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6 days ago

HTC Ocean: Could 'Sense Touch' feature come to the HTC 11?

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HTC Ocean

Concept video from HTC designer shows dual-camera phone with touch-sensitive frame.

It's not often we get an early look at a phone maker prototyping features for an upcoming handset, but that, it seems, what we have here. First spotted by Evan Blass, the personal site of HTC motion designer Danelle Vermeulen was recently updated with a sizzle reel showing "HTC Ocean," a phone with dual rear cameras that looks like a cross between an HTC 10 and a Google Pixel. The focus of the video: A new feature called "Sense Touch," which apparently lets you use touch-sensitive areas of the outer frame to perform certain actions in apps.

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6 days ago

Download every wallpaper from the 'made by Google' Pixel website

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Every wallpaper from the 'made by Google' Pixel website

Keep the Pixel hype going with these wallpapers from Google.

Google's announcement of an upcoming phone launch on October 4 was scant on details. But an accompanying website, https://madeby.google.com/, added a bit of weight to the thought that we may be in for a cool treat of a new wallpaper switching app that launches with the phone.

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6 days ago

How to restore your apps and settings to a new Android phone

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Got a new phone? Awesome! Here's how you can restore your apps and settings from your previous device.

Google has always synced calendar events, contacts, Drive documents, Gmail settings and other account-related information across devices, and since Android 5.0 Lollipop the company started offering the ability to restore apps to a new device. With Marshmallow, the feature was expanded to include app data as well as system settings, with all the information stored in the cloud.

If you're using the Google Now Launcher, your home screen background, icon and widget layout as well as folder structure is now saved to the cloud, allowing you to restore your settings to a new handset and retain your home screen layout.

Where does all this data get stored? Google is backing up the app data to Drive, allocating 25MB for each app. Data used by the backup system doesn't count toward your storage quota. Meanwhile, developers can choose to select what app data gets stored in the cloud.

Here's how you can restore your apps and settings when moving to a new Android phone.

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6 days ago

Morning brief: What does your Pixelated heart Desire?

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Google is all set to announce new phones on October 4, Samsung starts exchanging Note 7 units in Australia, and HTC launches new phones in the Desire lineup.

Welcome to a terrific Tuesday! Google has confirmed that it will announce new phones on October 4. Based on the latest leaks of the purported Pixel and Pixel XL, it looks like we'll be treated to great designs (once again) from HTC.

Speaking of HTC, the company has launched the Desire 10 Lifestyle and Desire 10 Pro. The mid-tier phones are still made out of plastic, but now come with a more upmarket design. With HTC unable to make a dent in the high-end segment, the brand is relying on the Desire series to turn things around, especially in emerging markets.

Samsung is all set to roll out replacement units of the Note 7 to Australian customers starting tomorrow. The South Korean company is also testing Nougat on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, although we don't know when it'll be available on retail units. Here's what's making the rounds today.

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6 days ago

HTC Desire 10 preview: Flashy outside, ordinary within

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HTC Desire 10

HTC's new Desire 10 comes in two varieties, but chances are only one — the higher-end Desire 10 Pro — is worth your time.

HTC's Desire family has seen it experiment with many polycarbonate-based styles over the past few years — from two-tone plastic to quirky micro-splash patterns more recently. Now it's time for Desire to get a bit more extravagant, with a duo of new Desires borrowing their name from HTC's flagship, and their look from the art deco style.

Meet the HTC Desire 10 Pro and Desire 10 Lifestyle — two new phones HTC hopes will bolster its mid-range brand.

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6 days ago

HTC Desire 10 Pro + Desire 10 Lifestyle specs

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HTC Desire 10

There are two versions of HTC's latest Desire phone — the Desire 10 Pro and the Desire 10 Lifestyle.

The HTC Desire 10 is official, and we've got full hands-on coverage of the latest in HTC's line of mid-rangers. This year there are two flavors of the latest Desire phone — the speccy Desire 10 Pro, and the decidedly entry-level Desire 10 Lifestyle. Read on to see how these two square up.

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6 days ago

WhatsApp now lets you easily tag people in group chats

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WhatsApp beta has picked up an update to 2.16.272 that lets users tag people in group chats. To tag someone in a chat, just use the @ symbol and start typing out the contact's name. You'll see suggestions pop up as you start typing, and you can even tag multiple contacts in the same message if you like annoying several people at once. Even if the intended contact has that particular group chat muted, he or she will receive the notification once you tag them.

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6 days ago

Android Pay in the UK: Everything you need to know

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Android Pay

Want to pay for stuff in the UK using Android Pay? Great! Here's what you need to know.

Android Pay is Google's mobile payments service, and it's now live in the UK. Much like Apple Pay, this means that if you have a supported handset and your bank allows it, you can securely pay for things in the real world without fumbling around for cards or cash.

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6 days ago

Google confirms Oct 4 launch event, teases phone 'made by Google'

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A simple, teasing video lets everyone know that October 4 is important.

In a nod to the nerds, Google just took out a TV ad during the premiere of The Big Bang Theory to tease an upcoming product launch on October 4. Set to the subtle tune of "Come And Get Your Love," a long rectangular Google Search bar slowly morphs into the shape of a phone, then flanked by "Oct. 4" on one side and the new Google "G" logo on the other.

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6 days ago

Leaked Pixel and Pixel XL photos offer our best look yet at Google's new phones

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The launch is getting closer, and the photos are getting clearer.

Everyone has been speculating about the launch of the expected Pixel and Pixel XL phones, and now we have our best look yet at the unannounced Google phones. The photos, revealed by Android Police, are really the first clear look we've seen and show both phones side-by-side in all their glory.

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6 days ago

Evening brief: A day in the life of Google, Twitter, and Samsung

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Google has a busy Monday, and potential Note 7 buyers may have to wait until October.

Woke up, got out of bed, ran a comb across my head. Made my way downstairs and drank a cup and, sitting up, I noticed that Google released a bunch of apps and updates on a Monday!

Seriously, Google Trips is going to be super useful when I'm visiting a city I'm not familiar with. (Google uses Barcelona in its promotional material and, after attending MWC in 2015, it's the city I most want to explore further.) At this point, the fact that Google is trolling all of my emails to find relevant information is a well-understood compromise, and the more they justify it with experiences like Trips (which has been in beta since April), the more I am willing to give them. Of course, Google wins, too, because it can use Trips as another vehicle for advertisers, so everyone wins.

Speaking of #winning, Twitter no longer counts photos, GIFs, quotes and polls towards its 140-character limit. Can't see myself ever being nostalgic for the days of that artificial limit, but there was always something tremendously satisfying about culling an overlong tweet just enough to fit. It was like a puzzle and a language lesson wrapped in one.

And with that, the news you need to know this evening.

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6 days ago

Google Trips wants to be the only app you need while traveling

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Google has released a new app to the public that takes its Gmail inbox-reading machine learning prowess and applies it to travel.

Dubbed Google Trips, the app consolidates all of the travel data Google has collected from Gmail (with your permission) and arrays it in an easy-to-understand way, with offline support for those times you don't have cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity.

The app takes what Inbox and Google Now have been doing for some time — deciphering the automatic emails you get from booking sites, travel agents, and other sources — and adds personalized recommendations for what the company calls the "top 200 cities in the world." These include local tourist hotspots, restaurants and "local gems," consolidating them into a full day's tour that can be followed offline.

The app has been in beta since April, and as a result feels extremely polished and well-designed. From a recent trip to San Francisco, for example, it pulled in my flight and hotel data as well as any places I'd saved in Google Maps. It also described local customs, shopping districts, and any other essential information such as available of taxis and how to navigate the public transit system.

Trips can be as automatic or customized as you want, depending on how much time and investment you want to put into it. You can also add one location in a city and have Trips fill in nearby attractions based on that manual input — very clever if you know you have one or two things to hit but don't have a full day planned.

While much of this information is available through various Google services already — Gmail, Inbox, Maps, and Google Now — it's nice to see an app like Trips that, for the avid traveler, will fill in any of those blanks.

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6 days ago

Getting started with add-on camera lenses for your Android phone

What are the different types of phone photography lenses available?

Let's cut to the chase: your Android phone's camera is a powerful little tool. With it you can capture vivid video, professional portraits, trippy time-lapses, and so much more, all without any extra bells and whistles weighing you down.

Phone photography lenses are incredibly quick, practical, and convenient tools to have in your back pocket, and the four most common kinds you'll come across are wide-angle, fisheye, macro, and telephoto lenses. They can take your Instagram posts to the next level, transform a get-together with friends into a memorable photo moment, and make your Snapchat stories all the more compelling to watch.

With phone photography blossoming online and amongst real-life pro photographers, having a few phone lenses ready to go can be a great way to switch things up in your shooting routine.

Here are the different, most common types of phone photography lenses to check out if you're looking to get creative and break the mold on basic, boring phone photography!

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1 week ago

Google Photos update simplifies sharing, launches new automatic creations

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It's now even easier to share from Google Photos to anyone, no matter what.

Google Photos

Google Photos already does a great job letting you share photos, videos and albums, but with its latest app update things are getting even simpler. Now when selecting photos to share, you can bypass the idea of sharing to a specific app and just send to specific people instead — the share sheet will now just have a "To:" field where you can type names, email addresses or phone numbers.

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1 week ago

Supercharging Google Cardboard with VRidge

Your smartphone-based VR has another trick.

There's already a lot you can experience with Google Cardboard. Quick horror experiences to make your friends jump, exciting trips on roller coaster you may never go on yourself, and concerts to watch as though you're in the audience top a surprisingly long list of possibilities. There are hundreds of Google Cardboard apps available for anyone to try, but if you're looking for something to try that is just a step above your average app the folks behind VRidge want you to see what desktop-class VR is like without relying on Oculus or Valve for anything.

Read more at VR Heads!

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