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2 months ago

Using the Cyanogen OS lockscreen

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If you're a fan of playing music on your phone, the Cyanogen OS lock screen offers something special for you.

Generally speaking, companies who feel the need to mess with the Android lock screen need to stop. The update to Lollipop this year is a perfect example of how to do a lot of things wrong, from the bizarre way Samsung and LG handle notifications to the variance in how lock screen art is shown, things get messy quick.

The folks behind Cyanogen OS figured out a subtle way to make their lock screen stand out in the crown without messing with the core functionality in this version of Android, and the end result is great. Here's how it works.

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2 months ago

Google will show you how long your journey is likely to take with new real-time transit information

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Google is adding another big feature to Google Maps, real-time transit information, improving the overall experience for those who rely on it while traveling.

Google Maps is gaining real-time transit information, which will not only show you how long you have to wait where you are, but also other options in case you happen to be running late. Relevant journeys will be arranged and summarized in the Google Maps app, making the information easier to view and act on.

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2 months ago

Imgur now has a fully native Android app for all of your Internet meme needs

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Imgur fans now have a native Android app to try out that offers users a better mobile experience for viewing and uploading images.

Imgur a service that lets anyone upload images quickly. In addition, many of its users have become famous, thanks ti the Internet memes they have created with the help of Imgur. Today, the service has relaunched its Android app in the Google Play Store, which finally offers users a truly native mobile app experience.

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2 months ago

Looking at camera features in Cyanogen OS

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Walking the line between simple and powerful is something the Cyanogen OS Camera app does better than most.

Camera apps need to be all about getting the right shot as quickly as possible, which means there's a lot more to these apps than just a shutter button. The mission critical features need to be something you can access quickly, and those camera functions need to not get in the way of the shot being taken. It's something every manufacturer does a little differently, and while there are plenty of alternatives in the Google Play Store it's important for the OEM offerings to get the job done.

Cyanogen OS is a little different from an OEM, since their version of Android exists across multiple manufacturers, but their camera app needs to follow those same basic principles. Let's take a look and see how their version of a digital picture taker works out.

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2 months ago

AC editors' apps of the week: Periscope, FitHub, Adult Swim Virtual Brainload and more

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AC editors apps of the week

Our weekly app picks

It's Appday Sunday and that means we're back with more of our favorites to share. Every week we bring a handful of great apps to the table and share them with everyone. Sometimes they are new apps, sometimes old standards, but every time they are apps we love to use.

Give these a look and then take a minute to tell us all about the apps you are using and love so we can give them a try. We all find some of our favorites right in the comments on these posts!

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2 months ago

Required Reading: The Android M Developer Preview

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Sundar and Android M

If you're looking to get started with Android M, Google has a wealth of information already available. Here's where we'd start.

We've reached another milestone in the lifecycle of Android — welcome Android M to the fold. It's available now in as a preview for developers to start getting their apps ready for the new features, and as flashable images for those of us who don't mind (or, more accurately, live for) beta firmware on our phones.

As always, Google has a slew of documentation to help walk you through the new features and functions that'll eventually make up the next major version of Android. These pages and videos are worth keeping at the ready.

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2 months ago

Here's a quick video walkthrough of the Android M Developer Preview

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Android M

Here it is, Android M in all of its not-yet-finished glory.

There's no shortage of things to be excited about this week, which is to be expected when Google spends half a week showing off what they've got planned for the future. Naturally, the next iteration of Android is the talk of the town. Android M promises to be a leaner, cleaner, and smarter version of what we've got now, and if you've got a Nexus 5, 6, or 9 laying around that you don't need to do anything important you can flash the Developer Preview and take a look at what might be coming this fall.

Since not everyone is able to do this, we've put together a quick video walkthrough of the changes we've found so far.

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2 months ago

Getting acquainted with the new Google Photos on Android and the web

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Google Photos on Android

Google Photos is finally here, and that means we have a new photography tool to play around with on our phones and computers.

After being tied completely to Google+ (woefully) for some time, Photos has finally been broken out into its own apps for Android, iOS and the web. Google Photos, as it's now known, adopts the same icon as the old app (which was really just a stub to the Google+ back end) as well as many of the same features, but is also developing its own identity since gaining independence from Google+.

That means you technically no longer need a Google+ account to use it, and your photos now get a first-class experience with their own apps and website.

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2 months ago

Project Abacus is an ATAP project aimed at killing the password

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Google ATAP wants to implement a real time security system that constantly makes sure the person using your phone is you.

The folks at ATAP, who are usually busy with things like Project Ara or making our clothes smarter, want to kill the password. It's a lofty goal, one we've heard from many folks in the past, but the demonstration at Google I/O today is one of the first that seems like it might actually work. The effort is currently being called Project Abacus, and it's the result of a massive collaboration with 33 Universities, tested with 40tb of data across 28 states.

How does it work? Well, in a sense, it works by constantly paying attention to who you are and how you behave.

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2 months ago

Google's new Saved Passwords site and Smart Lock for Passwords are now available

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Google quietly rolled out a new password service that builds on its existing Chrome sync system.

With the announcement of Google Play Services 7.5 during all of the Google I/O fun yesterday, Google quietly slipped in a new password syncing feature that developers can take advantage of. What we didn't know is that it'd be going live for anyone to use so quickly, and now the new features are out there to see.

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2 months ago

Age-based app ratings now showing in Google Play Store

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Google back in March announced that all Android apps in the Google Play Store soon would display age-based content ratings. Developers would answer questions in a fairly simple survey (I've done it a dozen times now) and in turn would receive a rating from the International Age Rating Coalition. (More on that here.)

Today, those ratings have gone live in the web version of the Google Play Store, visible just under the app ratings. (Presumably the app-based Google Play Store will show them soon, too.)

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2 months ago

Candy Crush Soda Saga bursts its way into Amazon's Appstore

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Candy Crush Soda Saga is now available as a free download in Amazon's Appstore, giving users yet another place to grab the highly addictive game.

Whether you have five minutes or two hours to kill, Candy Crush Soda Saga is an extremely addictive way to do so. The game has made its way over to the Amazon Appstore, and is now available as a free download.

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2 months ago

Expect at least two Android M Developer Preview updates before the final release

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In a change from last year, Google officially plans to update the M Developer Preview at least twice before final release.

Speaking at the "What's new in Android?" talk at Google I/O, Chet Haase of Google explained how the Android team plans to update the latest Developer Preview. Unlike the L Developer Preview last year, Google has an upgrade path set up to update the M Developer Preview once at the end of June and again at the end of July, each time integrating changes based on feedback from developers.

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2 months ago

Google highlights the best apps with Material Design with Google Play showcase

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Google has compiled a list of 18 apps that it feels best showcase Material Design.

Just in time for the one year anniversary of Material Design, Google has compiled a showcase of the 18 third-party apps that it feels best take advantage of the design paradigm.

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2 months ago

Shazam snags visual recognition for QR codes and images

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Shazam isn't just for audio anymore: you can now use the app to recognize QR codes and images as well.

Shazam announced that users with the latest version of its can now scan images and QR codes that will offer up access to interactive content and more.

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