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You’d think the key difference between Amazon’s upcoming (and as-yet, officially unannounced) smartphone and other Android devices would be tight integration with Amazon’s app, music, book, and video stores. And you’d probably be right for thinking that — but with hundreds of other options available for smartphone shoppers, it looks like Amazon may be trying to find other ways to make its device stand out.
The latest leak comes from BGR, the same source that gave us a first look at a prototype of Amazon’s smartphone. Not only will the phone have multiple motion-sensing cameras on the front to track your eye movement and adjust a 3D display, but it turns out the phone will also support tilt-based gestures.
For instance, you could tilt in Amazon video app to view IMDB ratings, or tilt in the email or calendar apps to reveal information that would otherwise be hidden. Tilting in a weather app could display an extended forecast. This is supposed make it easier to use the 4.7 inch phone with one hand. I wonder how often it’ll instead result in your phone showing you information you didn’t ask for because you accidentally shook your hand a bit.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Report: You’ll be able to control Amazon’s upcoming smartphone with 3D gestures, or by tilting the phone
The report also says the phone’s camera software will be able to automatically scan text from signs or business cards and let you save it as a note or add details to your contacts. [BGR]
- New Windows start menu could be launching with Windows 8.1 Update 1 (or Windows 8.2) later this year
Microsoft recently showed off a new version of the Windows start menu which combines an old-fashioned list of recent and pinned apps, a search box, and a new Modern UI set of live tiles. If there’s any truth to the latest leak, we could see the first version of Windows to feature the new start menu later in 2014. [Windows Community]
- Google Hangouts 2.1 app for Android provides hints that Google Voice will be folded into Hangouts eventually
Hangouts for Android is a single app that handles text messages sent over a cellular network and internet-based chats. It looks like Google really does want to make it a one-size-fits-all communication app which also includes Google Voice functioality. [Android Police]
- Starting next February, all Sprint phones will be domestically unlockable
Currently it’s tough to unlock a Sprint phone for use on a different network in the United States. Next year it should be a lot easier. [Android Police]
- Xiaomi.com is now mi.com
The Chinese smartphone maker plans to expand internationally in the coming years. Part of that effort involves a move to a much simpler, easier-to-remember domain name. [+Hugo Barra]