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3 years ago

Your guide to Facebook Home


So what exactly is Facebook Home? We're going to break it down for you

This may not be the extreme Android forking that some would have expected, but Facebook Home is still a pretty dramatic change to the way you will use your phone. With the installation of just one app, you're faced with what looks on the surface like a completely new operating system. From the main home screens to the app drawer and navigation, Facebook has certainly gone its own way with the design.

And for most users out there, Facebook Home will be their first foray into "custom" launchers -- whether they know what that is or not -- and it's not the easiest concept to understand. Get past understanding technically what it is, and you've still got to explain what it does. So what is Facebook Home? Stick around with us after the break and see if we can help clear things up a little bit.

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3 years ago

How to uninstall Facebook Home from your current phone


Facebook wants you to use its new Android launcher - but it's also made it easy to get rid of

Want to remove Facebook Home from your phone? Maybe you tried it and it's just not for you? It's OK. It's pretty easy to get Facebook Home off your phone, and it only takes a few seconds.

(In fact, kudos to Facebook for making the process so simple.)

You can safely and easily remove Facebook Home from your current phone without losing anything. The normal Facebook app will still be there. You won't lose any chats, or any of your e-mail or contacts. Removing Facebook Home simply means you're going back to whatever "launcher" (that's the name for the home screens and app drawer on your phone) you were using before.

It's quick and easy, and we'll walk you through it.

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3 years ago

Upcoming title Arma Tactics makes us want Project Shield even more


Polish up your battlefield command with Arma Tactics, coming soon to Google Play

We're all patiently waiting for the release of NVIDIA's Project Shield, but seeing things like today's mention of the new game Arma Tactics makes it seem like a long wait. It looks very much like a typical combat squad game on a console or the PC, including the incredible graphics and fine-tuned controls.

You lead your squad through close combat, with random missions and an endless variety of tactics can be used to finish them. Some of us would go the stealthy route and snipe the enemy, while others can rush in with barrels blazing. Either way sounds pretty damn awesome right now.

NVIDIA promises Arma Tactics to be "one of the best looking mobile games to date." The video certainly appears that way. Tegra 4 enhancements like complex textures and physics, or environmental effects (check out the smoke in the video) have really got me itching to play this one on the new hardware. 

NVIDIA says Arma Tactics is coming soon to Google Play, in the meantime hit the break and watch the video.

Source: Tegra Zone

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3 years ago

Dungeon Hunter 4 trailer now live, Android version coming soon


The proven gameplay of Dungeon Hunter 3 has a worthy successor in the works for Android

Gameloft has just released the latest version of its extremely popular Dungeon Hunter game on iOS, and it's now making the announcement that the game will be hitting Android soon as well. To get everyone excited about the expanded release, it is releasing an official trailer of the new gameplay. Dungeon Hunter is a fun hack-and-slash fantasy game with new graphics and gameplay on top of the proven aspects of the previous games like multiplayer and an intense storyline single player mode.

Gameloft isn't quite ready to spill the beans on an expected date for the Android launch, but it reiterates that the game is nearly ready to hit Google Play. Take a look at the trailer above, and if you're interested in the franchise you can get a primer on it by trying out Dungeon Hunter 3 first.

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3 years ago

How to install Facebook Home on your current Android smartphone


There's a little more to it than simply downloading a new application - we'll walk you through it

Facebook has released its "Facebook Home" application for current Android devices, helping to bring your friends and family even closer to you. It's a separate app, so you'll have it alongside the traditional Facebook and or Facebook Messenger applications.

Installing it couldn't be simpler, but you'll need to see if Facebook Home supports your phone.

Then, hit the link at the top of this post, if you haven't downloaded Facebook Home yet. Once it installs, you're just a couple clicks away from using Facebook Home.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic update to Jelly Bean coming Monday


Android 4.1.2 will be pushed to devices in phases

Droid Bionic users can expect an OTA starting Monday, changing software build numbers to 98.72.22.XT875. This is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and comes with some nice goodies. Google Now with its predictive search and voice commands will be included. Expandable notifications will now be accessible, letting users control music, return calls and texts, and even manage email from the notification panel. The Jelly Bean keyboard brings better dictionaries, as well as voice typing that works without a data connection.

Some Motorola-specific enhancements include better Mobile Hotspot connectivity, an updated 'Back Up Assistant Plus' and new Visual Voicemail, along with improved voice and data reception quality. The OS also gets a little lighter, with Sling and MOG apps being removed by default.

As the OTA update starts hitting devices next week, things will be quite busy in the forums. Be sure to post your findings after you give Jelly Bean a spin.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Facebook Home now available for download


Launcher brings your friends' posts to you quicker (and prettier) than ever

OK, boys and girls. Now's the time to see what all the fuss is about over this Facebook Home thing. As promised, it's now available in the United States, for free, from the Google Play Store. (It's actually still propagating in Google Play as we write this. If you don't see it immediately, hang tight. It's coming.)

If you've somehow missed all the hullabaloo over the past week, Facebook Home is part custom launcher, part messaging client -- and all Facebook. You install it and get your friends Facebook posts front and center, in a nicely designed sort of lock screen called "cover feed." Then there's the "chat heads" messaging system -- it went live this morning in the Facebook Messenger app which pops up your friends profile pictures in little persistent bubbles. The traditional Facebook application is still there, of course.

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3 years ago

Chat heads go live on Facebook Messenger as we await Facebook Home


Facebook app also updated to prep for Facebook Home's launch today

Facebook this morning has rolled out an update to its Facebook Messenger app -- and "chat heads" are now live! These are the little persistent notifications that you get when someone messages you. Tap it to open and reply. You can move it around on the screen, but it'll remain docked to an edge. To get rid of it, just press, hold and toss to the bottom of the screen.

If you use Facebook Messenger but hate chat heads, there's an option in the settings to turn them off when you're using other apps, so they won't just float on your screen.

The Facebook application itself also has gotten an update this morning, in preparation for Facebook Home. (Some bugs were also squashed, according to the new changelog.)

We're expecting Facebook Home (the launcher) to go live anytime now.

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3 years ago

NYPD equipping officers with Android smartphones, new app

Image: NYT

Android app arms police with real-time data

Some 400 police officers in New York have been equipped with Android smartphones and a new crime-fighting Android app under a pilot scheme, the New York Times reports.

The app is designed to give officers the ability to run person and address searches, bringing in information from several different sources. Officers can look up police records on individuals, including photos, and access vehicle registration records. The app is also fully location-aware -- NYPD officer Tom Donaldson told the NYT “If I see that in the last month, there have been six arrests on the seventh floor for drug trafficking, maybe I want to hang out on the seventh floor for a while.”

Police would previously have had to rely on cumbersome laptop-based systems in their patrol cars to retrieve this info, or radio details back to a dispatcher. The app, officers tell the NYT, offers a much easier way to access this data. Donaldson explains, “Our dispatcher will tell us if they have a warrant or not but it’s a simple yes or no answer. I don’t know if the guy is wanted for murder or for not paying a parking summons. We rarely know. Now we know.”

Source: The New York Times; via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Cut the Rope: Time Travel coming soon from ZeptoLab


ZeptoLab announces the first new Cut the Rope series game in two years -- Cut the Rope: Time Travel

Cut the Rope is an insanely popular mobile game on both iOS and Android, and it's first sequel Cut the Rope Experiments was just as popular. Today, ZeptoLab has announced a third in the series named Cut the Rope: Time Travel.

We don't have much to go on yet. There's a trailer (find it after the break) but other than showing how adorable the little Om Nom character is, it leaves the rest to our imagination. We expect more of the same physics puzzles that help get candy into the cuddly little fellows mouth, and we're fine with that. Why ruin a good thing?

No word on any date or pricing, other than it will be launching for Android and iOS and that it is "almost here". We'll jump on it as soon as we see it, in the meantime hit the break for that trailer.

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3 years ago

Google helps plan your afterlife in the cloud


Inactive accounts can now have data shared with a person of your choosing, then deleted if you set things up beforehand

The digital age is relatively new. It was only recently that folks started depending so heavily on electronic communications and services, which in turn saves -- at least in part -- your life in the cloud. Photographs of friends and loved ones, email correspondences, and school and work documents are all part of many people's digital footprints today. Google now has incorporated what they call the 'Inactive Account Manager' into Google services.

After a user-defined timeout period that starts from your last sign-in, your Google account will be classified as inactive. Before the end of the timeout period is reached, Google will send you a text or email notification. If Google receives no response from you, contacts of your choosing can be notified after the timeout period that you are no longer using your account. There's even an option to share data with those contacts at this time. Any of the following can be shared: +1s, Blogger, Contacts and Circles, Drive, Gmail, Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams, Picasa Web Albums, Google Voice and YouTube. A warning text and email will be sent before any data sharing occurs. The final step is account deletion after 3-12 months, which is completely optional. Google will erase your account and its contents if you so desire.

The Inactive Account Manager setup page can be found here. It's nice to see Google giving its users a tool to help plan for the unexpected. Whether you choose to simply delete your account or to share photos and documents with loved ones, this new tool has the potential to give a little extra peace of mind.

Setup Page; Source: Google Public Policy Blog

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3 years ago

Dropbox update adds improved photo viewing, support for six languages


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


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


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


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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