that changes time zones on the fly.
As with all G-Shocks, the GB6900AA is one tough watch. It has a two-year battery based on 12 hours of Bluetooth syncing per day and 200 meters of water resistance and shock absorption. Casio’s selling the watches for $180 at select U.S. department stores and its online website.
A video demonstration of Casio’s new Bluetooth G-Shock follows below.