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3 years ago

Minus updated with new interface and featureset

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Minus is putting out an update to its Android (and iOS) app today that not only changes and improves the interface, but also changes the way the service works as a whole. The app used to be focused on picture storage to share with friends, and has now pivoted a bit to be focused on meeting and sharing with people that are nearby. The basic idea is to see other Minus users around you and then chat, share photos and browse other people's photos. Photos can still be kept private and accessed from the Minus website, but the main intention is to share them publicly now.

The interface has been redesigned and cleaned up notably, which is hard to complain about on its own, but it seems like some users aren't taking too kindly to the quick change in features from one version to another. If you're interested in trying out the new Minus, hit the Play Store link at the top of this post.

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3 years ago

Press update adds DashClock Widget support

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Google Reader client Press has just added support for the popular new widget DashClock just a few days after its release.  DashClock Widget provides a platform to make "extensions" that plug into the widget from other apps to put pertinent notifications and information on your screen. Users on Android 4.2 with DashClock installed now have the ability to see their Press unread count and last sync time on the widget. This should play nicely with the recent update to Press that added background syncing support.

So far we've got Falcon Pro and Press that have updated to support the widget's extensions, along with the built-in items like weather and Gmail, and we're sure to see more as DashClock Widget becomes even more popular.

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3 years ago

Google Search update allows third-party developers to use offline speech recognition

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The recent Google Search update brought more than just a Google Now widget. As discovered by the development team of utter!, a slick voice command application, the update allows the use of the offline speech recognition that came about with Android 4.1 for third-party applications.

Previously, only Google's applications could take advantage of the downloaded speech dictionaries, which allowed for offline voice typing. With the recent changes, applications like utter! can now access your downloaded dictionaries to do their thing faster, and without a data connection. Everyone loves faster, and I can think of plenty of instances that I've had my Nexus 7 somewhere without a connection. The developers at utter! are the first to make use of this, be we expect any application that uses voice recognition to quickly follow suit.

To enable all of this, you'll need to set up your languages. Not all phones support offline speech recognition, but for those that do setting it up is simple. Open Google Now settings, and under "Voice" download your offline speech recognition files. You'll need to be running some flavor of Jelly Bean and have access to Google Now, of course.

We're going to take a good look at utter! (it looks like an awesome app and it's clear the developers are savvy) in the coming days, and be on the look out for more applications that take advantage of this new feature.

More: XDA. Thanks, IAmAN00bie!

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3 years ago

The Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

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It's simple, it's stylish, and it chargers your phone wirelessly - it's also a little pricey at $59

There's really not a whole lot to say about the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger. It's a $59 Qi-standard compatible wireless charger that charges your Nexus 4. Plug it in, put the phone on it, and go. No muss, no fuss, thank you, drive through. This one's made specifically for the Nexus 4, though presumably other Qi-standard phones will work with it. Unlike, say, the Palm Touchstone, this one relies less on magnets to keep phone in place on the inclined face of the charger and more on the tackiness of the face of the charger itself. The rubber of the charger meets the glass of the phone, and it's not going anywhere. (It is quick to collect dust and lint, though.)

Size-wise, this thing's about like a sawed-off tennis ball. Only less fuzzy, less yellow, and more likely to actually charge your phone. It very much look like it's in the same family as the spherical Nexus Q, but it's much smaller. (In fact, the whole package is smaller than we imagined.)

The wireless charger will kick on the new Daydreams feature -- just be sure to set it to do so while charging in the settings. (It might take a second to kick in.)

The charger comes with a microUSB cord and wall wart, and some quick instructions that you'll never need. Plug it in. Place the phone. Charge. A plus is that your standard TPU case appears to not keep the phone from charging, and the official Nexus 4 bumper doesn't hinder anything either. Because it's a bumper. (Your mileage may vary with other cases, of course.) It outputs at 1.0A, which Google says should take about 4 hours to charge from a dead start.

If you're just dying to see the Nexus 4 wireless charger in action -- which sounds more exciting than it really is -- we've got a brief bit of video after the break.

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note 2 receiving small security fix OTA update

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The AT&T Galaxy Note 2 is receiving a small update today that has updated the baseband on the device and made what AT&T is calling a "chipset security enhancement". The update is small -- just about 8.5MB -- so as you'd expect we're sticking with Android 4.1.2 for the time being. The only front-facing change will be the software build number and basedband version. We're looking at a movement to build and baseband MA4, from LK7 previously. The security enhancement is likely a fix related to the Exynos security vulnerability that was recently discovered.

Some members in our forums are having the update hit their devices, and say that it is only available to download over Wifi. Have you received the update and are seeing something new on your device? Head to the forums and let us know.

Source: AT&T Support; More: AT&T Galaxy Note 2 Forums; Thanks, Garrett!

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3 years ago

Tweet Lanes goes open-source, looking for a few good devs

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It's been a few months since we got the bad news that active development was to cease on Twitter app Tweet Lanes, but developer Chris Lacy today did announce that the app still has a future. Lacy is open-sourcing the code not only for the Tweet Lanes client, but also its SocialNetLib library (which works with App.net as well), as well as his AppEngine of things.

"My sincerest hope is that by releasing this code, the community can give Tweet Lanes the time and attention that it deserves," Lacy wrote today on Google+.

While he won't be actively developing Tweet Lanes, he is committing to syncing with the master branch of the project and releasing signed versions of the app to Google Play "a few times a week," meaning you'd still be able to get updates in the usual manner.

Lacy's looking for some dev leads for the project as well as a community manager. Hit the links below if you can help out.

In the meantime, the app was updated today to comply with the Twitter API v1.1, and a couple other behind-the-scenes things. (See the changelog here.)

Source: +Chris Lacy; More: Tweet Lanes github

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3 years ago

T-Mobile still offering the Nexus 4 on contract for just $49, sale ends Monday

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We're not really recommending that you agree to a two-year contract with an operator for a Nexus 4. But if you just have to have one, and if you just have to have one for about one-fourth the cost of the base 8GB model, T-Mobile still has them on sale over the weekend for $49. That's with a new two-year agreement, it's available online only through Monday.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Aric!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z to launch at Berlin Sony Store on Feb. 21

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The Sony Xperia Z isn't due to go on general release until the end of the month, but already we've seen some European retailers allowing buyers to sneak an early peek at Sony's next big thing. Those looking for an early opportunity to actually buy the phone, however, may want to consider a trip to Berlin, Germany, as Sony has announced that that city's Sony Store will launch the Xperia Z early.

According to a Sony Mobile Germany Facebook post, German buyers will be able to pick up the glass-clad, 5-inch, smartphone, from next Thursday, Feb. 21. That's a week ahead of the general launch -- the device isn't expected to be widely available elsewhere until Feb. 28. If you're feeling lucky, the manufacturer's also running a contest where Sony fans can win a trip to the German launch event and an Xperia Z to remember it by. All you have to do is explain, in German, what you'll do first with your new handset.

We'll have continuing coverage of the Sony Xperia Z as the launch approaches, so keep watching in the coming days.

Source: Sony Mobile DE

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3 years ago

Developer preview of Ubuntu hits Nexus 4, Galaxy Nexus on Feb. 21

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Canonical today announced that the developer preview of its Ubuntu mobile operating system will be available for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 on Feb. 21.

Ubuntu, of course, is one of the more popular Linux distributions. Its move to the mobile space "marks the start of a new era for Ubuntu," Canonical said in its press release, brining one code base to mobile, tablet, desktop and TV experiences. We took a quick tour of Ubuntu on the Galaxy Nexus back at CES, and what we saw was a gesture-heavy experience that's going to heavily rely on HMTL5 applications as well as any native apps.

Canonical stresses that this is a developer preview and not finalized code, so you probably won't be running this as your daily driver just yet. 

Ubuntu will be on hand at Moblie World Congress later this month in Barcelona, and reps will flash devices at the booth if you're in attendance and need some help.

We've got more details in the presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Browser eats browser: Opera acquires Skyfire

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Opera and Skyfire at one time were popular browser alternatives in a time in which stock browsers were sorely lacking. Improvements to Sarafi on iOS, Chrome on Android and, yes, even IE on Windows Phone have meant third-party options have to rely more on additional features rather than straight function. Today, two of those upstarts -- Opera and Skyfire -- announced they're getting in bed together.

Specifically, Opera is purchasing Skyfire for $50 million up front, with future considerations that could total the deal at $155 million.

“Opera and Skyfire are a natural fit,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Both companies have evolved far beyond their browser roots. Skyfire adds capabilities to our portfolio around video, app optimization, smartphones and tablets, and strength in North America. With video expected to consume over two-thirds of global mobile bandwidth by 2015, and as time spent on Android and iOS apps explodes, we are excited to extend Opera’s solutions for operators.”

The companies in their press release announced their intention to release a new "set of joint products to be released over the coming year by combining their talents and know-how." Opera's "Web Pass" day pass service was mentioned in particular.

Source: Opera

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3 years ago

New Nexus 4? Be sure to try out Box with 50GB of free storage

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No, you're not dreaming, the Nexus 4 really has been on sale in the Play Store for over 2 weeks straight with no supply issues. We know that in the last couple of weeks, more people have probably picked it up than in the last couple of months, and that means there are a whole lot of new Nexus users out there. One of the big promotions that Box.net started running back in November still applies though, and everyone with a new LG device -- including the Nexus 4 -- can take advantage of 50GB of free storage just for downloading the app and logging in.

Stick around after the break and check out a few of the high points of the Box app, and see if it's worth a shot to get some free storage.

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3 years ago

Android Central 125: Funny feelings about our phones

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Audio-only stream below

Phil, Jerry and special guest Android Martonik break down Android 4.2.2, preview next week's HTC event, fawn all over DashClock Widget and take some excellent reader voicemails. Welcome to the Android Central Podcast.

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3 years ago

BBC iPlayer and Media Player apps updated with 'favorites' feature, bug fixes

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The BBC continues to roll out improvements to its suite of Android apps, and today the broadcaster has published updates for its (UK-only) iPlayer and BBC Media Player apps. The latest iPlayer update adds in a "favorites" -- which was actually removed a few versions back -- along with improvements to image quality and loading times in the TV streaming app. On the BBC Media Player side, bug fixes are the order of the day, and on-screen buttons should now disappear correctly on Jelly Bean devices.

If you're in the UK, there's no reason not to have these apps on your device -- hit the Google Play link above to grab the BBC iPlayer app, or click here to pick up the Media Player companion app.

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3 years ago

Is this the HTC One in black?

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Our pals at EvLeaks are at it again, and this time they have dropped a picture of the HTC One in black. Notice that this time we see New York as the city, with the ominous date of Feb 19. Oddly enough, HTC has a little party going on in New York on February 19. Coincidence?

EvLeaks has always been pretty solid, and chances are we'll see something very similar to this come Tuesday. We'll be there, as well as the co-event in London for the dual-unveiling of whatever HTC wants to show us. That leaves one question -- white, or black?

Source: UnwiredView

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3 years ago

ROM Manager adds delta updates, TWRP recovery support

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ROM Manager, a staple app used by practically anyone who roots and switches ROMs often, has just added support for both delta (incremental) updates and TWRP recovery. Delta updates (downloads, really) will let users who are downloading and flashing new ROMs -- like those of you on nightlies -- just download and apply the new portions of the ROM, rather than the entire thing. If you have a previous zip file of your ROM on the device, ROM Manager will send you an incremental zip (of about 20MB) to apply and get the changes. This will save a lot of time, battery and data when flashing updates to the same ROM over and over again.

The latest ROM Manager also supports TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project), so if users prefer that over ClockworkMod Recovery, they can flash it directly through the app rather than separately. If you're not using ROM Manager yet, give it a look at the Play Store link above.

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