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3 years ago

Supposed Google Babel for Gmail screenshots leak

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Images show a revamp of Google Chat's interface, complete with emoticons and message bubbles. Could this be Google Babel?

The fine folks over at Techradar got their hands on a set of screen captures, supposedly of the web interface for the new Google unified messaging application "Babel". It appears to be a rewrite of the existing Google Chat for Gmail, with a new interface new sign in options, and new features inside the program. 

The screenshots also suggest photo sharing within the program, with a mandatory Google+ login, a feature to start a Google+ hangout right from chat. The Google+ emojis are also on board in a smaller size, and there are a bunch of new ones we haven't seen in a Google product before. It's clear that if this is legitimate, it's built around Google+ as one would expect.

We're not sure of anything on this. There are so many rumors and fakes going around, and anyone with a little skill could design some of these windows and images themselves -- and have. The imagery looks very similar to some other things we've seen -- both legit and admitted fakes. We eagerly await Google I/O to see just what is real and what isn't, but in the meantime we can all have a little bit of fun speculation about it all. Today's stuff looks pretty convincing. Hit the source link below and check it out.

Source: Techradar

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3 years ago

SuperBeam: Transfer files using Wifi Direct, NFC or QR codes

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A great file transfer tool for power users

As advanced as modern mobile devices are, getting files from one phone or tablet to another can still be problematic. Cloud storage apps like Dropbox can clog up your Internet connection. The BlueTooth-based Android Beam is slow, and can only be used for certain items. And S Beam, though faster, is restricted to Samsung devices.

Enter SuperBeam, an app that aims to take advantage of a range of wireless technologies to juggle files between Android phones. The heavy lifting is done over Wifi or Wifi Direct, with an NFC connection or QR code being used to get things going.

First up, both devices must be running the SuperBeam app. Next, select the file you want to send -- either in the gallery app, or a file manager Astro or OI -- and choose SuperBeam. The app will then ask you if the device you're sending to is on the same network. If so, it'll send your bits over that network; if not, a Wifi Direct connection will eventually be established between the two.

From there you've got a few options. The easiest is NFC -- hold the two devices back-to-back and press the screen on the sending device. Alternatively you can use the "SuperBeam Scanner" app from the app drawer and scan the QR code on the sending device's screen.

Transfer speeds will depend on the Wifi capabilities of the devices (and infrastructure) you're using, but we got solid transfer rates of up to 20Mbps between our Nexus 4 and HTC One on a 5GHz Wifi N network. SuperBeam isn't as simple as S Beam or Android Beam, but its ability to transfer just about anything between just about any device makes it more versatile for power users. It's available for free on the Google Play Store for phones and tablets running Android 4.0 and above.

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3 years ago

Marvel Comics app offering 700 free first issues: the sequel

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About a month ago, Marvel offered 700 free first issues through its Marvel Comics Play Store app. Not even the sum of Marvel's top superheroes could defend the comic giant's servers against the incredible beating that fans dispensed that day, during the struggle to grab as many free comics as possible. The result was an unusable app for most, with problems lasting beyond the free-download deadline.

Marvel issued an in-app message saying they were working on making things right, and have since come up with a new strategy to get those free comics to their fans. To minimize server strain, downloads will be offered to groups of users in waves. Head over to the registration page to sign up for the promotion. Starting April 11, Marvel will be sending emails to those that registered to let them start downloading any of the 700 free first issues being offered.

Sign ups end on April 9 at 11:59 p.m. EDT (as in midnight tomorrow night), so don't waste any time -- this offer might not be a trilogy.

comiXology sign up; Thanks Steve!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S2 getting Jelly Bean update

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Android 4.1.2 update available through Kies application today

Good news for owners of the Samsung Galaxy S2 on T-Mobile USA -- your update to Jelly Bean is due to start rolling out today. The update weighs a hefty 756MB and is available through Samsung's Kies software utility, bringing the phone up to Android 4.1.2.

In addition to new TouchWiz bits, T-Mo S2 owners can look forward to smoother performance thanks to the "Project Butter" performance enhancements, Google Now predictive search capabilities and support for offline voice recognition. To see if your update is ready, fire up Kies on a PC or Mac, and connect your Galaxy S2.

Be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you've got the new firmware.

Source: T-Mobile; via: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Leaked Galaxy Mega 5.8 specs seem to confirm mid-range leanings

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5.8-inch qHD display, dual-core Exynos CPU

It's around a week since we first heard of the Samsung Galaxy Mega series -- supposedly two big-screened devices due to launch later this year. Now oft-reliable Samsung rumormonger SamMobile says it has more details on exactly what kind of hardware will be found within the 5.8-inch variant (GT-i9152), and unfortunately for those hoping for a Galaxy Note 2 successor, it's a rather mid-range affair.

The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is said to pack a dual-core Exynos CPU, a qHD (960x540) resolution LCD display, 1.5GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera. Other vital stats include a 2600mAh battery and dimensions of 164x83.8x9.7mm; on the software side it's TouchWiz'd Jelly Bean running the show.

With the exception of the screen, that's pretty close to the internals of the original Galaxy Note, which is nothing to sniff at. But we're unconvinced by the prospect of qHD on a screen of that size. As reported last week, the Mega 5.8 will supposedly come in single and dual-SIM variants.

No word yet on how the rumored Galaxy Mega 6.3 will compare, but our money is on similarly middling specs.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Facebook Home cobbled together from leaked ROM

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'Chat heads' feature missing from this developer build; full official app available for free on Friday

MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien has thrown together a trio of files with which you can get a half-working version of Facebook Home onto your phone -- five days before it'll be available to everyone as a free download.

We've played with it for a few minutes now, and it'll basically give you the look and feel of Facebook Home. But it doesn't quite match the performance (at least on our Nexus 4) that we saw on the HTC First, nor on the Galaxy Note 2 we used it on at Facebook's launch event lasts week. It's also lacking the "chat heads" messaging -- that's a huge part of Facebook Home. There's also no Google Search bar in the app drawer. That's consistent with the installed version of Facebook Home we used on a Galaxy Note 2 at Facebook HQ, but it's different than what you'll find on the HTC First. (Edit: Ah. There's a toggle for that in the settings, it seems.)

So, again, this is a dev version off a leaked ROM -- not the official release. If you're just dying to see what all the fuss is about (and, again, Facebook Home looks really nice), Paul's got full instructions at the link below.

Update: Looks like Facebook might have killed things on its end, as our Coverfeed has gone blank.

Source: MoDaCo

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Win - a mid-ranger that's almost a Galaxy S3

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Quad-core processor, 4.7-inch WVGA screen, 5-megapixel camera

Another day, another mid-range Samsung phone. Today sees the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Win -- a middling Android handset that looks like a cross between a Galaxy S3 and a Galaxy S4. The internals are decidedly less high-end than either of those handsets. There's a 4.7-inch WVGA (800x480) LCD TFT screen on the front, a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU inside, coupled with 1GB of RAM. On the software side, it's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sammy's TouchWiz UI. Around the back there's a 5-megapixel rear camera.

Connectivity is limited to plain old HSPA speeds -- 7.2Mbps down, 5.76Mbps up -- suggesting that the Galaxy Win might be intended for emerging markets. It'll also be offered with dual-SIM capabilities, a common feature for smartphones in emerging markets. So while it might not check all the boxes for Western consumers, that's not necessarily the target audience here.

No details on pricing or availability for the Galaxy Win just yet. We'll update this post with release info as it becomes available.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z may be headed to T-Mobile USA

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Sony flagship currently being tested, ac​cording to reports

It looks like the Xperia ZL might not be the only high-end Sony phone headed to the U.S. this spring, as fresh images and reports from TmoNews suggest its international counterpart, the Xperia Z, may be coming to T-Mobile USA. The site reports "via three separate sources" that the Xperia Z, codenamed 'Yuga,' is currently in testing on T-Mobile, and offers the image above as evidence.

That's no guarantee that it'll ever see the light of day -- carriers often test devices before deciding not to release them. But at least now there seems to be a non-zero chance of T-Mo finally getting a high-end Sony phone to call its own.

The Xperia Z packs a 5-inch, 1080p display, and is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, with 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS rear camera. It's also water and dust-resistant, unlike the Xperia ZL. In our review of the device last month, we praised its performance and build quality, but raised some concerns over its less than ergonomic design and slightly buggy camera software.

T-Mo fans, hit the comments and let us know if you'd be interested in a magenta Xperia Z.

More: Sony Xperia Z review

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Skala View comes to Android, helps designers make better looking apps

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Skala Preview and Skala View are brilliant pieces of software from the brilliant piece of software makers at Bjango. It's not an app combo for everyone, but for Android app designers and developers who have long been seeking a way to preview pixel- and color-perfect versions of their app designs on Android devices, it's a miracle. Now Fair warning: Marc Edwards, who runs Bjango, is also my co-host on the Iterate podcast so some may think I'm predisposed to give his stuff a defacto recommendation. Far from it. It just means I was fortunate to have known about it in advance.

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3 years ago

HTC unaudited Q1 results see profits slip to just $2.83 million

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Poorest quarter yet for the Taiwanese manufacturer

HTC's financial woes continue, with today's unaudited results for the first quarter of 2013 painting a picture of a barely profitable company. Net income after tax slipped to just NT$85 million ($2.83 million), down from NT$4.464 billion ($150 million) it earned during the first quarter of 2012.

HTC's total revenues for Q1 2013 were NT$42.8 billion ($1.42 billion). Unaudited operating income was NT$43 million ($1.43 million), while net income before tax was NT$103 million ($3.43 million). Unaudited earnings per share (EPS) were NT$0.10 ($0.003).

Today's announcement follows delays in getting the new HTC One handset out onto the market. Camera component shortages led to the UK, German and Taiwanese launches slipping from mid-to-late March, while wider availability -- including the crucial U.S. launch -- was pushed back to mid-April. HTC's pinning its hopes for revival on its new high-end smartphone, with reports suggesting CEO Peter Chou may have told execs he'll resign if the device isn't a success.

We'd argue that even if the HTC One had launched on time, the difference to HTC's balance sheet wouldn't have been fully reflected until later into the second quarter. But with Samsung's Galaxy S4 due in multiple countries by late April, every extra day on store shelves is crucial, and the delays represent more bad news for a company that's been in decline for some time now.

HTC will be hoping that the next round of financials show the turnaround it's been expecting off the back of its new handset. As we said in our HTC One review, the phone itself is certainly up to the task. Now it's up to HTC's marketers to get the message out to smartphone buyers.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Bootloaders have been unlocked on the Droid RAZR HD, Atrix HD, RAZR M

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The locked and encrypted bootloader on several popular Motorola phones has been exploited, but OMAP powered phones need not apply

If you're using a Droid RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, Atrix HD, or RAZR M here's a potentially good piece of news -- researcher Dan Rosenberg has found a method to unlock the bootloader of your device. He's not yet released the method, but testers have shown results (like the one above) and given Rosenberg's past work with Motorola devices we've no doubt this is legitimate and should be ready for public consumption shortly.

For the bad news -- if your device has an OMAP processor, like the Bionic or the OG RAZR / MAXX, this isn't going to work for you. Those devices use a different security method which has so far remained uncracked.

We do know a little about today's exploit. You have to be rooted of course, and users are advised to not take the 4.1.2 OTA for the RAZR HD if they haven't yet. Expect more when the methods get released, in the meantime head to the forums and discuss.

Source: Droidrzr.com

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: A few answers from (and more questions for) Facebook

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I still don't know what to think about Facebook. I should probably have a better answer than that. After all, we're supposed to go to an event for a couple hours, play with some new stuff -- in this case Facebook Home and the "Facebook phone," aka the HTC First -- and have all the answers, complete with video, slideshow and a couple thousand words telling everyone why what we just saw is the greatest thing since the last greatest thing, or how it'll fail harder than the last time someone went off the reservation.

But that's business as usual. And I don't think what we saw last week at Facebook HQ is business as usual. 

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3 years ago

New Google Play Store app sighted on Google+

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A visual refresh could be coming soon to Google's content portal

The last time the Google Play Store app got a major redesign, it was still called the Android Market. So we're about due a visual refresh, and it looks like a new version could be headed our way sooner rather than later.

YouTube's Eileen Rivera posted the screenshot above on Google+, showing a lighter, more colorful design with more prominence given to the main store areas, and larger app icons below. "Games" also gets its own entry, whereas before it was found under "Apps."

Right now it looks like Google's just "dogfooding" this new version of the Play Store among its employees -- check out the little dog bowl icon on the top left -- but if Googlers are posting pictures of the new app publicly, chances are we won't have too long to wait for the public roll-out.

Source: +Eileen Rivera

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3 years ago

Kyocera Torque review

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Some people need a phone they don't have to worry about breaking, and the Kyocera Torque was made just for them

Sprint has a long history of offering capable Direct Connect and Push-To-Talk devices to a specific set of customers. The Kyocera Torque is the logical progression of these phones into 2013 with a capable set of internal components, wrapped in gratuitous amounts of hard plastic and rubber to make it water, dust, shock and vibration proof -- all running a lightly skinned version of Android. 

There are certainly sacrifices made in terms of usability when it comes to making a phone next to indestructible, but those of you looking for these features probably know that going into it. Read along with us after the break and see how the Torque can make you consider that tradeoff for a rugged phone.

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