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3 years ago

Chat heads go live on Facebook Messenger as we await Facebook Home

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Facebook app also updated to prep for Facebook Home's launch today

Facebook this morning has rolled out an update to its Facebook Messenger app -- and "chat heads" are now live! These are the little persistent notifications that you get when someone messages you. Tap it to open and reply. You can move it around on the screen, but it'll remain docked to an edge. To get rid of it, just press, hold and toss to the bottom of the screen.

If you use Facebook Messenger but hate chat heads, there's an option in the settings to turn them off when you're using other apps, so they won't just float on your screen.

The Facebook application itself also has gotten an update this morning, in preparation for Facebook Home. (Some bugs were also squashed, according to the new changelog.)

We're expecting Facebook Home (the launcher) to go live anytime now.

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3 years ago

Sprint peddles purple Galaxy S3 for $99 on contract

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Sprint this morning announced that it's now carrying the Samsung Galaxy S3 in purple -- OK, amethyst purple, they call it -- for $99 on contract (and after a $50 mail-in rebate). That'll get you the 16GB version of the GS3, which is about to be replaced by the Galaxy S4 sometime this quarter. But, hey! Purple!

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3 years ago

Android Central 131: E-mail, voicemail and Facebook - oh, my!

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Audio-only stream below

We got the band back together for some proper video, a backlog of voicemails, some really good e-mails -- oh, and just the latest and greatest in Android news from the last week. We've got Facebook, the HTC One, more on the Galaxy S4, and every in between. Join us!

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3 years ago

HTC First with Facebook Home now available on AT&T

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$99.99 on-contract or $449.99 up-front, available in black, white, red or pale blue

A little over a week after its announcement at Facebook HQ, the HTC First is available to buy from AT&T. The Facebook Home-equipped handset puts the social network front and center, with Facebook's new launcher bringing your news feed (and neat little features like chat heads) directly onto your home screen.

The HTC First will set you back $99.99 on a standard two-year contract, or $449.99 if you're buying it outright. All four color options -- black, white, red and pale blue -- are available over on AT&T's site.

Incidentally, we're not yet seeing Facebook Home on the Google Play Store, but that's also due to launch today alongside the Facephone. We'll continue watching throughout the day and keep you posted.

More: Hands-on with the HTC First

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

NYPD equipping officers with Android smartphones, new app

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Image: NYT

Android app arms police with real-time data

Some 400 police officers in New York have been equipped with Android smartphones and a new crime-fighting Android app under a pilot scheme, the New York Times reports.

The app is designed to give officers the ability to run person and address searches, bringing in information from several different sources. Officers can look up police records on individuals, including photos, and access vehicle registration records. The app is also fully location-aware -- NYPD officer Tom Donaldson told the NYT “If I see that in the last month, there have been six arrests on the seventh floor for drug trafficking, maybe I want to hang out on the seventh floor for a while.”

Police would previously have had to rely on cumbersome laptop-based systems in their patrol cars to retrieve this info, or radio details back to a dispatcher. The app, officers tell the NYT, offers a much easier way to access this data. Donaldson explains, “Our dispatcher will tell us if they have a warrant or not but it’s a simple yes or no answer. I don’t know if the guy is wanted for murder or for not paying a parking summons. We rarely know. Now we know.”

Source: The New York Times; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

New O2 Refresh plans decouple phone and service costs

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UK carrier appears to be following in the footsteps of T-Mobile USA, allowing customers to pay off their phone separately to their service plan

O2 UK has announced the launch of "O2 Refresh," a new kind of price plan designed to disconnect the cost of smartphones from the cost of service plans. On O2 Refresh, customers effectively pay a separate service charge and monthly installments towards the cost of the phone.

That means O2 customers wanting to upgrade early can simply pay off the remaining amount on their phone plan and start a new one, with no changes to the service plan. Naturally, if you're upgrading O2 encourages you use its O2 Recycle service to cash in on the value of your old phone, up to £260. Alternatively, if customers fully pay off their phone plan they'll then only pay the service fee each month.

O2 refresh service plans range from £12 per month for 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB up to £22 p.m. for unlimited minutes and texts, and 2GB. From Apr. 16 O2 Refresh will be available with the HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, Blackberry Z10, Samsung Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5, with the option of making an up-front payment towards the cost of the phone.

In today's press statement O2 points out that many smartphone owners want to upgrade more than once every two years. O2 Recycle allows them to do just that, in a more economical way, while cleverly renewing their commitment to O2 in the process. (After all, phones purchased through O2 will be locked to the network.) The network also cites its push towards 4G LTE this summer as a reason for making it easier for customers to pick up new 4G-capable handsets.

On the other side of the Atlantic T-Mobile USA has been switching to a similar system, with separate service fees and installments towards buying your phone, as well as the option to pay off the remaining cost of your device at any time.

Brits, hit the comments below and let us know if you'd switch to O2 for this kind of deal.

Source: O2

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3 years ago

LinkedIn acquires Pulse in $90 Million deal

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Pulse, and its 30 Million users, was bought out today by social platform LinkedIn

Pulse, one of the most popular news readers for Android, was bought out by none other than LinkedIn today. The deal was reportedly to the tune of $90 Million, which consisted of stocks and a cash transfer. According to both parties, the Pulse news reader won't be going away any time soon, though. The Pulse team seems to be looking forward to the fruits of the deal, as they mentioned on their blog today.

LinkedIn is the perfect partner as we continue our journey. The company shares our passions and values, our belief in the power of knowledge and elevated discussion, particularly for professionals looking for insights to help make them better at what they do. We believe this important step is the key to an even better experience for our community, and we’re excited for what’s to come.

We can't predict the future, but there's little reason for the new owners to change anything at the moment. Pulse has more that 30 Million users, and is clearly one of the more successful apps for Android and iOS. We expect Pulse to continue to operate as it does today, at least for the foreseeable future. If you've not yet tried Pulse, give it a look by clicking the Google Play link above.

Source: All Things D; More: Pulse

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3 years ago

I hate the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

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I hate the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger

WebOS Nation Editor in Chief Derek Kessler remembers a simpler era, when Palm Touchstones ruled the land

About a month ago I picked up an LG Nexus 4. I've known Android for some time, but until buying the Nexus 4 I'd yet to actually own an Android handset. While Android has surprised me in some areas and frustrated me in others, that's not what I'm here to talk about today. Nope, I'm here to talk about the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger and how much I hate it.

The photo above was taken approximately five minutes after I'd carefully and deliberately set my Nexus 4 onto the Wireless Charger to, well, wirelessly charge. And it did. The move to get from being positioned centered on the charger to resting on its side with the charger as a glorified kickstand was smooth and quiet. It went entirely unnoticed as I sat not two feet away, working on my computer. Not until I looked over to see if it had stayed in position did I discover that it in fact had not.

Normally my Nexus 4 just slips down half an inch or so until it's no longer optimally positioned on the charger and no longer taking a charge through the ether. Sometimes it also lists slightly to the right, but only by ten degrees or so. After I took that photo, rolled my eyes, and posted it to Twitter, I carried on with my work, curious to see where the Nexus 4 would slide to next. Five minutes later, my typing was interrupted by a soft thunk - gravity had finally conspired to pull the phone entirely off the charger and it was now resting flat on its back on my desk.

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope: Time Travel coming soon from ZeptoLab

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ZeptoLab announces the first new Cut the Rope series game in two years -- Cut the Rope: Time Travel

Cut the Rope is an insanely popular mobile game on both iOS and Android, and it's first sequel Cut the Rope Experiments was just as popular. Today, ZeptoLab has announced a third in the series named Cut the Rope: Time Travel.

We don't have much to go on yet. There's a trailer (find it after the break) but other than showing how adorable the little Om Nom character is, it leaves the rest to our imagination. We expect more of the same physics puzzles that help get candy into the cuddly little fellows mouth, and we're fine with that. Why ruin a good thing?

No word on any date or pricing, other than it will be launching for Android and iOS and that it is "almost here". We'll jump on it as soon as we see it, in the meantime hit the break for that trailer.

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3 years ago

Google helps plan your afterlife in the cloud

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Inactive accounts can now have data shared with a person of your choosing, then deleted if you set things up beforehand

The digital age is relatively new. It was only recently that folks started depending so heavily on electronic communications and services, which in turn saves -- at least in part -- your life in the cloud. Photographs of friends and loved ones, email correspondences, and school and work documents are all part of many people's digital footprints today. Google now has incorporated what they call the 'Inactive Account Manager' into Google services.

After a user-defined timeout period that starts from your last sign-in, your Google account will be classified as inactive. Before the end of the timeout period is reached, Google will send you a text or email notification. If Google receives no response from you, contacts of your choosing can be notified after the timeout period that you are no longer using your account. There's even an option to share data with those contacts at this time. Any of the following can be shared: +1s, Blogger, Contacts and Circles, Drive, Gmail, Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams, Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and YouTube. A warning text and email will be sent before any data sharing occurs. The final step is account deletion after 3-12 months, which is completely optional. Google will erase your account and its contents if you so desire.

The Inactive Account Manager setup page can be found here. It's nice to see Google giving its users a tool to help plan for the unexpected. Whether you choose to simply delete your account or to share photos and documents with loved ones, this new tool has the potential to give a little extra peace of mind.

Setup Page; Source: Google Public Policy Blog

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3 years ago

Facebook Home and the HTC First - what you need to know

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You've got questions about Facebook Home - we've got answers

Friday's the big day, folks. The day the new Facebook Home application and the new HTC First smartphone arrive. Or, maybe it's just Friday. That all depends on your point of view toward Facebook, your phone and this whole social sharing thing in general.

There are more than 650 million active Facebook users. One in seven people on the planet has an account with Facebook. It's no small thing. But at the same time, how close is too close? Do you really want Facebook that much more in your life? Do Facebook Home and the new HTC First make that big a difference in the way you use Facebook? Will you use it more? Will it make you want to use it less? Does it makes the experience that much better?

The answer to many of those questions are a matter of personal taste. But we've been bombarded by questions from our friends and family -- folks who don't necessarily live day in night inside the tech bubble -- and with Friday being launch day, we've put together a few answers, in layman's terms.

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3 years ago

Dropbox update adds improved photo viewing, support for six languages

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Every Dropbox photo can now be viewed in one place

More improvements in the way of picture handling have been added to Dropbox for version 2.3.5. In a recent update we saw albums and photo sharing added to Dropbox; with the latest update, we now get a better way to view stored photos from within the app. All previously uploaded photos will now be displayed for easy viewing in the photos section of the picture tab.

Localization also has been improved, with Dropbox learning six new languages: Indonesian, Malay, Polish, Russian, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese. The change log of v2.3.5 also boasts "tons of performance improvements."

The update is live right now in the Play Store for Dropbox users. Hit the link above to install or update.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo now coming to the UK

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Available from Samsung and major operators

Previously announced just over a week ago, Samsung has confirmed availability for the Galaxy Pocket Neo in the United KIngdom. Targeted at the entry level market, this phone will spare the specs in exchange for being easy on the wallet. Packing a 3-inch TFT screen, 850 MHz processor, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the Pocket Neo will be hitting the store shelves in mid-May.

Look for this economically-friendly smartphone in the Samsung Experience Store at the Westfield Stratford City, as well as your favorite major operator. For an in-depth look at the Pocket Neo's specifications, hit the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

The Greatest Android Podcast in the World returns tonight, live, with video!

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We are nothing if not consistently inconsistent. Due to more air miles in the air and weeks on the road than we care to think about, we've had to hop back and forth the past couple weeks between proper, live podcasts on video -- and the old-school recorded versions that just show up in your favorite podcatcher every now and then. This week, though, the Android Central Podcast returns with myself, Jerry and Alex, live and in living color.

And we've got some catching up to do. Facebook Home and the HTC First come out on Friday, Samsung's getting to the point where we're going to have footlong phones, and Google Play got a pretty big revamp. But most important is that we've got a ton of your e-mails and voicemails to answer, and answer them we shall.

So join Phil and the gang -- and, of course, the chat room -- live tonight at 2 a.m. BST / 9 p.m. EDT / 6 p.m. PDT for the live broadcast. You should be there. You will be there. You must be there. After all, you are what makes it the Greatest Android Podcast in the World.

Not at a computer? Pick up the free UStream Viewer from Google Play [link] and search for Mobile Nations a little before the show (it won't appear until we go live). We'll see you there!

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3 years ago

LG Optimus F7 reportedly headed to Boost Mobile

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Prepaid carrier to launch LG's cheap and cheerful LTE handset, says @evleaks

LG's Optimus F series is all about introducing low-cost, mid-range LTE-capable hardware to the market, and so a prepaid carrier like Boost Mobile seems a natural fit for the Optimus F7, the higher-specced device of the two. According to prolific Twitter leaker @evleaks and 9to5Google, that's exactly where the Optimus F7 will end up, alongside Boost's two existing LTE offerings, the HTC One SV and ZTE Force.

In addition to the aforementioned LTE radios, the LG Optimus F7 packs a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4.7-inch 720p display and an 8-megapixel camera, placing it squarely in the middle of the road when it comes to smartphone hardware specs.

We went hands-on with the Optimus F5 and F7 at Mobile World Congress back in February, so check our write-up for some first impressions and photos of the Korean version.

Source: 9to5Google

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