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3 years ago

CyanogenMod Focal is CM's own full-featured camera app

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Panorama, PicSphere, filters and more make up a promising project 

The hype is over. Thirty-one seconds of slick video and a million guesses later, and we now know what CyanogenMod's "Nemesis" project was all about. Meet "Focal," the open-source CyanogenMod project's own camera app.

This actually is kind of a big deal given that camera apps are traditionally closed-source due to licensing reasons. And, in fact, it was only in March 2013 when DxO Labs filed DMCA violations with GitHub against a number of custom ROMs — including CyanogenMod — for allegedly using its code unlicensed.

And now there's CyanogenMod Focal.

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3 years ago

Hisense Sero 7 Pro gets maintenance update

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Software update P756.6.02.11.00 is 52.2 MB in size, contains under-the-hood changes

The Hisense Sero 7 Pro is receiving an over-the-air update, with a widespread rollout in full effect. The Android version stays the same in what appears to be a small maintenance update, 52.2 MB in size. While there doesn't appear to be an official change log just yet, Google Currents was added to the stock apps, and some more advanced users are reporting changes to a few drivers and the kernel.

It's good to see Hisense's support behind this tablet, as the company is relatively new to the Android market in the United States. Good, frequent updates are sure to build the product brand and keep customers coming back for more.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out the Sero 7 Pro full review. A screen shot of the "About tablet" screen can be found after the break.

Thanks, George, for the tip!

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 improves Photosphere alignment and exposure

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The Photo Sphere team has been hard at work correcting errors and fixing inconsistent colors

With yesterday's event came the official announcement of Android 4.3, and the incredibly fast push to get this latest OS version out to devices everywhere. There were many changes included in the newest incarnation of Jelly Bean, among those being improvements to the camera and its Photosphere feature.

Googler Evan Rapoport has detailed some of the changes that went into Android's 3D panoramic image capturing, the photo sphere. Those who have taken photo spheres in the past have probably noticed errors in the image, where portions were not aligned or missing. Alignment and stitching have been improved in Android 4.3, minimizing errors and making images much more consistent.

Consistency was also improved for colors, eliminating much of the past problems with gray areas and areas of high contrast. Exposure compensation now gives beautifully exposed photos, says Rapoport.

Be sure to check out the Photo Sphere forum for great examples of photo spheres or to post your own. And that Photosphere above? That's shot with the new improvements.

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3 years ago

OUYA retail system review

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Android software meets game console hardware in a quest to revolutionize gaming

Last year, a project for the Android-powered video game console "OUYA" (pronounced OOO-yah) was founded, using Kickstarter to raise funds for development costs. Originally asking for $950,000 from Kickstarter backers, the project raised over $8.5 million -- making it one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history. The people had spoken: this was a niche in the gaming market that needed to be filled.

After getting initial units into the hands of developers, the library of OUYA games began to grow. User feedback was taken from those with pre-release units, and hardware changes were made based on that feedback, showing thoughtfulness and desire by the OUYA team to do everything possible to make their console succeed.

Last month, OUYA launched at retail locations -- becoming available to the general public. With a price tag of only $99 and a library of downloadable games that are free or at least free to try, the self-proclaimed "OUYA Revolution" has begun. Does OUYA make good on its promises of revolution? Can it -- and should it -- be compared to consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo? How well does it function as an actual Android device? We have the full review.

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3 years ago

Gameloft's Asphalt 8: Airborne will be optimized for the new Nexus 7

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As seen during the Nexus 7 demo, Asphalt 8: Airborne will be awesome on the new tablet.

Gameloft has sent out a little press release on the heels of the Nexus 7 presentation, to let us know a little more about their upcoming title Asphalt 8: Airborne. The new title will be optimized for the second generation Nexus 7 when it's released, and thanks to Android 4.3's support for OpenGL ES 3.0, it should look marvelous.

Some of the features being baked into Asphalt 8 do sound really great. Here's the short list:

  • Brand new real physics engine
  • 180 events, 47 licensed cars, new game modes
  • Online simultaneous multiplayer action and asynchronous challenges, including friends and global leaderboards
  • Social features, including Facebook

In addition, Asphalt 8 will fully support Google Play Games features at launch. We don't yet have all the details, but we know it's scheduled to hit the streets August 8. If you're into racing games this looks like it will be a great one. See the full press release and a couple more screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Google Play Music, Movies & TV updated with Chromecast support

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New streaming support for Google's content services

Following today's Chromecast and Android 4.3 announcements, Google has updated its Play Music and Play Movies & TV services to take advantage of the new streaming capabilities. If you're one of the few people to posses a Chromecast dongle, you'll now be able to stream your Google music, movie and TV content to your TV directly through the app.

In the latest updates, Play Music also gets bug fixes and larger tap targets for context menus. Play Movies & TV gets support for virtual surround sound on the new Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 (running Android 4.3), along with Watch Now sync across devices and bug fixes.

Head on over to "My apps" in the Play Store app to grab your updates.

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3 years ago

Netflix now supports 1080p video streaming with Android 4.3

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New APIs in Android 4.3 opens up 1080p streaming from Netflix, perfect for the new Nexus 7

Netflix was mentioned at several points throughout todays Google event in San Francisco, one of which was during the Android 4.3 presentation. A seemingly small update to the app pushed out into the Google Play Store that now it seems has more weight behind it.

The new DRM APIs in Android 4.3 will allow Netflix to finally start pushing 1080p content to our Android devices. OK, so it's reliant on Android 4.3, but you have to start somewhere. And it means when you fire it up on that new Nexus 7 you're going to treat yourself to, you're going to get some pretty awesome looking video. 

More: Google officially unveils Android 4.3

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3 years ago

SwiftKey Cloud beta launched with sync, backup and trending phrases

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New cloud-enabled SwiftKey keeps personalizations in sync and up-to-date

SwiftKey has launched a new range of cloud-based features as part of its new version 4.2 beta. SwiftKey Cloud allows users to back up their personalizations and predictions to the cloud, and keep them in sync across multiple devices. That means your personally-tweaked writing style is conveniently saved if you upgrade or switch devices. The new version also allows your dictionary to be automatically updated with "trending phrases" based on local current events, without requiring a separate app update.

The SwiftKey Cloud system itself uses Google+ sign-in, meaning you can get things set up with a single tap. When you log in with your Google accounts, SwiftKey will also personalize itself based upon your Gmail history. And it's become easier to personalize your keyboard through Facebook too, with support for the social network's APIs.

We've given SwiftKey Cloud a go for a little bit now and came away pretty impressed. Setup was quick and easy — brilliantly so. We saw nothing that should scare away an average user. You can remove devices and accounts as easily as you added them. Everything's handled over SSL and https, and removing an account does so on all devices.

The new SwiftKey beta is available now from the app's beta site, linked below. We've got official promo video, screen shots and the press release after the break. You're gonna want to give this a try.

More: SwiftKey Beta

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3 years ago

Riptide GP 2 makes a splash in Google Play

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The sequel to one of the best racing games for Android is even better than the original

Chances are you've played Riptide GP on your Android. If you haven't, you've surely heard others rave about it (it's a staff favorite around here) and should have probably checked it out before now. C'est la vie. The good news is that the sequel is out, and it keeps everything great from the original and adds multiplayer and game options that make it my new favorite.

Vector Unit has outdone themselves. The same great watercraft action you loved in Riptide GP is there, along with multiplayer, Google+ login and cloud sync, and customization options for your vehicles like we see in other high-end racing games. You earn credits by competing in races, and use those credits to buy performance improvements for your existing ride or save them up to buy an all new, and hopefully better one from the store. Of course there is an in-app purchase mechanism, but by no means is it necessary to buy credits -- winning them is far too fun. 

The multiplayer and social aspect is also great. Race against up to three of your friends in real-time through Google+, and if you have more than one Android the cloud sync keeps track of your progress flawlessly. My wife and I have been thoroughly enjoying Riptide GP 2 and the multiplayer fun, and I'm pretty sure you will, too. 

Riptide GP 2 will play well on any high-end Android device, but playing on a Tegra-powered system really shines. I've tested the build Vector Unit sent on the HTC One, HTC One X (international Tegra 3 model), the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7, and the Galaxy S4 and it runs without a hitch. We've also got those NVIDIA Shield review units here, and trust me when I say that Riptide GP 2 is the first game you'll want to buy if you have ordered a Shield. It is that much fun.

Riptide GP 2 is available for $2.99 at Google Play. Grab it from the link above, and hit the break for a video and a bunch of screen shots.

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3 years ago

Sonos now plays music stored directly on your phone

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A quick but important update to the Sonos app today — you can now play back music and podcasts stored directly on your phone. (No, we're not sure how this wasn't an option before now, either.) Podcasts work so long as you're running at least Android 2.2, which should damn near be just about everyone reading this.

After you update your app, look for "This Mobile Device" in the menu, and you're good to go.

More: Sonos

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3 years ago

AOKP Milestone 2 now available to the masses

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44 devices receive the second major Android 4.2.2-based AOKP release

A little more than 3 months after its first Android 4.2.2-based milestone, the ever-growing-in-popularity custom ROM AOKP gets its second stable release, Milestone 2. The Android Open Kang Project ROM is now available on 44 different devices, including new devices such as variants of the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and Sony Xperia. Notable new features include:

  • AOKP Ribbon
  • Permission management
  • Dark AOKP
  • mGerrit – check our latest changes anytime
  • Persistence support – keep DPI/hosts settings between wipes
  • Quick Torch on Lockscreen
  • HDR mode in AOSP Camera (does not work on every device)
  • Few new Toggles – StayAwake, Custom, Sleep, Reboot, etc.
  • Superuser from Koush

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3 years ago

T-Mobile offers free Lookout Premium subscriptions for Asurion PHP and Jump! customers

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New partnership will help keep your personal data, and your phone, a little safer.

Lookout and T-Mobile have a special treat for customers who elect to purchase Asurion PHP (Premium Handset Protection) or enroll in T-Mobile's new Jump! program -- a free subscription to Lookout's premium features. 

If you're enrolled in the Asurion program, or have signed up for Jump!, and a current Lookout user, you should soon be getting an email about the new promotion telling you a little more information. The gist of it all is that in addition to the antivirus, find-my-phone and backup and restore options offered in the free version of Lookout, you'll also have access to photo backup, remote lock and wipe, Safe Browsing, and Lookout's privacy advisor.

This is very much like the partnership between US Cellular and NQ Mobile, and any trend that helps people keep their phones and personal data more safe is a very good thing -- we hope it continues.

These tools are pretty useful, and Lookout has a long history with Android. You may or may not find the antivirus features useful, but the monitoring ans security features are great to have. Look for your email soon!

Source: Lookout. Thanks, Jimmy!

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week: Blue Board, MX Player, Tetris and more!

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A look at the best apps we have on our devices this week

Here we are once again introducing you to another edition of our 'Apps of the Week' post, where we break down all of the latest apps that the folks here at Android Central have been using. We ask each of the writers here at the site to chime in on Saturdays with an app that has piqued their interest over the last week, and let us know why it has stayed on their device despite the thousands upon thousands of options out there.

We round up these picks and put them together for all to see and hopefully find some that match their own interests and needs as well. Stick around with us after the break and see how we did this week.

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3 years ago

USA PRISM Plus trolls the NSA on Twitter

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Points for creativity here. USA PRISM Plus plays off the recent NSA flap and attempts to turn the tables by randomly taking pictures with your phone and then Tweeting them at the @NSACareers account "to determine that you are not engaging in illegal activities."

The result is, well, pretty much what you'd expect. Random pictures, Tweeted at the NSA.

Wanna see what folks have been snapping? Ease on past the break.

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3 years ago

Chromium team working on Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android

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Todays large-screen Android devices can be a perfect remote viewer for your desktop, and it looks like a native app for Android to do it through Chrome is in the works.

Using your Android phone or tablet as a gateway to your desktop is already possible with apps that use various remote viewing protocols, but they all have one common barrier that keeps plenty of people from trying it -- the require a server set up and running on your desktop. While setting one up isn't difficult, it's one of those things that people aren't confident in doing, or just don't want to fool with.

Chrome has offered a built-in solution for a while with the Chrome Remote Desktop function built into the Chrome browser, and that barrier of installing and setting up a separate server goes away, thanks to using your Google account and Chrome's excellent syncing abilities. It looks like the Chromium team is determined to bring this to Android.

While at the moment the project is in its infancy, and most of the functions are still a ways off, this will be an excellent resource once it's finalized and available. We're keeping a close eye on this one!

Source: Chromium Code Review; Via: +François Beaufort

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