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3 years ago

Dropbox update adds improved photo viewing, support for six languages

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Every Dropbox photo can now be viewed in one place

More improvements in the way of picture handling have been added to Dropbox for version 2.3.5. In a recent update we saw albums and photo sharing added to Dropbox; with the latest update, we now get a better way to view stored photos from within the app. All previously uploaded photos will now be displayed for easy viewing in the photos section of the picture tab.

Localization also has been improved, with Dropbox learning six new languages: Indonesian, Malay, Polish, Russian, and Traditional and Simplified Chinese. The change log of v2.3.5 also boasts "tons of performance improvements."

The update is live right now in the Play Store for Dropbox users. Hit the link above to install or update.

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3 years ago

HTC and Wallpaper* release Global Design Tours app

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Virtual tours of design events Milan, New York and Hong Kong

HTC has released a new virtual tour app for Android in partnership with design magazine Wallpaper*.  The app launches today with tours of design events in Milan, to be followed by New York and Hong Kong next month. The initial Milan tour, from the Salone del Mobile home furnishing show, includes guides from Wallpaper* editor-at-large Henrietta Thompson, One & Co (HTC's design consultancy) principal Claude Zellweger and designer Christian Zuzunaga.

Each one features 30-40 photos and an accompanying soundtrack. Bizarrely, though, the soundtrack isn't included, and here in the UK you're linked to each particular track on Amazon MP3. Same thing in the U.S.

The app is said to be optimized for the new HTC One, though it should run just fine on just about any phone running Android 4.0 or above. It's basic, but well-designed (natch). If you like pretty pictures of well-designed things, you can take a look by hitting the Google Play link above.

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3 years ago

Sprint HTC One - the Android Central casual review

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Network - not software or hardware - is the big difference in the Sprint HTC One, for better or worse

Finally, we're getting our first look at the U.S. versions of the HTC One, the phone that many believe (right or wrong) will either make or break the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, which has been struggling financially for a number of quarters.

The HTC One represents a bit of a shift for HTC. As the name implies, it's one line. One brand. For all intents and purposes, we're looking at the same smartphone from Europe to Asia to the U.S., and everywhere in between. There will be a few small changes, of course -- radios and storage space and what not. And he U.S. carrier versions will have slightly different applications packages preloaded. But put, say, the Sprint HTC One beside an unlocked, European phone, and you'll not see a difference in looks, or in function. And maybe most important -- they're the same phone in name, finally giving HTC a proper platform to push its brand. That's something HTC has tried and failed at for a number of years, most notably with the 17 variants (more or less) in the originally attempt at the HTC One.

But no more.

I've had the Sprint HTC One for a week or so now, and I've had a European version for a number of weeks. There's simply no real difference in terms of hardware and functionality. For that, please see Alex Dobie's excellent comprehensive HTC One review.

We're going to do things a little differently here. What follows is not a deep dive into the Sprint HTC One. It's just not that different from what we've already reviewed. Instead, it's my thoughts on the HTC One in general and a breakdown of the specifics for Sprint's version. School's in session.

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3 years ago

Chrome Beta updated with fullscreen mode, better search, tab history

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Chrome's toolbar now hides automatically when scrolling down webpages

A new build is available for Chrome Beta users, moving the beta app's version to 27.0.1453.49. Those that have stuck with the stable version of Chrome might be persuaded to come over to the dark side thanks to the latest awesome feature: fullscreen mode.

Upon scrolling down a webpage, Chrome's toolbar will now completely disappear, giving a boost to the precious screen real estate that web page content can use. If a a web address needs to be typed in or the menu needs to be accessed, scrolling up will quickly restore the toolbar. This feature is currently for phones only.

Tablets get their own exclusive feature as well. Holding the browser back button will reveal a drop down area, with previously viewed tabs displayed in a vertical list. Viewing tab history doesn't get any easier.

All devices also receive a new and improved search function. Now when a search term is entered into the omnibox (address bar), it will stay in the omnibox -- instead of being replaced with a web address upon searching. This not only makes it easier to go back and edit search terms, but it eliminates the need for displaying a search box within the webpage, allowing more search results to be seen on the page.

Client-side certificate support was added to this release as well, allowing access to sites that require the use of a certificate. Users are given the option to select their desired certificate from any that are currently installed.

Expected bugs with this beta build include some lag and page flicker, as well as duplicate history items. If you don't already have Chrome Beta installed, follow the link at the top. Full release notes can be found below.

Source: Chrome Releases Blog

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3 years ago

Microsoft Office now rumored for Android in (wait for it ...) 2014

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An Android release may have to wait until PC, Mac, and Windows Phone updates are finished

An official Microsoft Office app release is one of those things that seems to get further away as time goes on. The last notable rumor pegged Microsoft's suite of apps coming to Android in March of 2013. The newest rumor, an alleged roadmap being reported by ZDNet, lists Office for Android coming in 'Gemini Wave 2.0,' or October 2014. The first two 'Gemini Waves' show Office updates for Windows Blue, Office for Mac, Office RT, and Windows Phone. Once the developers get these out of the way, Android and iOS are supposed to be next in line to receive Office apps.

According to this roadmap, Office just isn't in the stars for Android as a 2013 release. Even if this information is correct, it wouldn't be surprising to see the release pushed back further, and Windows Phone keeping an exclusive on Microsoft Office for the foreseeable future. Luckily Google has been preparing for such a scenario, with its acquisition of Quickoffice to beef up its own apps product suite. The free copies of Quickoffice bundled in Google devices and given to Google Apps for Business users will have to do while the wait for Office for Android continues.

Source: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Mother of Myth coming this summer to Android, iOS and PC - and it looks amazing

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Playnery is bringing a new game engine and what looks like an awesome game to run it in the summer of 2013

Looking for some way to push that Snapdragon 600 in your new or soon-to-be-bought Android phone or tablet? Playnery has you covered. Mother of Myth will be cross platform with iOS and PC, and if it's half as good as the trailer makes it look, it's one I'll be buying on day one.

Based on what we know now, it's an action / adventure / RPG game with sizzling graphics (optimized for the latest and greatest from Qualcomm), a full back-story, character customization, and all the other bells and whistles that make for a great, immersive game of this nature. 

Maybe the most exciting part is that the Playnery’s Bordeaux game engine was built on and with the Qualcomm platform. Ask anyone with a Tegra device and they will tell you that the optimized games are simply a step above anything else that's out there, and seeing a game of this caliber from developers who work with Qualcomm to make it great means your next phone or tablet can have great games no matter which processor is inside. We're looking forward to seeing what Playnary has to offer, and you should be too. Sign up for more info at the Mother of Myth site, and be sure to shout out at them in the forums to show your interest.

Via: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Google Play Music now available in Australia -- Update: and 6 other countries

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Australians can now listen to their favorite music both on the web and their Android device with Google Play Music

Update: Google Play announced via their Google+ account that there are six other countries also getting the Play Music service: Austria,  Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Portugal. For those about to rock, we salute you. The original story continues below.

Google has flipped their magic switch and made Google Play Music alive and well in the land down under. Users can buy music from Google Play on either the web or their Android device, and the cloud associated with their Google account will hold up to 20,000 of a users own music. The streaming service is available to 10 devices at a time, and the settings on the web version can be used to authorize and deauthorize devices.

The addition of Music means all Google Play services -- apps, games, books, movies, magazines and music -- are now available in Australia. You can find Google Play Music on the web right here, and download the application to your Android device via the Google Play link above.

Source: Google Australia

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3 years ago

The Masters Golf Tournament app updated for 2013 with live stream improvements

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Now is the time to get ready for the most prestigious tournament of the year

The Masters golf tournament tees off on Thursday at Augusta National Golf Club, and right on time the official Masters Golf Tournament app has been updated for the occasion. The latest update today aims to improve the quality of the live streams this time around. The app will give you access to eight concurrent live streams, with enhanced coverage of the most popular holes around the course, available to any device with a data connection. You of course get live scoreboard coverage and news stories in the app as well.

The app is useful before the tournament itself even gets going, with coverage of practice rounds, the Par 3 Contest and extra analysis from experts. If you've got plans to follow The Masters this weekend, you'll need to have this app loaded on your device. Head to the Play Store link above and grab a download.

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3 years ago

Select Disney apps now free in the Play Store (updated)

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Get six of Disney's previously 99 cent apps, for free

Update: all 6 of the Disney apps have gone back to 99 cents. It appears this was an error in Play Store pricing that only lasted a few hours. The original story is below.

Six of Disney's apps went on sale today in the Play Store. Previously coming in at 99 cents each, all six can now be downloaded for free. This includes one live wallpaper and five games:

It's interesting that some of these apps already have free versions in the Play Store, and Disney chose to also offer their 99 cent counterparts for free. We don't know how long these apps will stay in the Play Store as free downloads, or if more will be added to the list, so download them now if any of these interest you or your kids. Temple Run has always been very popular, and Wreck-It Ralph was previously chosen as an App of the Week. Feel free to hit the comments with your own picks and recommendations.

Update: Apparently that was a temporary feature bug, and you should now have to shell out for the apps again. Hope you grabbed 'em while you could.

Thanks, Abhishek!

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3 years ago

Google Play Store gets a new look

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Google's content portal gets a lighter, brighter visual refresh

Following some recent leakage, it seems the new look Google Play Store app is finally official. Google has just announced that the new-look Play Store app will begin rolling out to Android devices today.

In today's announcement post on the official Android blog, Google says the new-look app is aimed to be "simple" and "clean," with a renewed focus on entertainment content. Based on the official promo images, that certainly seems to be the case -- Google Now-like greys and whites dominate the UI, while a lot of screen space is given to large images for music, movie and book content.

The purchasing process has also been streamlined, Google says, which hopefully means fewer taps to buy apps and other content through this new version of the store.

The new Google Play Store will begin pushing automatically to devices running Android 2.2 Froyo and above starting today, so keep a lookout in the hours ahead. In the meantime, hit the comments if you've managed to get it already.

Source: Official Android blog

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3 years ago

Competitors launch European antitrust complaint against Google over mobile apps

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Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle and others call Android 'a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps'

A group of Google's competitors have sent an antitrust complaint to the EU, claiming that the search giant's licensing of the Android OS and Google Apps give its mobile apps an unfair advantage. Reports from the New York Times say Fairsearch Europe, which consists of Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, TripAdvisor and others, accuses Google of using Android “as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today.”

According to today's NYT report, Fairsearch's lead lawyer, Thomas Vinje says OEMs wanting to use Google mobile apps (e.g. YouTube, Gmail, Chrome) on their Android devices "face contractual requirements" to use all these apps and give them "prominent placement" on their home screens. The suite of Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps are, of course, licensed separately to the Android OS, the source code of which is available freely.

Fairsearch pulls no punches in a press release this morning, claiming "Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform." It goes on to say the prominent placement of Google apps on devices running GMS apps "disadvantages other providers."

Following the filing of a complaint, the European Commission must now decide whether to take up the case against Google, the paper reports.

The news comes in the midsts of an existing EU antitrust inquiry into Google's web search practices, in which it's claimed the company abused its position to push its own web-based services. According to the NYT, antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia said the EU was already looking into Android separately to the web search complaint.

Source: New York Times; Fairsearch Europe (PDF) via The Verge

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3 years ago

WhatsApp denies rumors of a Google buyout

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WhatsApp is staying independent according to business development head

In a statement to All Things D this evening, WhatsApp’s business development chief Neeraj Arora said the rumors of Google buying the chat service were unfounded.

WhatsApp is one of the most popular applications on all platforms, providing cross-platform chat and file sharing. The past few days there has been talk of Google buying the company and integrating it into their rumored unified messaging service, aptly named Babel. The application is free for the first year on Android devices, with a $0.99 yearly fee afterwards. If you're interested in giving it a try, hit the Google Play download link above.

Source: All Things D

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3 years ago

Twitter updated with 'Me' tab and HTC menu bar fix

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HTC phone owners can get a full-screen experience, and 'Me' tab wonkiness is fixed in latest update

The official Twitter app for Android, given a major visual overhaul last week, has been updated again today with a couple of important bug fixes. First off, the "Me" tab, which would occasionally fail to load, should now be fully functional at all times. And owners of HTC devices will welcome the fix for an issue which left them with a dead menu bar at the bottom of the screen. (That's not listed in the official changelog for the new ver. 4.0.1, but we've confirmed it on our own devices.)

HTC devices without a physical menu key -- including the HTC One -- must use an on-screen menu bar in certain apps, losing a portion of the screen in the process. Since last week's update the official Twitter client no longer used the legacy menu key, however the app still continued to show the (now non-functional) bar on HTC phones, much to the chagrin of users. As you can see in the photo above, that's no longer the case.

The changelog also lists UI improvements for Honeycomb devices, if anyone out there's still rocking an Android 3.x tablet.

To grab these latest fixes, hit the Google Play Store or use the handy link above.

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3 years ago

Tumblr for Android gets a new look, spiffy animations, and pictures that 'pop'

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The new interface and features make tumblr for Android a beautiful and functional application

Tumblr for Android got quite the update today, bringing an overhaul to the entire interface. Gone are the boring, scrolling lists and static squares of old, and the new interface is a bit of Path or Flipboard wrapped up inside a Holo design frame. It's all very well done, if I'm allowed to interject my own opinion here.

In addition to the overall design changes, tumblr has built in some snazzy animations. Pull to refresh or tap a button to post and you'll see things bouncing and popping up, making it a bit more engaging and fun to fiddle with. The way images inside posts are shown has been tweaked as well, and they now really stand out in the stream.

It's a really nice piece of work. If you're a tumblr user, you'll love it. If you're not a tumblr user, it may be enough to make you one. In either case, it's worth having a look if you appreciate great app design. Grab it from the Google Play link above.

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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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