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3 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro 'Value Pack' now available via OTA update


New tools include Smart Video, Dual Camera and Pause & Resume Recording

Update: detailed software information and what is needed to update have been added after the break.


LG Optimus G Pro owners on AT&T should be on the lookout -- an over-the-air update is coming your way. Dubbed the 'Value Pack,' this update brings features very reminiscent of another popular flagship phone. We've been expecting this update for a few months, so it's good to hear the rollout has begun. New features are detailed as follows:

New Tools:

  • Smart Video intelligently recognizes the position of a user's eyes, automatically pausing the video when the user looks away and then restarting it once they resume active viewing.
  • Dual Camera, an extension of the Dual Recording feature, lets users simultaneously capture photos of the subject and the shooter using both the front and back cameras for a picture-in-picture composition, so both sides of an experience are snapped and saved.
  • Pause & Resume Recording allows user to pause video in record mode and then restart the recording to create one continuous video file. 

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3 years ago

Skype for Android updating with sign-out improvement


Bug fixes also in first update following major design overhaul

We couldn't blame you for being a little confused as to how you're meant to sign out of the new Skype for Android. The messaging app received a major update last week with a brand new UI, and as a side-effect, the sign-out option — now buried under a menu overflow in the "profile" section — became a lot more difficult to find.

Skype has today responded to user criticism with a new update that makes it easier to sign out wherever you are in the app. In a new update pushing out through Google Play today, you can now sign out by pressing menu (or the menu overflow) in Recent, Favorites, People or Profile.

The new update also includes bug fixes for issues affecting users who set to "offline" on the old Skype 3.2 and then had problems making calls in 4.0. In addition, video capabilities have been re-enabled for some devices, and there are improved translations for Russian, Brazilian Portuguese and Traditional Chinese, Skype says.

The update should be pushing out through Google Play sometime today.

Source: Skype

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3 years ago

New Google Maps app starting to seed on Google Play


Update 'rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks,' according to Play Store listing

A little under two months ago at Google I/O, Google offered a preview of the next version of Maps for Android. Stand-out features included a completely revamped UI, with a search bar front and center, together with smoother visuals, a re-tooled Zagat experience and Google Offers support.

Today it seems the new version of Maps — ver. 7.0 to be precise — has started to push to some users though Google Play. If you're not seeing it yet, you're not alone. None of our devices are seeing the update, and the "what's new" entry for the app suggests it could be weeks before many get access to the new Maps — "This update will be gradually rolling out to Android 4.0.3+ users over the next few weeks."

Google also highlights a re-worked UI for Android phones and tablets, including a new tablet UI with less chrome and clutter, and a greater focus on the actual map. There's also enhanced navigation including "live traffic updates, incident reports and dynamic rerouting," and a new "explore" section showing shops, restaurants, hotels and other attractions nearby.

Google's transitioning certain features away from Maps, and as such check-ins and Latitude support are absent in the new version (the company's blog post says it'll be retired altogether from Aug. 9). "My Maps" support is also absent for the moment, as is offline map caching, at least as officially — you can still cache areas of the map by typing "OK Maps" in the search box, in a sort of Easter egg.

As always, the version of Google Maps available to you will vary based on your device and which version of Android you're running. If you're on 4.0.3 or above, hit the Google Play Store to see if your update is ready, and let us know if in the comments if you manage to pick it up.

More: Google previews next major Maps update at Google I/O

Source: Google Maps Blog

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3 years ago

Bluebox Security Scanner attempts to scare the living shit out of you


Somewhere, someone is going to make this a thing. Only, it's not really a thing. So let's just get out in front of it here.

Bluebox — the group behind this "Master Key" scare — has an app that will tell you if the exploit is on your phone, or if it's been patched. Cool. But remember:

  1. We're really not all worried about this. Here's the long version of why we're not worried about it.
  2. It's an exploit that needs to be fixed, and it's being fixed.
  3. Google took care of things on the server side, in Google Play.
  4. Google is patching things in the code side and working with the manufacturers to get it pushed out.

What we don't like to see is all of those scary "Unable to scan app xxxxxx, it may be trying to evade the scanner" lines. As if the apps themselves — apps we've been using for years — are to blame. That's bullshit.

And a word of advice, folks: If you're going to try Bluebox's little scanner app here, make sure you download it directly from Google Play, so you know it's safe. It'd be bad if someone used the "Master Key" exploit to circulate a malware-laden version of the scanner app without breaking the signature.

Us? We're uninstalling this thing ASAP.

Via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Phone calls via Hangouts makes its triumphant return


Fear not telecommuters -- phone calls via Hangouts are coming in the next few days

If you decided to take the plunge and move to Hangouts in your Gmail account or install the new Chrome extension, you might have noticed that the ability to initiate a phone call was missing. Unlike the Chat feature that came before it, where you could make a voice call to any of your contacts, you only had two options -- a text Hangout or a full-fledged video-conferencing Hangout to another party with a camera. Plenty of us missed that feature.

Now its back! Or it will be soon, according to the official Gmail blog. Included with today's news are a couple new features. Calls to the US and Canada are now free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. And international rates remain "super, super low." Additionally, you can now add multiple voice and video participants to the same Hangout, and Google has a couple fun effects (like a laughing voice) you can use for a bit of added foolery.

The change will be rolling out to users in the next couple of days. To check if you have it, or to use it when you do, simply look for the new phone icon in the new Hangout box in your Gmail, or the "Call a phone" entry in the Chrome extension menu. Nobody here at AC has the feature enabled just yet, but we're ready.

Source: Official Gmail Blog

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3 years ago

Yahoo! Mail adds seamless Dropbox attachments


New attachment functionality rivals Google's Gmail and Drive integration

Dropbox and Yahoo! announced today that the companies will be integrating to offer seamless file attachments in the Yahoo! Mail Android app. Unveiled at its "DBX" developers conference, Dropbox and Yahoo! have now teamed up to challenge the added functionality Google offers with Gmail and Google Drive. Users that authenticate with their Dropbox account from within the Yahoo! Mail app will now be able to select either local or Dropbox files from the "attach" menu, and simply send out files that are stored in the cloud.

This pretty much directly mirrors what Google currently offers for sending large file attachments with Google Drive, with the added bonus that Dropbox is still the de facto cloud storage solution for so many people. The update is set to be live in the Play Store today from the link above, but doesn't seem to be available just quite yet.

Source: Yahoo!

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3 years ago

Kyocera Torque receiving Jelly Bean update starting today


The rugged device makes a necessary move up to a modern version of Android

Sprint's latest rugged device offering, the Kyocera Torque, is making the jump from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean today via an OTA update that is rolling out now. The update, which Sprint says will roll out to users "during the next few weeks", includes all of the expected Jelly Bean improvements such as Google Now, Project Butter and expandable notifications. We were relatively happy with the performance of the Torque when on ICS, so we expect things can only get better with the upgrade to Jelly Bean.

It's nice to see a relatively timely update to Jelly Bean for a device that launched with ICS far beyond the window of acceptance for that software. As we have seen in recent Platform Version numbers, more and more devices are making that move up to Jelly Bean every month.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Facebook app gets an update, features from beta brought to build 3.4


If you decided to not join the beta track for Facebook's Android app, you have an update ready and waiting

Folks using the release build of Facebook for Android have an update this evening, bringing all the features from the last beta to the current stable version (that'd be 3.4). The biggest forward-facing feature is for users of Facebook Home, and that would be folders. Just like you're able to do with most other home applications, dragging one app on top of another app will create a folder containing both applications. Unfortunately, Facebook Home is still only available for a few select phones: the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Samsung Galaxy Note II, the HTC One X and the HTC One X+.

In addition to the new home screen features, here is the rest of the changes:

  • Share News Feed stories in a private message
  • Swipe left and right to open chat and bookmarks
  • Based on feedback, you can now store the app on your phone's SD card (Android 2.3.7 and lower)
  • Fix for a bug with data transfer on app start

Now if only they would bother to fix the dreaded black bar.

Grab your update from the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Twitter updating with DM sync and new search features


'Direct messages now sync across all your devices,' says Twitter

Twitter has announced a handful of new updates to its social platform today, including synchronization for direct messages and new features in search. Twitter says the new features will roll out "gradually" and that you'll need the latest version of the app — which is just now being pushed to Google Play — in order to take advantage of them.

In addition to giving you access to all your DMs across all your devices, Twitter user search has been updated to include full biographies and related user accounts. Accounts in searches now appear as large blocks with additional info, and you can swipe to the left to view similar users.

The new features are live in Twitter version 4.1.2 for Android, which is now available on the Google Play Store. You can grab it from the link above.

Source: Official Twitter blog

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: QWOP, Skip Lock Screen, Grocery iQ and more!


We take a moment to show off the apps that have been working for us

Just like that, it's Saturday again and that means you're in for another edition of our Apps of the Week column here on Android Central. In case you've been asleep at the wheel and missed previous posts in the series, this is our weekly column where we have writers from the Android Central team chime in with an app that they've been using regularly on their devices in the previous week.

This week we have a couple of games, a tool and  a little follow-up to last week's post from Jerry. Hang with us after the break and see how our picks stack up this week.

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3 years ago

Get your download on: Your favorite Mobile Nations apps on your favorite platforms


Mobile Nations site apps for Android and more!

We all know Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore and Windows Phone Central are the best places to go to for your Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone news… But did you know we have a whole family of apps purpose-built to free you from the shackles of your desktop computer?

Below is a quick roundup to connect you with these awesome apps. Download and install. You'll be glad you did!

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3 years ago

Ridiculously hard running simulation game 'QWOP' lands on Google Play for $0.99


Well-known developer Noodlecake Studios is bringing the hilariously fun running game QWOP to the Google Play Store. Following up on its long-time success as a web game and more recently an iOS title, QWOP will hit Android with a full set of features including different game modes, leader boards and group competitions. If you're not familiar with the game, QWOP got its start as a running simulation game on the web that used the Q, W, O and P keys (get it?) on the keyboard to control a runner. It sounds easy, but in practice is hilariously hard to master. The game transitions the controls slightly to fit onto the mobile space, using the device's accelerometer to control the player's leaning, and two touch pads on-screen to control the legs.

The new Android version is also fully integrated with Google Play Game Services, meaning that you can link your Google+ account to the game to track achievements, leader boards and get group games going. You will get to test your skills at 100m, Hurdles, Long Jump, Steeplechase and the 50km Walk -- but don't expect to get too far without some serious practice. You can give the game a try on the web at the link below, or wait for the game to go live tomorrow for $0.99.

More: QWOP on the web

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3 years ago

Strategy & Tactics: WWII and Tiny Token Empires just $0.99 each for July 4th


Recognized Top Developer on Google Play HeroCraft Ltd has put up two of its great games on sale today to celebrate the Fourth of July Holiday. From today until July 5th, both Strategy & Tactics: WWII and Tiny Token Empires are cut down to just $0.99 each from $4.99 and $2.99, respectively. Strategy & Tactics is a more serious game focused on replaying the actions of World War II between the different world powers with turn-based gameplay. Tiny Token Empires on the other hand is a more light-hearted game that mixes strategy with brain teaser puzzle games set in the Roman times.

Both games have already seen their discounts go live in the Play Store at the links above, so go take advantage of these great deals on top-rated games while you can.

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3 years ago

Google Play highlights great apps with the 'Beautiful Design Collection'


A set of apps that show off the highest quality of design and function on Android today

Every so often Google Play will put up "collections" of apps that fall into a certain genre or fit with a current season or holiday. This time the Android Design Team is taking time to highlight 11 apps that have taken design to the next level with the "Beautiful Design Summer 2013 Collection". In a blog post detailing the criteria for the collection, the team explains what makes an app "beautiful":

"Transitions are fast and clear, layout and typography are crisp and meaningful, and design touches that delight you in surprising ways are sprinkled throughout."

They have made up a list of 11 apps that exemplify these ideals -- Pattrn, Pocket, Timer, Eye in Sky Weather, NY Times, Grand St., Pinterest, Press, Expedia, Flipboard and TED -- of what great Android design looks like. And that doesn't mean that every one of these apps follows Android's Design Guidelines pixel-for-pixel, either. They're called guidelines and not requirements for a reason, because Google thinks that it is possible to make an app feel coherent to the Android aesthetic while still keeping its own personality.

The team encourages all Android developers to take a look at these apps to get a feel for the design details necessary to "separate good apps from great ones." For users, you may want to grab a download of some of these as great examples of what is possible with Android apps today.

Beautiful Design Collection on Google Play

Source: Android Developers Blog

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3 years ago

Glympse teams with Evernote to keep track of your location 'trails'


Glympse trails will now be available from your Evernote account

Glympse, the pioneers of user-to-user real time location sharing, has announced that they're teaming up with Evernote to allow users to archive a list of their Glympse trails. Using the built in sharing features in Android, Glympse location data can now be automatically shared to a special "My Glympse Trails" folder in their Evernote portfolio.

Many of our users have requested a way to save a snapshot of their Glympse map trails so they can view road trips, keep runs and bike rides, archive a special trip abroad, or just remember an interesting location. We wanted to make this feature simple and easy. Evernote is the perfect solution: users retain complete control over how they share their location and can choose to save their trips to their personal Evernote account for review at a later date.

Each saved Glympse entry will contain details about the recipients, date, time, and duration of the Glympse as well as the destination if included. Of course, all this is stored in the user's Evernote account for easy access from just about anywhere.

The changes are available in today's update, which you can download from the Google Play link above. Jump past the break for the full press release.

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