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3 years ago

EverythingMe Launcher exits beta, aims to search and show the right things


Just go with the flow - let your launcher give you the best apps and information automatically

Following a beta program with the pre-release version of its software, EverythingMe Launcher is now available for everyone in the U.S., U.K., Spain and Germany. Building on the recent trend of homescreen replacements that dynamically change based on a multitude of factors, EverythingMe Launcher aims to personalize your phone.

The main interface is similar to that of a standard Android homescreen, with folders, a search box and a dock for your most commonly-used apps. The difference with EverythingMe Launcher is that the folders and app positions will change based on your usage, time of day, location and more. Your apps will all be managed into smart folders based on their tasks, and the bottom row of icons (above the dock) dynamically shows four apps that are most-used for the time of day it currently is.

EverythingMe Launcher is also offering universal search that covers your device, contacts, apps and the web all from one search box — type "news" for example and you'll be shown the Android Central app, an RSS news reader app and then further links to places like CNN, The guardian or Forbes on the web.

This technology is certainly popular right now on mobile devices, and for good reason — many people are looking for a new way to have their phones do the hard work for them. EverythingMe as a company has gained some major recognition for this tech, and is even partnered with Mozilla for features on its Firefox OS and upcoming Firefox launcher.

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3 years ago

Firefox shows off their own Android launcher at InContext conference


Mozilla may have their own operating system to work on, but they know that the eyeballs are mostly on Android these days. Since eyeballs mean money, they're still all-in with the idea of pushing out their apps and services on our little platform.

Today, at the inaugural InContext conference, they showed what may be their most ambitious idea yet — the Firefox launcher. Branded atop the new EverythingMe launcher which came out of beta today, the Firefox launcher plans to "give people more smart, easy and innovative ways to personalize their Web experience and meet their needs in any context."

What they're talking about of course, is content discovery. The contextual engine behind EverythingMe should blend well with Mozilla's deep hooks into the web, and there's a good chance this app will stand out in the crowd of new launchers that help you decide what you see on your screen.

Mozilla says they'll keep us updated while they finish development, and soon we'll be able to have a go at this one ourselves. We're always interested in what Mozilla can do, so this one is something we're looking forward to.

Source: Mozilla

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3 years ago

Toshiba's first Chromebook now available for $299


Higher-end price gets you a solid machine with the proper specs and 9 hours of battery

Following up on an initial announcement at CES 2014, Toshiba has put its first Chromebook offering up for sale at its online store. Coming in at $299 it's more expensive than the $279 price point we were told back in January, but isn't far out of the realm of what Chromebooks being sold at currently.

For that price you're getting a relatively run-of-the-mill looking laptop with a silver plastic frame, 13.3-inch 1366x768 display, an Intel Celeron 2955U processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, USB 3.0 and SDcard ports and all other standard appointments you expect for this class of device. Packing a larger screen than many of its competitors the Toshiba CB30-A3120 (great name) comes in at 3.3 lbs, which is a bit hefty but also gives it an expected 9 hours of battery life.

If you're interested in checking out one of these new Toshiba Chromebooks — we certainly thought it was a pretty nice machine back at CES — you can do so direct from Toshiba at the link below. You'll even get free shipping.

Source: Toshiba

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3 years ago

Google Drive updated with quick-scan widget and animated GIF support


Also a slick new video tutorial the first time you run the app

Rounding out today's Googlicious updates is another small one, this time for Google Drive. The current version — which varies by device — includes just two changes over the ubiquitous bug fixes. namely animated GIF support and a new 1x1 shortcut to the document scanner.

The former you'll find in any document you've embedded an animated GIF in (every doc here at AC ends up with at least one meme), and the latter you'll find where you normally find shortcuts and widgets you want to place on your home screen.

Also pretty cool is the new training video you see when you first run the app. It's very "new Google" and worth wiping data on Drive just to see it. 

Of course, the typical Google slow trollout means you'll either have to wait for your turn or root around the net for a sideload. You can try your luck at the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Google Play Newsstand updated with a hot widget and mini card view


Google has pushed out a few updates to its Android apps today, and after Search and Hangouts comes Play Newsstand. Having come together as an amalgamation of Play Magazines and Google Currents, Newsstand's latest update brings us a couple of neat new additions including the pretty hot looking homescreen widget we see here. 

The default widget size is 4x3, and it's pretty darn nice to look at. You just get one article at a time with a big old image, the headline and where and when it came from. To cycle through your most recent stuff, tap the down arrow in the bottom right corner and you'll keep on going until you run out of things to read. 

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3 years ago

UPS Mobile receives a complete interface refresh, new map experience


An interface for managing pickups and deliveries that's actually enjoyable to use

After hanging on to a tired-looking interface for some time, UPS Mobile was updated today with a completely new design. The interface now follows tightly to Google's design guidelines, with an action bar serving duty for the search and menu functions, with all other functions placed behind a slide-in panel on the left that is now accessible anywhere in the app.

This makes a lot more sense than the older "home screen" model that put all of the functions on the main screen, having you jump in and out of menus. The in-app mapping experience has also received a facelift, making use of the latest available Google Maps interface to show you nearby stores and drop boxes.

The UPS Mobile app is an extremely useful tool for those who send and receive via UPS, and now it's actually a joy to use when you manage your packages. You can grab an update to the latest version at the Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Announcing the 'Weekly Photo Contest: Water' winners!


Five winners made a splash with their photo this week

We've constantly been impressed by the number and quality of submissions to our weekly photo contests as of late, and this week was no exception. Following the prompt "water," we saw hundreds of great entries this week, and although we were able to select more than one winner, we couldn't give away prizes to everyone.

Hit the break to see our five winners this week, who will each be receiving a new Android Central t-shirt.

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3 years ago

Hangouts app updated with fixes for SMS and MMS


Users experiencing messaging bugs hopefully get their fix

Big G has pushed out a small update for the Hangouts app today, and while the change log is short, it looks to be exactly what more than a few have been waiting for.

What's New (2.0.3)

  • More fixes for sending/receiving MMS
  • Fixed a bug that prevented some from sending SMS longer than 160 characters

Behind the scenes fixes may not be glamorous, but if you're a user affected by the bugs that get fixed, they are the best kind. As usual, Google is doing their slow trollout of the app, so you may not see an update right away. Keep checking, or dig into the wilds of the Internet for that sideload.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Red Nexus 5 unboxing and hands-on


You have to be careful where you show off the new "red" Nexus 5. In the right light — or, more specifically, in the right bad, artificial light, there's a better than even chance that you're going to blind somebody. Outdoors, you risk attracting the attention of nearby search parties.

This is a bright red phone. At times, it's almost neon red. It goes from startling to painful to "Oh, my God, what have I done?!?!" depending on your lighting source. Consider yourself warned.

Otherwise? Same great Nexus 5.

Other items of interest here: The Day-Glo extends along the sides and peeks through the front of the phone, as well as in the earpiece speaker grille. The black buttons look nice. But because the sides are red, the SIM card tray isn't hidden as well, and it looks a little sloppy. The FCC information stenciled on the back is all but invisible, though, so there's that.

Another burning (as in "well, what is it?!?!" and not "oh, my eyes!") question was whether the back case would be the matte plastic like the white Nexus 5, or the more stylish soft-touch black. It's the former. No soft-touch to be found here.

If you're dying for more, we've got video and more pictures after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Search update also enables voice controls for UK English


No more changing of your system language required

Today's Google Search update may have a few more tricks up its sleeve than we know, but we have found that it enables voice actions for those using U.K. English on their device. Folks outside of the U.S. previously had to set the app's language to U.S. English in order to get Google Now to respond to voice commends, but now our friends across the pond can get in on the action.

Better yet, you even have a response voice of a U.K. English speaker, which completes the entire loop. This is one update you'll want to grab if you've been clamoring for voice actions in the U.K. and are tired of changing to U.S. English just to make it happen.

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3 years ago

Nexus 5 launcher becomes 'Google Now Launcher' after Search update


Here's an intriguing little change — today's Google Search app update, which carries an unassuming changelog of performance improvements and fixes, actually brings new branding for the Nexus 5's home screen launcher. (Parts of the launcher are contained in the search app itself, since that's now Google Search works on the N5.)

After updating to the new Search app, the name of the Nexus 5's launcher in the Settings > Home menu changes to "Google Now Launcher." Some other devices with the Nexus 5 launcher sideloaded are also seeing a new "Google Now Launcher" splash screen when the app is first updated, which we've dutifully captured for you after the break.

Make of that what you will. It's possible this is a precursor to a wider rollout of Google's launcher on the Play Store, as many have predicted. It's also possible they just decided to change the name, so let's not get too excited just yet.

Update: Looks like if you sideload the Google Now Launcher APK onto a device with the stock Android launcher, you now get the option to import app icons across to the new launcher. That's another possible sign that Google's launcher will be spun out onto the Play Store at some point. We've got pics after the break.

Thanks, Jeremy!

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3 years ago

LG G Flex now available from T-Mobile for $672 outright or $28 per month


A big price for the latest big phone

If you're looking for a big, bendy phone and T-Mobile is your preferred network, you'll be happy to know the LG G Flex is now available for all from the carrier. Right on time, the phone is available online (and presumably in-store as well) for a pretty hefty price tag — $672 outright, or $28 per month if you choose to finance along with your Simple Choice Plan.

That's one of the more expensive devices in the T-Mobile lineup, but doesn't seem to be out of the usual for this handset across different carriers and countries. You're definitely getting great specs — and a few novel features — for that money, but there's still a tad bit of a premium being paid. Hit the source link below to buy yours now.

Source: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

LG G Flex (AT&T) review


Get bent! This phone curves and flexes, but after that ...?

LG calls it the world's first bendable flexible display. You can't look at the LG G Flex and not talk about the curve of the body, and once you learn that it actually does flex and give a little bit before breaking, you want to try it. Pushing and bending a phone is fun, because we've never been able to push and bend them before.

Are we ready for phones that bend, but not really bend? You can't fold it in half to slip it in a pocket, but it will likely be OK if you sit on it. It's not designed for be bendable, but designed not to break if it flexes. There's an important distinction that needs made here. Grabbing each end and trying to fold it in half will do little more than crack the glass if you have the strength in your hands. But pushing on the rear of the phone will cause it to flex and flatten out, hopefully saving the screen.

I've had one here for about a week, and it's time to let you know what I think of it and how it held up. I did more than bend and flex it. Read on for more.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 coming at Mobile World Congress, NYT says


Event to be different than the Broadway-esque Galaxy S4 event, report says

In case the giant superscript "5" in this week's Unpacked invitation didn't get the message through, the New York Times today is reporting through its ever-helpful anonymous sources that the Galaxy S5 is to be expected in a couple weeks at Mobile World Congress. And, what's more, the company won't repeat the Broadway-style event it had in New York City for the previous iteration and instead will do something different in Barcelona. 

Really, nothing there we couldn't already surmise. But any sort of confirmation is always good. And we'll be there in Barcelona to bring it all to you. 

Be sure to swing by our Galaxy S5 forums for all the latest discussion!

Source: New York Times

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3 years ago

Missed Phil on TWiT's All About Android? Catch the replay!


If you missed last nights episode of All About Android over on TWiT, then you won't have seen a special guest appearance from our very own Phil Nickinson. Fret not however, you've got all the time in the world to catch the replay. So pull up a chair, grab a beverage of choice and enjoy episode 147, The Broadway of Barcelona!

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